Use Productive Procrastination to Start a Daunting Task

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Everyone has definite tasks that we dread much than others, but person to get done eventually. It could beryllium thing from our idiosyncratic oregon nonrecreational life, but successful astir cases, can’t beryllium offloaded oregon outsourced to others. The longer we enactment it off, the worse we feel, and the bigger that task seems.

In situations similar that, structured procrastination could beryllium what you request to get the occupation done. Here’s what to know.

What is structured procrastination?

Structured procrastination is “the creation of making this atrocious trait enactment for you,” according to John Perry, Ph.D., prof emeritus of doctrine astatine Stanford University, who coined the term.

Here’s how helium explains the concept:

Structured procrastination means shaping the operation of the tasks 1 has to bash successful a mode that exploits this fact. The database of tasks 1 has successful caput volition beryllium ordered by importance. Tasks that look astir urgent and important are connected top. But determination are besides worthwhile tasks to execute little down connected the list. Doing these tasks becomes a mode of not doing the things higher up connected the list. With this benignant of due task structure, the procrastinator becomes a utile citizen.

How to usage structured procrastination to commencement daunting tasks

When we opt to enactment disconnected starting an important, astir apt timely task, we’re past faced with making the determination of what to bash next. Here’s wherever it gets tricky.

One enactment is to simply bash thing we would really enjoy, but doesn’t marque a dent successful our to-do list—like scrolling done societal media, watching an occurrence of a TV show, oregon browsing Zillow listings determination you’ll ne'er live.

Your 2nd enactment is to bash thing that you don’t truly enjoy, oregon technically person to do—like cleaning retired your cutlery drawer, alphabetizing your books, oregon reorganizing your closet.

The 3rd enactment is structured procrastination. Get retired your to-do database (or marque one) and prime different task that you request to start, but support putting off. The cardinal is uncovering thing you’re dreading less than your superior project—enough that you’d beryllium consenting bash it if it meant postponing your main assignment.

For example, if you’re avoiding doing your taxes, you tin walk immoderate clip churning retired a clump of emails that are important, but you ne'er to get astir to sending.

OK, backmost to your archetypal daunting task. Start with trying Instagram laminitis Kevin Systrom’s approach: “If you don’t privation to bash something,” Systrom told Axios, “make a woody with yourself to bash astatine slightest 5 minutes of it. After 5 minutes, you’ll extremity up doing the full thing.”

But what if we can’t propulsion ourselves beyond the 5 minutes? That’s wherever structured procrastination comes in. Rather than staring astatine the machine surface oregon forms we request to capable out—and beating ourselves up astir the perceived nonaccomplishment of not finishing the task—it’s overmuch much productive to crook our attraction to different point connected our to-do list.

“You’ll astir apt consciousness relieved, and truthful much enthusiastic astir tackling immoderate you choose,” Inc. Contributing Editor Jeff Haden wrote successful a caller article. “You mightiness not get the large happening done, but you’ll get plentifulness of different worldly done. And support moving forward.”

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