Procrastination or Productivity?
In your world, which one is likely to come in first place, procrastination or productivity?
For so many of us, procrastination wins nearly every time. Sure, there are times we can push through with effort and determination – and we even get that warm-fuzzy feeling of satisfaction. But we’re exhausted. We’ve used up our energy reserves. We want things to be easy.
Actually, we want things to be “easy and effortless.”
And yet, if things come too easily or too effortlessly, we don’t appreciate it. We discount our success or achievement. We think something’s wrong.
One hack I like to use is to change up my language from “I need to” or “I have to” to “I get to”. That little change is easy and effortless, right? And when I’ve shared this trick with others, they tell me they have great results just by making this simple change.
But let’s face it, productivity is more than just changing our language. And it’s more than just making a list of things to do and checking those boxes (who else LOVES to make check boxes?).
We need to make sure we’re checking the right boxes!
Whenever we want to tackle something new, whether it’s a new recipe, updating our resume, starting a new career or hobby, or even a new exercise regime, we have a tendency to spend way too much time in research. We want everything to be perfect BEFORE we get started.
We want to know the answers, we want to know how other people did things, we spend money on programs and tools and workshops. We succumb to information overload.
I can’t tell you how many different coaching programs I’ve signed up for. One covered marketing, another covered opt-in pages and websites. Or how about the programs for list-building? Or successful sales techniques? Oh yeah. There is a never-ending stream of offers that get delivered directly to me (yes, directly to me – they even have MY NAME in the email subject line). How can I resist? This must be the last piece of the puzzle that I’m missing!
All those ‘shiny objects of temptation’ make it so easy to think I’m being productive. But I’m just procrastinating.
And then I get cranky because I’m following others and NOT listening to my own wisdom. And I have to remind myself (again) that the recipe that someone else is following is not necessarily the recipe I need (and when I say “not necessarily” I really mean “it never is”).
So, I’ve opted out of most of my subscriptions and feel so much lighter and freer. Of course, this doesn’t mean I want everyone to opt out of MY list – but if what I am delivering to you helps keep you stuck, then it isn’t useful and it is simply a distraction.
Speaking of distractions….
What if multi-tasking was really a distraction? What if it was simply a way for us to fool ourselves into thinking we are doing more than we actually are? Neuroscience research tells us that multi-tasking is not really doing two things simultaneously, but just switching between them very rapidly and that the brain is very good at deluding itself.
It is actually MORE PRODUCTIVE to focus on one thing at a time. Even if it’s just 10-15 minutes of uninterrupted focus, you can be way more productive than if you check Facebook or email every three minutes and get distracted. Or check your text messages. Those texts and Facebook notifications will still be waiting for you in 15 minutes.
In fact, the Pomodoro Technique encourages us to work in 25-minute chunks separated by five-minute breaks. How many of us were really good at cramming at the last minute for tests? Or waited until the final hours before writing our paper at school? That sense of urgency, or eagerness, helped us kick up our productivity. And that’s the idea of working in 25-minute chunks.
I wonder what you can get done in a focused 15 or 25 minutes? Part of what I do in coaching is help you Optimize Your Environment - both your physical and emotional environment – by removing those distractions, thoughts, and habits that get in the way of you being the best you.
You can learn to fall in love with your dreams and visions MORE than that bright, shiny object.
CALL TO ACTION: Take a 25-minute session and unsubscribe from emails that just pile up and you don’t even read. Those unread messages take up mental energy. Maybe it’s all those BOGO (buy one, get one) that you’re never going to buy. You can always subscribe again in the future.
Say “YES” to yourself and ignore that next bright, shiny object. Choose you instead!
Janet is an effective 'Belief Change Expert' who helps clients believe in their own potential and transform their dreams into fulfilling, inspired, and prosperous realities. Janet can help you get the rapid results you are looking for and live your aligned life.