This week I’m blogging about a bunch of productivity hacks that I’ve found helpful. And with this hack, I feel like it’s almost more of a confession than a hack (and I almost didn’t post it because I *know* that you are going to read it and laugh at me).
PRODUCTIVITY HACK: OVERCOMING PROCRASTINATION
I’m a busy guy and love having a million things on the go all at once. It adds a layer of stressful fun to my day and I don’t think I would last very long without it. But, because I have so much to do, I find it really easy to procrastinate on some things. It’s quite easy to hammer out a list of a dozen tasks each day of the week… only to discover at week’s end that a couple tasks were ignored every frigging day and carried over to the next day.
For me, it’s usually administrative stuff or some of the really detail work of a project that is 99% done. I have a few tools and tricks to help me get through these projects but the one I want to mention today is this almost silly idea:
If you have a task that you procrastinate over and over, it’s because you have other tasks you would rather do. So if you want to get your most procrastinated projects done, you need to make them the preferred task on your list. And you do this by putting EVEN WORSE projects on your list.
It sounds funny but it works. (At least for me). I’ve had a small home renovation project that I keep meaning to do and never got around to it. I kept putting it off, and carrying the simple job forward on my task list day after day after day.
By pure chance, it landed on a day that I also had some other tasks that needed to get done but I didn’t want to do: Namely, I had to call the CRA (which is the Canadian version of the IRS) to get a special tax number for my business, and I had to create a spreadsheet for my accountant. Frankly, neither of those activities are fun either and guess what… I suddenly “discovered” a half hour that allowed me to do that quick home renovation project I had put off.
Now all I need is a task I hate worse than calling the CRA… but I can’t think of one right now.