Procrastination sums up the idea of putting off doing some thing that you need to do. We all are guilty of procrastinating to some extent but some people (including me) are really awful at it. I confess that I’ve had instances of putting the work off and making excuses to the point that looking at the item on my to-do list or even thinking about it hurts (ouch!). Later on, once the morbid task is done I think why on-earth I didn’t get rid of it faster?
So I know I have to change my attitude about Procrastination. Here are things I’ve learned so far:
Procrastination is a “keystone habit” which means that changing this habit will have a cascading effect on changing other habits in your life. I learned this from a book called as “Power of Habit“, a very well written with a fascinating topic by Pulitzer prize-winning Charles Duhigg.
Procrastination is specially a bad habit to have if you’re trying to learn new and difficult subjects. When you put off of doing the coursework required to be done in a week and you cram it in a day, you will not learn as much and forget the concepts. It explains that our brain learns far more effective when we practice and study every day in small chunks over spending a whole day and night on the subject. This one I learned from another book called “A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra)“. There is a great course on Coursera on how to learn subject as well.
Procrastination is bad but “Creative Procrastination” is good!! This basically means putting off things temporarily or permanently when you decided that they’re not important to do. This last one is from Brian Tracy’s “Eat that Frog” book. This one is specially becomes important when you start identifying your goals. Overtime, it becomes evident what are the important task that worth spending time on and what are not. Brian’s book is very easy to read and gave me some good tactics but ultimately I finished it wanting more.
Now I’m reading “168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think” which delves on the exact same topic of figuring out your goals, finding your core competencies and spending your time only on those. It’s much more elaborate, relatable and provides a lot of interesting context and statistic to justify that I need to take control of my time.
Finally, Eric Barker has this fantastic blog post that talks about 4 research-backed methods for beating procrastination. My take away: “The Secret To Good Habits Is Eating Chocolate With Friends!”
Obviously I knew a lot of these things all along but acknowledging explicitly makes me motivated to write down my goals, make plans for them and then track my time to see how I’m doing. I write more when I make a good progress worth sharing again! Next post will be about the need to for being a hands-on product manager 🙂