Is there such thing as a productive procrastinator?
Hands up if you are a terrible procrastinator. Yep, me too! However somehow I am also incredibly productive so it got me thinking. Is there such thing as a productive procrastinator? I think the answer might be yes.
How is it possible that you could be very productive and a terrible procrastinator at the same time? I think it comes down to working to your strengths. And in my experience, that seems to be the key to productivity.
For me, I work very well under pressure. And when it comes to being productive, that means that when I have a tight time frame to complete something, I manage to focus in on the task at hand, and get much more done in a short window than if I have an indefinite time frame. I’m the type of person who will achieve twice as much in a 2 hour window, than what I would get done over an entire day.
Advantages versus disadvantages
I work mostly from home. I am very fortunate to have this luxury. There are many advantages, however, there are also some unique challenges. It’s not for everybody. There are a lot of distractions and there is no-one standing over your shoulder to keep you accountable. You have to be very disciplined. You have to know when to say no to things which will distract you.
Productivity is about prioritising what you need to accomplish in the required timeframe. You need to work out what’s most important and complete it in an effective manner. It’s also about minimising distractions and focusing in on a task to its completion.
And this is where I often come unstuck.
I have the attention span of a gnat! I find it incredibly hard to focus in on one task for longer than about ten minutes before something else grabs my attention.
If I know a task will take me longer than fifteen minutes, it sends my mind into a spin. And this is where I procrastinate. I put it off because I can’t stand the thought of having to focus for long periods of time (and 15 minutes is a long time for my tiny brain!).
But I’ve discovered that’s ok.
Productivity is personal
I am incredibly productive when I’m on a deadline. I’m also very good at planning and organisation so as long as I know when a task has to be completed by, I can put it to the bottom of the to do pile, and forget about it until later. This frees me up to concentrate on other important work.
I’ve developed a mantra. If it doesn’t need to be completed by the time I get into bed tonight, it can wait. Instead of working from a ‘To Do’ list, I work from a ‘Must Do’ list. It keeps me focused. And it works, for me.
Productivity is personal and the key is working out what works for you. Need some ideas? Check out my 20 Tips For Being More Productive. You might find a new strategy to help you.
I’d love to hear about your productivity strategies. What works for you?