Procrastinate In Order To Bcome More Productive

procrastination

 

While I have a limited time to be online for this week, How glad I was that Mat Veni offered me to write a post for my personal development category.  He is going to talk about procrastination, so that’s a topic that you might be interested in.

Take it away, Mat…

But you won’t read this right now, cause you can later, right? That is called procrastination. I’m not against it and I’m not writing about eliminating all distractions. As probably all of us I do procrastinate and I’ll even tomorrow.

Knowing to have a little relaxation or boredom is grateful for our brains. They need to be in balance and need to have a time to rest and a time to work out. Just imagine how easier can be making decision when you are fresh and clean minded.

Probably to all of us happen that we soon find ourselves avoiding big scale tasks. Especially we like to avoid doing what we are not used to, or we know it will take a long time to accomplish. We pour more oil when we don’t prefer that tasks or even if we have bad experience working on them.

We can cure most of that. But still take some breaks and time for distractions so that mind will become clear and ready to take fresh decisions.

I deal with this topic all the time. I can easily become too lazy to write or to go riding a bike or to hang out with friends (I can easily prefer watching TV on Friday evening).

What I don’t like is to postpone all day long. Avoiding heavy task and focusing on checking mails instead. I admit it’s far from easy to start working in an unknown area, start swimming for the first time.

Or doing something unpleasant even being aware that’s part of a great and excited challenge or project. If the task is so huge I don’t know where to start, what exactly to do and I’m not even excited about working on, then I’ll find many distractions and hope to do prioritized tasks later or tomorrow.

What do I do to keep being distracting as little as possible (and still in a healthy manner)?

The foundation here is getting the momentum. It means to warm up or stretch my mind, my brains. It’s enough a minor, micro task, something I love it just to start working. It could be enough just to talk about a project with a friend or an accountability person. Maybe look into a fridge what kind of food I have if my challenge is to bake some delicious for entire family. Or cleaning my sport shoes and not even having in my mind to go running 5 miles (what is actually the big goal today).

Do a small step by step. Just to keep momentum.

When I’ve done that the real story begins. I need to be organized or else my writing never…

In short I focus on next steps:

 

  1. I Need to Find out what Motivates me

If I like to reach a goal, let’s say finish a book, but I’m not motivated to sit and type for few hours a day, I have serious problems. Of course I may avoid writing and never reach this dream, but If I truly want to, than I need to find incentives that can help me.

I often find this kind of obstacles when I walk through a huge challenge. For instance I can love writing books and love to publish them and connect with publisher but I don’t like a promotions obligations. Well, I need to solve this, cause promotion is part of publishing any kind of stuff.

In this case I use simple reminders:

  • Stickers (colored). In the past I became overloaded with stickers so I limited them to avoid losing main stream.
  • They are simple and quick to read. Powerful enough to remind me on where I want to go… to the town not called no-where.
  • I could use a friend or community or VA (virtual assistant) or accountability person, but I don’t or rarely do. It’s however great ‘method’ to share problems and remind each other. Someone else might have a solution for what you couldn’t even dream of. Or at least it helps you to kick your tasks forward. If you prefer do it on your own than you can still use a public place that helps you at e.g. writing a post / book…

 

  1. Setting Goals and Deadlines

I know this sounds a little stressful. My way doesn’t prefer setting goals. I rather do what excites me and when excites me. But sometimes and for some bigger challenges goals are highly recommended and helpful. Especially where project is enormous and we can easily get lost.

My problem is still the deadline. It might be something in that word. However I find myself many times to push the deadline, mostly because many inevitable tasks appear during project. It helps if I get some external deadlines (but the stress increases). Deadlines are important cause they put my project in motion.

 

  1. Reward, Celebrate

I love to imagine or visualize the accomplished mission, e.g. my fresh novel on a shelf or reaching 10.000 fans on any social media. But that sounds more like a motivation than a reward.

The idea is to come up with small indulgences for hitting those milestones. For instance a new sofa that helps me to write more comfortable, or a fancy pen (for the time when I don’t like to type on keyboard but on plain paper). The reward could also be a simple celebration with close friends or coworkers in way we all prefer.

 

  1. Have a Partner

 How important is this?

First, it’s easier not to work alone. That doesn’t mean I can’t create a business alone. A partner could be virtual assistant or accountability partner. Someone I can share my obstacles, my challenges and what’s holding me back.

In the past I found myself having difficulties with partnering. What I did was nothing new. I continued doing project on my own until I could partner with others. But how?

I started to write down tasks, thoughts, smart and stupid never ending ideas etc. I posted it all over my place, on table, closet, fridge, screen, practically everywhere. My bag was always full of small paper. That’s how I started. And most of the time it worked.

Then one day I needed to organize as I found it difficult to follow and even more difficult to setup ideas that belong together.

I started to use a notebook and fill it with hundreds of incentives that help my projects to move on.

That’s my non-arguing partner. Says nothing, helps a lot.

Easy, cheap, handy and old fashioned. Probably it’s not nice for someone used to live with apps. I used both, but prefer analog way.

There are some great ways how to increase productivity with special techniques used in analog notebook.

One I like is ‘bullet journal’ (take a look on web). It’s cheap and it works.

Another one I designed myself cause I needed more incentives pre-designed (included in notebook) and I needed more reminders (like ribbons, tracking page, reminder box). It’s cheap but it needs more effort to DIY.

How do you ‘fight’ against never ending procrastination?

You can also learn from creators manual what the benefits are and how to do journal by yourself.

Please, leave your comments down below.

 

19 Comments

  • maxwell iveyTwitter: mistermidway says:

    hi mat; thanks for sharing your techniques for overcoming procrastination. I also agree with you that down time is necessary for future progress, and i’m glad you included this in your post. I have a little more trouble with reminders and deadlines because I am a blind computer user and the visual just doesn’t do it for me. so i rely more on friends and online communities. I find if i am really having trouble with completing a task the best thing to do is to share openly about what the task is how long i think it should take a date by with it will be completed and a promise to share with the given community when finished. I find external deadlines work better for me than internal ones. I also notice that the key is to start writing. the first few lines may not be stellar but its getting started that matters. its just like the song in the elmo movie which i listened to a hundred times or more with my nephew. that is take the first step and soon you will see. thanks for sharing max
    maxwell ivey invites you to read..3 radio shows in 1 week am I starting to become famousMy Profile

    • Mat Veni says:

      Hey Max,

      that’s great to hear. So you need to be very open and trust to people around you. Hope it does work in the other direction as well (and to support each other).
      How does it work for you if the project is let’s say sth that others are not so interested or can’t be involved (can they still hear you, support you)?

      Be fine,
      Mat
      Mat Veni invites you to read..How I let go procrastinationMy Profile

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Max,

      Sorry for being so late in the game here, but last week was so busy offline.

      I agree with you, at times it’s all about starting. Starting even a mediocre blog post for example is better than not starting at all, because once we’ve got the machine going it gets better. Always.

      Thanks for coming and I hope you’re well.

  • Sherman SmithTwitter: shermanksmith75 says:

    Hey Mat,

    Procrastination can be a friend or a foe. Sometimes it’s intentional while other times things come up in life. But in the end, it’s good to have some type of down time to where you can get your thoughts together so that you can progress.

    This is how I look at blogging. My focus is to get content out every Monday, but sometimes I just put out content every week no matter what day it is. When I don’t start or finish something then I think about why I started blogging in the first place and about not keeping my audience in suspense to the point where they don’t want to come back to my blog. With that said, it gives me a little budge to get myself back into gear and get to working on my blog.

    Thanks for sharing Mat! Have a great rest of the week!

    • mat says:

      Hi Sherman and Thanks.
      Nice said. Yeah, we all procrastinate.Even when we are on a coast 🙂 You get public motivation from your readers…of course why not.
      How to solve this one if you are off the internet? Do you schedule posts?
      Stay great !
      mat invites you to read..How I let go procrastinationMy Profile

      • Sherman SmithTwitter: shermanksmith75 says:

        I’ve heard that when you’re out doing something (walking, exercising, dancing, etc…) it increases dopamine levels within your body which is the chemical that aids in you coming up with great ideas. So whenever this happens, i rush to my phone and write down these ideas on my evernote app…. Usually I start writing a post (the headline, intro, and first sentence of main post) which is a great start for me.

        I was scheduling post a couple of years ago when I was writing every other day. It got to a point where I had 6 month’s worth of blog posts… The reason why I stopped was because it didn’t have enough quality although I was getting traffic. Now I just only blog once a week. I don’t have a specific day although I would like to publish blog posts every Monday but things come up and some of my blog posts take longer to put together.

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Sherman,

      I agree with you. It’s better to try to have your post out on that Monday, but it’s better to have it any other day if you couldn’t that day this week than not at all.

      I use this theory myself.

      If we need a break, it’s better letting our readers know and get some rest to start afresh.

      Thank you for your feedback.

  • Sherman SmithTwitter: shermanksmith75 says:

    I’ve heard that when you’re out doing something (walking, exercising, dancing, etc…) it increases dopamine levels within your body which is the chemical that aids in you coming up with great ideas. So whenever this happens, i rush to my phone and write down these ideas on my evernote app…. Usually I start writing a post (the headline, intro, and first sentence of main post) which is a great start for me.

    I was scheduling post a couple of years ago when I was writing every other day. It got to a point where I had 6 month’s worth of blog posts… The reason why I stopped was because it didn’t have enough quality although I was getting traffic. Now I just only blog once a week. I don’t have a specific day although I would like to publish blog posts every Monday but things come up and some of my blog posts take longer to put together.
    Sherman Smith invites you to read..7 Ways On How To Define Your Target Market?My Profile

    • Mat Veni says:

      Hehee.. I can imagine you walking in the forest and using app. Certainly we are using phone everywhere (should become water-resistant so that we can use it in the water 🙂 ). I used to record my voice years ago. But I’m more old-fashioned and prefer to write. I read about handwriting skill that influence more on our brains and we affirm more our ideas. Especially when we use ‘curved’ letters. It somehow connects better both hemispheres.

      Seems you put more effort in your post now. I believe readers don’t worry having less to read, right.
      Mat Veni invites you to read..How I let go procrastinationMy Profile

      • Sherman SmithTwitter: shermanksmith75 says:

        Hey Mat,

        I actually listened to a CD called “Your Wish Is Your Comment” By Kevin Trudeau that talks about how your handwriting influences more on our brains that just listening to our voice, CDs, or watching videos.
        Sherman Smith invites you to read..How To Make Blogging Less Time ConsumingMy Profile

  • Lisa Sicard says:

    Hi Mat,
    Love this post. I find the best times for me to be creative is when I take walks or am in the shower. I just have to remember them afterwards. I find if I don’t get offline a day or two I do get burnt out. It helps us to refresh ourselves. We all need that.
    I think our society puts too much pressure on working 24/7 today. That is NOT good for us. We all need a little down time and time to do nothing.
    Lisa Sicard invites you to read..More Twitter Followers – Are More Followers Proven Useful?My Profile

    • Mat Veni says:

      Hello Lisa,
      THX. When I first thought to write and focus on Procrastination I said : ‘ Let it go. ‘ But something inside me says, I need Boredom, I need relaxation, I need Do Nothing. It’s like you said Our Society puts too much pressure. And expects to live in a hurry. But we are part of society. I wonder not what society expects from me, but what can I expect from Me (and this quote is not from Kennedy 😉 , but similar).
      Yes, let’s take time for boredom, hehe.
      Mat Veni invites you to read..How I let go procrastinationMy Profile

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Lisa,

      I am exactly like you, walks and showers are wonderful to bring up brilliant ideas, but usually they can be very short lived so we need to rush to put them on paper.

      Sorry for my absence here, but I’m back on track now.

      ~Sylviane

  • Donna MerrillTwitter: donna_tribe says:

    Hi Mat,

    I think we all deal with procrastination from time to time. But we cannot let it get hold of us.
    I am a great fan of “eating the frog” Doing the most important task first! It took me a while to get into this habit, but it is one I practiced in order to get things done and have the rest of my day to do what I want.

    There are many tasks I need to do, but at my own pace, and taking breaks when I feel like. This helps me with procrastination.

    -Donna
    Donna Merrill invites you to read..How Can I Break Through Endless Failure?My Profile

    • Mat Veni says:

      Hey Donna,
      congrats on your discipline and motivation. You see I prefer to do first some small things. Then I can say waaw, I already done something. It was the same with my exams when I was in college, I first needed to do the easiest. So I had less exams to the finish (in number but not in difficulties).
      Mat Veni invites you to read..400 + personal development blogsMy Profile

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Donna,

      I used to be very bad of doing important things first, but I’m getting better at it. That’s why this morning I started my day with writing an ordered article before even commenting on blogs.

      Thanks for your input, Donna.

  • Luna Darcy says:

    Hi Mat,

    I used to call myself a pro at procrastination.

    These are great tips you shared and would me most useful for a newbie in the blogging world like me.

    I look forward to learning more from Sylviane.

    Thank you for the awesome and insightful post!

    More power to you and Sylviane.

    Luna

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Luna, and nice to meeting you at my blog.

      Procrastination is probably the most common non-productivity challenges for most people. I even know some people who claim that they do better if they rush their work at the last minute due to procrastination.

      Thanks for coming and sharing your thoughts and hope to see you again soon.

      ~Sylviane

  • Mat Veni says:

    Hey Luna and thx.
    It’s hard when there is no one watching over our shoulder. Blogging is really not a competition and it needs a lot of passion to do it regularly. Some bloggers even help each other in order to push their articles or apply to some kind of challenge where many authors follow their progress. I don’t prefer it, but some do.
    Keep it simple 😉
    Mat
    Mat Veni invites you to read..Best procrastination tip ever – from zenhabitsMy Profile

Comments are closed.