Procrastination is such a dirty word, isn’t it? It means you’re lazy, dreading your to do list, irresponsible or just not a hard working professional, right?
Nah, I don’t subscribe to that BS and neither should you. Here’s why. We NEED procrastination. Really! We need to take breaks from what we’re working so hard on so we can do it even better. (trust me) What I promote to my clients is “Planned Procrastination.” Here is how to plan to procrastinate in the best possible way.
How to procrastinate:
This is my number one tip for busy, hard working folks. Schedule your break time. Put it on your planner or google calendar like you would any other important business meeting. If you have it on your calendar you’ll do three important things:
- Avoid burnout – and as any hard-working person knows, this can really sneak up on you
- Avoid the negative inner voice that berates you for “procrastinating”
- Remind yourself that YOU come first. Self care is everything. (What are you without your health?)
So when you’re creating your daily or weekly schedule, pop in some break time. I give myself a half an hour to an hour each day. Sometimes I don’t take all of it, but 9 times out of 10, I lay back and enjoy my planned procrastination without even one twinge of guilt. (I had to work my way up to turning off the guilt though. Trust me, you’ll get there.)
Relish It (#guiltfree)
Turn your bossy inner voice off! If you’re scheduling your time to procrastinate, do it full on! Enjoy, every delicious lazy moment of it! No apologies. Do not think about your to do list. Don’t think about what you’re going to do afterward or what you could be doing now. Just…relish in your (planned) freedom from work for a minute. Enjoy the break. Sip a cuppa tea (or wine) and gratefully take in every bit of it. You deserve this. And even if you don’t…you scheduled it right? So basically you’re doing something you can soon check off of your to do list Look how productive you are!
If you’re too high strung to just chill for a bit of time during your busy day, the next two tips are for you.
If you’re going to be taking time out of your work day to procrastinate, why not use it wisely? Either use your work break to achieve another goal, or double up your activity to maximize your time. Binge-watching Scandal? Might as well paint your nails at the same time. Laying down for a nap? (Lucky you!) Put on some affirmations to lull you to sleep. Use your break to start dinner or read to your kids or work out. On days when I can’t turn my brain off, I will brainstorm post ideas while I binge-watch something on Netflix or do some type of self-care item like walk or deep condition my hair.
I used to be a serious meta-worker. This is when you do something tangentially related to the work you actually should be doing, and feel busy and “productive” because of it. (Planning VS Actually Working) Organizing the spices before you make dinner. Rewriting your to-do list before actually doing something on it. Those things are procrastination disguised as work. AKA: Metawork. I would normally steer clients away from planning vs working. Metawork is usually a no no. However…..
For our planned procrastination purposes, metawork is now OK! If during your scheduled procrastination time you choose to fill it with metawork activities, you’re winning!!! Reading books or websites on a topic related to your field, brainstorming project ideas, looking through websites for blog post ideas… all OK and productive procrastination.
Have I convinced you yet? I sure hope so. Add a little free time into your schedule for tomorrow and let me know how much you enjoy it!
How do you procrastinate?