How can you make procrastination really be the positive life-changing strategy you need?
Yes, I know, that’s a really long title – and yes, I know I used “really” in it, too.
But here’s the rub – you REALLY CAN make procrastination work FOR you! Now before you start jumping up and down in glee thinking of how you are going to spend the extra time you get today putting stuff off until tomorrow, I want you to take a seat and really pay attention to what I am going to tell you.
As a business coach, I can tell you that you procrastinate every day. I don’t care if you get through 90% of your to-do list or not. If you don’t DO IT ALL, you have procrastinated on something. Think about it. What did you put off to get done what you did today?
Did you finish up all those little tasks that seem to accumulate? You know, things like emptying the paper recycling bin or changing the burned out bulb in the bathroom light fixture? What about deleting old email newsletters that you aren’t going to read? Did that never-ending task beat out updating your books or sending out a “glad to meet you” note to a new member of the chamber? Did you sign up for another “free trial” in lieu of making follow-up calls?
We all procrastinate, even us here at Grow Your Business Coaching, because we can’t do it all, all the time. AND THAT’S OK – as long as we are being creative – and productive – with our procrastination.
What is creative procrastination?
I know you’re asking – Now, what does THAT mean?
It means you have to be selective, purposeful and MINDFUL of what you choose to do with the limited time you have. You should choose to procrastinate on those tasks and activities that are LOW VALUE.
Low value activities are those that do not make much of a contribution to your business, bottom line, profits or life. Decide to procrastinate on those items – delegate them, outsource or eliminate them.
Attack it with zero-based thinking: ask yourself, “If I were not doing this already, knowing what I now know, would I start doing it again, today?” If the answer is no, it is likely a low value item that can either be abandoned or at the top of the creative procrastination list.
When you say, “Yes,” you also say, “No.”
In a recent mastermind group, I mentioned that another aspect of creative procrastination is the realization that every time you say, “Yes” to something, you say, “No,” to something else. The comment was met by silence. I think I stunned the group members, but it’s a very true statement.
Someone calls and engages you in a long discussion. While you are saying, “Yes,” to them by talking, you are saying, “No,” to something on your desk. Perhaps you are putting off a sales call, or setting aside the time you would otherwise be using to develop a product.
Any time you say yes to something, you are saying no to something else. For you to do something new, you must complete or stop doing something old. Getting in requires getting out. Picking up means putting down.
Creative procrastination is the act of thoughtfully and deliberately deciding upon the exact things you are not going to do right now, if ever.
Mindfully and creatively procrastinate on those tasks and activities that do little but steal your time. Go after the big, important, fruitful tasks on your list. It will be life- and business-changing if you do!
To your success!