One area I’ve studied a lot is the area of personal productivity. If left unchecked I procrastinate like crazy. I focus on what I’m interested in and all those other pesky things that I “need” to get done just don’t get done, or at least until the last minute.
When I’d procrastinate, I’d feel bad and think that it was because I just didn’t have the willpower to push through the resistance.
However, when I’d reflect on why I was procrastinating, there was usually a specific reason. Here are a few of the reasons I usually procrastinate and how I work through these issues.
I lack clarity:
- What am I specifically trying to accomplish?
- Why am I working on this project?
- Is it important and valuable?
- Do I have all the tools & resources needed to complete this project?
- Do I have written notes that detail everything I need to know about this project?
- What is the next step? Can I break it down into smaller steps?
- Do I have any unanswered questions?
I lack focus:
- Am I worried about anything? Either related or unrelated to the project.
- Is there anything in my environment that is distracting me?
- How am I feeling? Tired? Anxious? Overwhelmed? Hungry?
- Can I play music to help me focus? (The Prodigy helps me focus while coding.)
- Do I need to move my body?
I lack motivation:
- What happens if I don’t complete this project?
- Who is counting on me to complete this project?
- Can I delegate this project to someone else?
- Can I work on this for just 30 minutes then do something fun?
- Is there anything interesting I can learn by completing this project?
- Is there a better time to be working on this?
- Can I do a quick and dirty version of the project?
- Is there anyone that can help me?