Some say procrastination is the thief of productivity. I say that if it’s done strategically, it can actually be productivity’s heroine. Here’s how to beat procrastination by being thoughtful about what needs to be done now.
1. Set big goals with built-in procrastination room
Especially at the beginning of the year, we tend to go balls to the wall with lofty pronouncements about what we will get done in the next 365 days. Resolutions can be helpful in jump-starting your ambitions, but it’s smart to procrastinate on some of those goals as well. It’s better to have something as part of your three- or five-year plan than to put it on the list for year one and then feel disappointed when you don’t achieve it because you were overshooting in the first place.
For the sake of this lesson, let’s say you want to open a chocolate shop.
2. Plan your next move
If you have the money and means to open a chocolate shop in a few months, do it! But, if you really want to do it right, I suggest setting realistic goals like:
- Make sure my business plan is airtight.
- Scale back expenses so that I have nine months of living expenses in the bank.
- Find an independent health-care option for when I leave my corporate job and lose my benefits.
These smaller, actionable goals will keep you on track toward achieving the big goal of leaving your job altogether.
3. Think about how your daily tasks support your goals.
Let’s look at those tasks leading up to opening your chocolate shop and think about when they really need to get done.
- Pick up dry-cleaning. Unless you have no clothes left in your closet, which I find hard to believe, the dry-cleaning can wait.
- Meet with a cocoa supplier in your area. Meeting with resources and gathering recon toward starting your business is very important, especially if you want to get it off the ground quickly. Do this.