Procrastibation as Tim Ferriss calls it, is an epidemic in the online work world.
When it comes to blogging and projects, sometimes the two don’t really mix.
Ironic coming from someone that blogs about his projects trying to create multiple streams of income, right?
So when do we ever stop talking about that things we’re going to do (“it’s just around the corner, folks!”, “my new book is just over the horizon”, “nearly ready to kick this project into gear!”), and just do them?
Seriously, I’m probably as guilty of this as everyone, but this year I’ve started making the “action” part my focus.
While this ain’t so great for blogging regularity (my apologies), it’s flipping fantastic for your task list.
What Have I Been Working On?
In the two months or so it’s been since one of these updates I’ve written and released 2 eBooks, started putting the ground work in for an online course (link TBA – I’m stuck finding time for content creation, at the moment), and I founded a computer hardware reviews blog (a bit of a time sink, but a project I’m really finding fun).
Writing all that down makes me realise how little time I’ve had for blogging here, and other general procrasterbating (god, I love that word).
Add on top of this that I quit my job (a startup that went a little sour), and found a new one within about 4 or 5 weeks. Plus I managed to still have a bit of a life (I won’t bore you with the details of that).
For those that are interested, my new job is implementing a CRM and is a little like being a fulltime employee but consulting on a specific project (a fuzzy line) – whatever, it’s a steady gig and I get to play with some pretty cool tools.
Here’s my tips for getting shit done.
1. If you can’t control your projects, stop talking about them online.
Most people blab on about things they’re going to do – AND NEVER DO THEM. It’s really chronic and it pisses me off. It pisses me off because I know I’m the same. When I get to talking about things too much I focus too much on the “how great it’s going to be when I do this” and never get to doing it. Bad dog. Step away from the computer.
2. Take some time off.
Counter intuitive right? Well, often my best ideas come to me away from the computer. I might be sitting in the pool, or out browsing shops.
Problems tend to work themselves out subconsciously when you’re not actively looking at them.
Come back to your computer ready and refreshed.
3. Have a book.
Get a big A4 book, write the date at the top of the page, write the project’s title, and write down 10 tasks that you want to do today.
If the tasks seem like they’re too big, you’re not breaking them down enough. “Build Website” is too big a task and too ambiguous to really mean anything. Get specific.
“Find 3 hosting companies < $10 a month with the features I want”, “Install WordPress”, “Create a dummy layout of my website’s frontpage in Photoshop”, “Spend 20 minutes brainstorming where I can get links from”. These are specific tasks. Good dog. Have yourself a treat.
4. Set times.
Block out some time that your family knows not to disturb you. Explain what you’re doing and they’ll understand.
Stick to that time, if you’re not going to finish all your tasks, spend the last 5 minutes planning your next time block. Carry over the tasks you didn’t get done.
When the time stops, you stop. Step away from the keyboard and for god’s sakes spend some time with your friends and family, they’ll appreciate you dividing your attention and respect your time even more when they know you’re working on something important.
5. Set expectations and be rewarded.
If you’re flittering between your work and juggling kids, or giving your partner attention. You’re not being fair to either.
As hard as it sounds, setting people’s expectations of you is important. Make sure they know that you’re not to be disturbed when you’re working.
But when work time stops, it’s up to you to repay that kindness and give them your full attention. All work and no play make Johhny a dull boy. No one wants to be friends with Johhny.
Stop Dreaming About Doing, And Bloody Well Do It.
“The time to hesitate is through.” – Jim Morrison
Get on that sadle, quit talking about doing it and bloody well do it. I’m cracking the whip, folks.
Tell us in the comments about the project you’re procrasterbating on the most at the moment, and what you are stuck on, let’s work through it.