Procrastination or Productivity?
In your world, which one is likely to come in first place? 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.
In last week’s article I gave a super-easy, super-effortless tip to simply change your language from “I need to” or “I have to” or even “I choose to” to “I get” to.” Super-easy right? I’ve already received some reports about some people having good success with that simple change. (and for extra credit, you could upgrade to “I want to.”)
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 are 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 offer). How can I resist? This is 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.
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, 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 is just 10-15 minutes of uninterrupted focus, we can be way more productive than if we check Facebook or email every three minutes and get distracted. Or check our text messages. Those texts and Facebook notifications will still be waiting for us in 15 minutes.
I wonder what you can get done in a focused 15 minutes. I’ll bet I could almost complete an article. Part of what I do in coaching is helping to Optimize Your Environment. That means removing distractions, like a messy desk or too many computer windows and programs open or even putting your phone in a different room.
We can learn to fall in love with our dreams and visions MORE than that bright, shiny object.
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I'm excited to see what's possible when we embrace productivity! Let's talk!
Until next time
Have some fun, stay aware, and rock on!
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Believing in you and your possibilities
Janet Kingsley is an effective 'Belief Change Expert' who helps clients transform frustration to focus, confusion to clarity, and self-doubt to self-confidence.