top 10 procrastination tactics to get you back on track


I don't know about you, but whenever I'm faced with a work task that I totally don't want to do (but know I have to), I end up having the cleanest house in the entire world.  Also?  Laundry is done and folded.  Friends I haven't spoken to in a while get called.  Pretty much anything else gets done except the to-do item at hand.  I am, my friends, the Procrast-O-Master.

But I've recently discovered that there are certain procrastination things that I do that actually inspires me to actually get back on task.  And so, here they are, in case you're looking for something to do to make you do the something you're supposed to be doing.

10.  Take a shower.  I have friends who make fun of my obsessive love of showers, but I can't help it:  and I love mine almost too hot to stand, with tons of water pressure.  And the truth is that I've had some of my best ideas while I'm standing under the showerhead.  So if I find myself at a complete standstill, I go take a really hot shower.  I usually come back refreshed and raring to go.

9.  Exercise.  I really do not like exercising, even though as I get older, I'm finding it more and more of a necessity.  But there a couple of good things about exercise:  (a) I'll either hate the idea of going to the gym or hitting the trail so much, that the alternative of doing the task I'm avoiding sounds better; or (b) I'll go get some exercise, come up with a more palatable way of tackling my to-do list while I'm in the midst of dying on the treadmill.  Also?  Exercise often leads to a hot shower ... bonus!

8.  Go outside.   This time, it's not about exercise:  I just take a look around.  Perhaps I even find a weed with odd-looking tiny flowers and take a photograph of one.   Sometimes a change of scenery is all it takes.

7.  Drink a glass of water.  I'm horrible about not drinking enough water.  So if I'm going to procrastinate, I might as well use the time to do something good for me.

6.  Bribe myself.  I just say to myself, "If I complete this Annoying Thing, then I get to take myself out for a chocolate cakeball."  Funny thing is that I tend to fall for it every time.

5.  Get on the internet, and look up other rockstar writers and photographers (or people who are doing what I should be doing, with great aplomb).  Sometimes I just need a little inspiration.

4.  Time myself.   Promise myself that all I need to do is do the Annoying Thing for 15 minutes, and then I can take a break.  (And maybe a cakeball!)  I can do almost anything for 15 minutes, and I'm always surprised at how productive I am at the end.

3.  Solo Dance Party!  To something like this.  Or this.  Or hell, even this.  If you're at the office, just put your headphones on, close your eyes, and tap your feet.  You'll get the necessary rush to energize you and help you focus.

2.  Clean my workspace.  I know, the cleaning thing again.  But the trick is that I'm only allowed to clean my workspace, and nowhere else.  Usually the clean slate is enough of a push to get moving.

1.  Do nothing.  I mean, nothing.  Tell myself if I'm not going to do the Annoying Thing, I'm not allowed to do anything else.  I close my eyes, and listen to my own breath until I get bored.  

Then it's time to tackle it.


Tomorrow is the last day for registering for the Chookooloonks Path Finder!  The group this session is so amazingly awesome and diverse -- I hope you'll join us.