Nathaniel Branden wisely noted that “The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance” which means that if you’re going to get better at getting stuff done, you need to first be aware of and then accept that you’re not so hot at it currently!
“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” — Charles Darwin
Delving deeper, in order to change what’s currently not working for you – and begin to delete the habits holding you back and embed new, improved ones – you need to know specifically how you currently do what you do…
Do you promise or kid yourself that you’ll write that blog post tomorrow so it’s okay to spend another 20 minute checking out what everyone’s up to on Facebook? Or that it’s kind of ‘marketing’ so it’s fine to while away half a day on Twitter chatting to your tweeps…
Or do you start something with gusto, full of energy, enthusiasm and motivation only for that to peter out about 30% of the way through, reward yourself for achieving that 30% and promise you’ll come back to it soon (which you rarely do)?
Or do you find always constantly busy, feel like you’re always behind and therefore believe you must surely be doing something worthwhile – but you then struggle to see what you actually achieved and how it made a real difference?
There are many, many flavours of procrastination – what’s yours?
And what are the activities you turn to when you feel like you should be doing something but you don’t quite feel up to working on THE thing?
What’s Your Current Procrastination MO?
A useful approach here is to look at Belbin’s Team Roles…which ones are you?
Each role type has its own particular flavour(s) of procrastination:
- Resource Investigator – you get caught in a loop of never-ending research, checking out the competition and options, and never actually get round to doing anything concrete.
- Teamworker – you can’t seem to decide what to do or work on, and find yourself going down a path which isn’t always right for you but which proves popular with others.
- Co-ordinator – you’re reluctant to knuckle down and do the hard work, preferring instead to see if you can get others to do it for you.
- Plant – you are possibly too busy thinking of creative ideas to ever get round to implementing them.
- Monitor Evaluator – you’re too busy evaluating the options and wanting to choose the ‘right’ one, so you miss opportunities presented because of this lack of speed or urgency.
- Specialist – you obsess about one particular aspect of a project so much that you fail to see the bigger picture to move it forwards in a meaningful way.
- Shaper – your drive and determination to get things done at any cost, means you may pursue a less-than-optimum path and risk the whole project.
- Implementer – your dogged persistence in sticking with one approach means you may miss better opportunities to get something done.
- Completer Finisher – your perfectionist tendencies mean you spend far too long on a project that could already have been done and dusted allowing you to move on to the next thing; not for you, since you’re still busy obsession over the non-important finer details.
Being aware of HOW you procrastinate and DON’T get stuff done is key to understanding how you can actually get stuff done.
When you know your own strategies and tactics for stalling, delaying, faffing and NOT achieving what you set out to, you can begin to put in place things that’ll help you defeat your unproductive self!