Productivity Tips

How to Stop Procrastinating by Procrastinating

By June 22, 2015 One Comment

As an event planner, you’re sort of a jack (or jill) of all trades. You do everything needed to get the job done. While I know you really love doing some of that work, there’s just parts of the job you really hate and put off as much as you can.

For example, I’m sure you hate math as much as me. But someone’s got to balance the budget for this year and it sure ain’t the company mascot Fluffy that’s doing it. How about doing contract reviews? As much as I hate getting screwed by just one tiny contract violation, I also hate reading legalese as much as the next guy.

Before I teach you how to stop procrastinating, let’s first discuss why you procrastinate and skip out on work in the first place.

  1. You hate doing work that feels like work. Maybe it’s boring, maybe it’s tedious. Maybe that spreadsheet became too complex you need an advanced degree to fill it out.
  2. Because of this, your brain is always looking for a way out of doing that type of work. Ever caught yourself organizing your desk when you had a report to fill out?
  3. You don’t like doing the work because it’s hard, but it’s hard simply because of a snap judgment your brain made. More likely than not, the work is actually easy once you start on it. But math is really hard, let me tell you.

Now, I won’t suggest that you just power through the work and get started. I won’t even say that you should find ways to automate the work or hack deadlines to get it done. No, I’m going to tell you how to stop procrastinating by procrastinating.

How to Stop Procrastinating by Procrastinating

Some people have the willpower to get things done. Some are truly self-motivated to pursue a goal to the end. We are not these people. That doesn’t mean that we won’t get work done though.

See the second point in the list above? That’s our key to success.

Our weakness is not that we want to slack off when faced with hard work (which we’ll call the Very Important Task or VIT). No, our strength is in not doing the VIT so we can do other tasks instead.

I see that a light bulb is going off there. Good. This is how to stop procrastinating effectively:

  1. Create your to-do list in order of importance. Add everything in there, a long list is actually good (forget what we said about short todo lists).
  2. See that #1 task? That’s your VIT. Make sure that it’s really important, but probably not that urgent that you can avoid doing it. For now.
  3. Avoid doing the VIT. Wasn’t that easy?
  4. Now, what do you do? Well, go to #2 on the list and do that. Or pick up something else on the list, anything to avoid the VIT.
  5. As each day passes, the VIT will change and you’ll add more tasks to the list. This is good. You might even come around to doing the VIT if another more important task comes along.
  6. I suggest you use Trello, which is free, so you can keep the VIT (or VITs) on top.

Wait, did you just use our laziness to be more productive. Yes, yes you did. While those super-productive people are toiling away with hard work, we’re using a superpower of our own to get our work done.

So pat yourself in the back! You might not have done your Very Important Task today, but you still got work done, right? Don’t worry, you’ll get it done tomorrow, for sure. Maybe.

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Glenn Santos

Author Glenn Santos

Glenn has been writing about technology, productivity and lifehacks for 10 years now. He was previously an editor for Android Authority and Geeky Gadgets, and was one of the first contributors for Startup Weekend's main blog.

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