Productive Procrastination: How To Stop It

Procrastination isn’t always being lazy sitting on the beach. For those of us who work for our own businesses, it can be much more productive.

I’ve talked about procrastination before. I never saw myself as someone who would procrastinate. After all, growing up I would do my homework during class. I always did my school work before I went out to play. At almost 46 and self-employed, I still practice this.

In order to help myself stay on track, I even set up a recurring event on Fridays from noon to 2:00 PM to write. This week I slept until 2:00 PM.

The truth is that being self-employed and single I’ve noticed that anxiety has crept in. It manifests in productivity. But it’s still procrastination.

What is Productive Procrastination?

I’ve become productive in my procrastination. Busy being busy. Not doing anything really.

So, it’s Sunday (two days late) and I’m finally keeping the promise I made to myself and writing this post.

Just as an example, here is a list of things I’ve done the last few days instead of writing for my own blog.

  • Grocery shopping
  • Making my roommate’s dinner
  • Walking
  • Ab Workout
  • Early client work
  • Creating show notes for WPblab
  • Reading about writing
  • Downloading a puzzle game
  • Watching Secret City on Netflix
  • Watching a documentary about WWII
  • Dancing
  • Early dinner
  • Cleaning the kitchen
  • French lessons on Duolingo
  • Twitter
  • Writing a poem
  • Reading a book on poetry
  • Gardening

How do we stop procrastination?

The first step with any problem is to recognize it. This can be done with an accountability partner. Even my kickboxing coach wanted to be more accountable with his ab exercises. So we agreed to text each other when we’ve done the workout every other day. He could have been tricking me to do more exercises, but either way it worked.

“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” ― Charles Dickens, David Copperfield

The only way to stop productive procrastination is to change your behavior. Recognize, list, prioritize, do. Repeat.

Change Behavior

  • Recognize Procrastination
  • List Tasks by Due Date
  • Prioritize Tasks by Due Date
  • Start on Task 1. Work on it for 30 minutes.
  • If it’s not complete, save and take a ten minute break.
  • Return to Task 1 or start task 2. Work on it for 30 minutes.
  • You get the idea.

4 responses to “Productive Procrastination: How To Stop It”

  1. What perfect timing. I was just looking at my to do list, and noticing a couple of things I’ve been procrastinating about. The thing is, sometimes I’ll make up a story in my head about something being “too difficult” and yet when I sit down and do it, it turns out to not be that hard! It’s funny how “busy” you can get when you’re procrastinating!

  2. I haven’t been paying attention to French lately. I’ve mostly been doing Duolingo. Thanks for taking the time to read. Though language learning is good, it doesn’t pay the bills.