This content was originally published more than ten years ago and is archived here for preservation.
More up-to-date content is available on this blog.
Everyone but the most tirelessly (and tiresome) self-motivated has at one point or another procrastinated in the face of some worthy activity. I think I’ve found a way to use procrastination for profit and gain; read on to see whether I have…
Buy the t-shirt at RedBubble
At university, I recall how my housemates and I were practically fighting to do the washing-up, which had otherwise lain festering for weeks, over the more eminently pressing task of revising for our finals. I have since reached the conclusion that I could put this tendency to procrastinate to profitable use. Here’s my system:
- Create a list of the main activities you’re meant to be doing
- Do the ones that your husband / wife / partner is threatening bloody violence over
- Rank everything else in terms of desirability, most desirable first
- Attempt the first task on your list
- Observe how everything else on the suddenly becomes more enticing
- When bored, attempt the next item down the list
- When bored, either remind self that it is more interesting than the original task, or start the next one
- Eventually you’ll find equilibrium between desirability and boredom and be able to complete a task. Perhaps.
Thus I exploit the positive power of procrastination. Not sure how I ever get back to the original task though… Of course, if you fail to create the list in the first place, then you may be beyond redemption. Have you considered a career in street theatre?
Next time: how to use Sod’s Law to make the universe revolve around you.
Some slightly more useful thoughts on procrastination: #
Get articles when they’re published
My articles get published irregularly (erratically, some might say). Never miss an article again by getting them delivered direct to your inbox as soon as they go live.
Land your next product manager job
There’s a special offer running for my Product Management Digital Masterclass – 25% off when you get tickets to the full set of sessions.
Live, conference-style talks with Q&A each Tuesday in October 2020, covering:
- What does a product manager do (and not do)?
- Understanding user needs
- The secrets of meaningful product roadmaps
- Landing and starting your product manager job
See you there!