Reframing Productivity: Procrastination vs. Resistance
The word seemingly taunts you every time you can’t get started on a new task or project. You’re not the only one. When it comes to owning a small business or startup, procrastination makes you feel like a big, bad failure. Simple semantics, though, might be the real reason procrastination slows you down.
So what if you could reframe your thinking on the subject? What if you could tackle getting stuck by having some go-to action catalysts? What if constraints actually helped and talking about “bad” ideas was a good thing? No need for “what if.” Read on, dear friend.
Procrastination, or Resistance?
In Creative Confidence, the Kelly brothers refer to Steven Pressfield, a writer who has decided to substitute “procrastination” with the word “resistance.”
“Procrastination seems like a form of personal weakness. But Resistance is a force we can do battle with.”
In other words, getting stuck is something you can overcome. If you think about that from the get-go, it’s far less threatening and getting started can happen quicker.
You still need help. It’s okay.
You’ve curbed the threat of the dirty “P-word” and are ready to resist it. These catalysts can spring you into action.
Share the burden. Talk it out with a colleague who has an open mind. Why did you get stuck? Perhaps you come across a task and realize that getting outside help may be highly beneficial. Or maybe someone else will have a simple solution that expedites your process. You won’t know if you don’t talk about it.
Talk through ideas. While you have people listening, you might as well fire up the creativity. If you have ideas, ignite conversations. They’ll take you further than you think.
Make a commitment to someone. This isn’t about tying the knot. Set up a co-working date with someone. Because you’ve made the commitment to someone else, chances are that you’ll show up and maybe even get some work done.
Don’t do a good job. Rapid prototyping is a thing that the Creative Confidence authors talk about a lot. Blurting out bad ideas and coming up with experimental quick fixes lowers the stakes of failing and gets you past the traction point of actually getting started.
So you’re started. Now, tighten the reins.
You might be thinking, “time is on my side.” No. The Rolling Stones lied. Time is the biggest culprit in stopping you getting from Point A to Point B (with Point A being now and Point B being your deadline in 24 days). You have all the time in the world to do it later.
Putting constraints on yourself may sound strange, but think about it like being your own project manager. This can be as simple as tackling the doable tasks of the grander project first, which are often coincidentally the same ones that keep us from moving forward and getting to the exciting stuff. But go a step further.
Break larger projects down into milestones and due dates. This shows you that you really shouldn’t “do it later.” Focusing on those smaller milestones takes away the intimidation of the “whole picture” and the abyss of work that goes into it. Set yourself up correctly, and pushing it off is much more difficult (but, coming from experience, still doable even within those mini-deadlines).
Find some apps that can help you in the midst of all this organization stuff here.
This is all easier said than done, but using these tactics really can help get you unstuck from the planning stages in your head and get you started in the real world. Forgive yourself for mistakes, while continuing to seek out additional opportunities for improvement.
Witness the birth of this blog post here.