Making Procrastination your friend and getting work done

Photo by Nicolas HIPPERT on Unsplash

There are a lot of tools to work around procrastination. We have seen checklists, priority lists, pomodoro? 5–4–3–2–1 and launch by the very famous - Mel Robbins. Two minute rule — If the tasks takes less than two minute do it now. Many more custom hacks which we can easily find just by googling. I also tried to collect few in an article.

Bear with me; What if we can use procrastination itself to do some productive works. I have been dabbling in this for a while without even realising there is even a name for it Structured Procrastination.

Enough talk, how can we get started today.

Build the task pool

Start breaking the tasks you want to do. We are going to make small chunks out of big tasks. Small because it makes the idea consumable and doable. Chunking is a great tool for learning and doing things.

Read that book task -> Read 2/5 pages
Read that huge article -> part 1/2/3
See that conference video -> part 1/2
See that documentary -> part 1/2
Start a new hobby -> 5 min /10 min /15 min
Do the office work -> 5 min tasks (reply to email) -> 15 min (audit a doc/Raise bills)
Do the house work, all hail WFH-> clean room 1/ cook dish1 /
Personal work -> Call the friend back/ Pay them bills

So now we have a pool of tasks doable, small chunks. Fill them up somewhere on a board, task list, diary where ever you feel like. Color code them small, medium, and large; totally optional.

Initiate Procrastination

Now the fun part when you start off on any one task. Not necessary from the list. Anything which is not immediately urgent. While doing it, you feel the urge to check your mobile, jump to another browser tab, or just walk up and check the windows. That is your cue, your brain is not ready to do the work. Bring out the list and here is the deal. You have to pick any one task from the list and do it.

You will be surprised, just by providing options and allowing yourself to ditch the current task. That is procrastinate on the current task, you will be able to do a lot more.

What just happened?

We already do this, it is just not structured. Reading for exams, heck I will just play this one round, just see one episode of one punch man, or I will start from 9.30, ok 9.45, ok 10.00 and so on. What we are doing here is essentially piggy-backing on this habit and creating a structure to it. Remember the name “structured procrastination” .

Our brain likes to wander off. When we dictate, we are supposed to work on X, brain is willing to do anything else. Even on something which we considered as work earlier.

“The human brain is a complex organ with the wonderful power of enabling man to find reasons for continuing to believe whatever it is that he wants to believe.”
Voltaire

We are kind of fooling ourselves. We are restricting the options and suddenly the task list will start depleting. You can club in techniques like pomodoro and even getter result. The idea of reward is another carrot we are giving ourselves to work more.

I had a Udemy course to be done today, self inflicted deadline. But I chose to do this article, which was due by few weeks. Can safely claim, this article was written using “structured procrastination” and 2.5 pomodoro. No tasks were hurt during the process

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