Categories | Getting Things Done | Implementation | Inspiration
Procrastination can hide behind busy-ness. Find out more in this excerpt from Todd Brown’s blog post for Next Action Associates.
Too busy? Maybe you’re procrastinating
After a busy day, are you leaving the office tired and satisfied? Or just tired? You’ve spent the day in nearly constant activity. And you may have been procrastinating the whole time.
“Huh?” you say, “I can’t have been procrastinating. I’ve been really busy.”
Here’s the thing: when we’re busy we can easily trick ourselves into thinking that all of that activity means that we’re not procrastinating. We’re busy, sure, but we’re not focused on the things that should really have our attention. If someone were to tap us on the shoulder and say, “that thing you’re doing, is that the best use of your attention right now?” we would hesitate to agree.
We’re busy procrastinating.
The explosion of digital channels and smart mobile technology makes it very easy to integrate busy-ness and procrastination. There are a lot of “channels that lead to you.” Email, sure. But also Facebook and Twitter and instant messaging and LinkedIn and…
The inputs in these channels come at us thick and fast. That makes it tempting to let the real-time arrivals drive us. Procrastination is always only a click away.
Ask yourself: what are the odds that that e-mail at the top of your inbox is the best thing to focus on next? If not and you choose to deal with it anyway, then you’re being driven by “latest and loudest,” letting your channels dictate your priorities.
Or maybe your procrastination looks like this: you’re snacking on quick wins. This is what I quite often see when people say they’re “cleaning up email.” They’re scrolling down into the older strata of their inbox, looking for things that can be handled quickly, ideally without much thought or energy. But in doing that I’ll often see them scroll right past something that’s strategic, critical even. But it’s too big, or too complex. So it doesn’t get any attention.
If you’re struggling with procrastination, then what’s to be done? To get it under control, we need to make getting moving on the right things as attractive and friction-free as possible.
You can read other blog posts and find out more about Next Action Associates, the only Certified International Partner for GTD in the UK, here.