We all have more to do than we have time to do it. The reality is we will never get it all done so we have to choose what is most important. This is what creative procrastination is all about. Choosing what to procrastinate on and what to make a priority. We do this everyday, most of the time unconsciously. The problem arises when we choose low-value tasks over high-value tasks.
Creative procrastination applies to all areas of our lives. The book I’m reading right now “Eat That Frog!” by Brian Tracy is mainly geared towards business but the principles can be applied to home management. His definition of creative procrastination is “…to deliberately procrastinate on tasks that are of low-value so that you have more time for tasks that can make a big difference in you life and work.”
If you go through the whole day and wonder what you accomplished, chances are you are procrastinating on the important long term activities. Sometimes we get so caught up in doing short term low-value things that the long term ones get unconsciously procrastinated.
For example, you decide today that you are going to tackle the clutter in your bedroom. But first you have to plan for dinner. You realize don’t have all the ingredients and have to run to the store. While you are out you might as well stop to get gas because you’re almost on empty. Once you’re back home you put the groceries away and remember the the load in the dryer from yesterday. It’s all wrinkled so you put a damp towel in it and set the dryer for a short time. Then you remember you have to bake cookies for your child’s party at school tomorrow. This goes on and on all day.
When you go to your bedroom exhausted and ready to collapse in bed you realize you didn’t spend one minute on tackling the clutter. Now you go to bed feeling frustrated and like a failure because you didn’t tackle a task that can have a long term positive effect on your life. Decluttering your bedroom will give you a place to get quality rest and peacefulness at the end of a hectic day.
So how do you change this routine? By using creative procrastination. Something has to be procrastinated for you to have the time to tackle the important jobs. The best way to “procrastinate on purpose” is by choosing what you are not going to do today. Don’t run errands today. Make a dinner with what you have on hand. Bake the cookies in the evening with your child spending quality time together. Or plan ahead and purchase cookies while on your weekly shopping trip.
Write on your “to do list” each day what you want to do and what you plan to procrastinating on. This will help remind you not to waste time on those low-value tasks until you have completed the high-value ones.
As I read this book I will let you know of other ways to stop procrastinating. If you would like to find out more about the book here is a link to it on Amazon.
Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time
If you have little tricks to help stop procrastinating I would love to hear about them. Please leave a comment.