The two types of procrastination and strategies to stop them now

We’ve all done it.

We’ve all had days (or more) where the things we know are important to do don’t get done.

It’s annoying.

It’s frustrating.

And sometimes we can’t figure out how to break the cycle.

It’s procrastination.

Let’s talk about the two types of procrastination and what to do about them.

The first type of procrastination is probably how most people define procrastination.

You have short bursts of productivity, but it’s followed by long periods of other stuff. Nothing important gets done, but if something does get done, not a lot of it gets done.

That’s unproductive procrastination.

Some strategies that can help with this are:

  • Know what being distracted or procrastinating looks like for you. For example, if I’m watching a YouTube video in the middle of the day, I might be procrastinating. What does it look like for you?
  • Get enough sleep! If you’re tired, it’s really hard to stay focused, which can lead to procrastination.
  • Only check social media at certain times.
  • Have a game plan for what you’ll do when you check your social media. That might look like knowing how much time you’ll spend checking it, knowing which groups you’re going to check out, and if you’re going to look at your notifications or not.

The other type of procrastination is productive procrastination.

This is where you get a bunch of your low priority tasks done and oops, you just ran out of time today to get that really important thing done that needed to be done.

It can also look like that same really important task being on your list for days or weeks.

Are you a master of productive procrastination?

Some strategies for this are:

  • Be aware of excuses that masquerade as reasons (all those really important things needed to be done NOW – but actually they weren’t that important or didn’t need to be done right now)
  • Ask someone to hold you accountable for getting the thing you’re procrastinating about done
  • Block time in your calendar for when you spend time on your high priority tasks
  • Define the task very well – break it down
    • For example, instead of “Update your picture on your About Me page” it becomes:
      • Post to a specific local Facebook group for headshot photographer recommendations
      • From the recommendations pick 2-3 photographers to research
      • Research those 2-3 photographers
        • Review their work on their website or social media
        • Determine where they’re located (is it reasonable for you to travel there)
        • Find out what their packages are and the prices
      • Pick the photographer you want to work with
      • Find the email address or phone number to contact them with
      • Email or call them to find out their process for scheduling and doing headshots
      • Set up a time to take the pictures
      • Pick the picture you’ll use for your website
      • Upload the picture to your website
      • Delete the old picture from your About Me page
      • Add the new picture to your About Me page
    • Breaking the project into smaller pieces makes it much more manageable. You only need to do ONE thing at a time.

For a quick review:

Unproductive Procrastination:
Watching TV, Netflix, YouTube, etc; Facebook (or your social media method of choice) – those things that don’t move anything forward, but can eat a lot of your time.

Productive Procrastination:
You do everything BUT the thing that you really should be doing. It felt productive (all those things got checked off your todo list as done! But at the end of the day/week, you didn’t make the progress on the important things that you wanted to – actually not productive)

If this topic feels like it’s impacting you personally, and you’d like some help, let’s talk! The easiest way to set that up is by applying for coaching by clicking here.

PRODUCTIVITY FOR SOLOPRENEURS: INSIGHTS TO GETTING THINGS DONE #106

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