Thursday, March 3, 2011

Productive Procrastination

There are times in life when it becomes extremely difficult to do that which we are supposed to do. For instance: Why go to class, when one can stay in bed? Why study, when you can stalk your twitter timeline? Unfortunately, this mentality can put us in a time crunch when it comes to getting things done. There are, after all 24 Hours in a day, and chances are you probably don't use all 24 productively.

So here's a little skill I am perfecting called Productive Procrastination. It's a means to put off our obligations/necessities in favor of something else that also needs to get done. It's sort of a self-automated-ultimatum if you will.

"I will either ____ or I will ____. "

You give yourself two choices, and two choices ONLY and commit to do either or. The trick is to make one the thing you don't want to do, and the other something equally as productive. This way you are fully maximizing your time. If you choose your alternate option, you have to at some point go back to the other option. Be sure to give yourself an ideal time to start what you actually have to do. This can be an exact hour on the clock or something less tangible. I usually go back when I am mentally prepared to do the less appealing option.

  • I will either study, or clean my room/do laundry.
  • I will either work on this project, or organize my finances
  • I will either go to class, or go volunteer.
  • I will either do homework now, or go to class.
  • I will either study, or go to the gym
  • I will either do my hard homework, or do my easy homework.
  • I will either go to the gym, or run errands.
  • I will either do research, or I will research apartments/jobs/internships.

Things that don't count as effective procrastination tools:

  • Christmas/birthday gift shopping
  • Playing sports (sometimes)
  • Doodling
  • Get on Facebook/Twitter
  • Video games or TV
  • Planning your wedding/dream life

All this being said, I have class in 8 minutes.... Time to be productive!