If you’re a procrastinator (and you are, trust me on this), GTD Wannabe’s list of procrastination hacks may well be a life-saver. Ultimately, dealing with procrastination means sitting down and actually getting to work, but these tricks might help you get to that point a little quicker. For example:
- Turn off the TV. I always thought I could work with the TV on. Nope, it’s a fallacy. I can do mind-numbing things, like paying bills, or recreational surfing, but I can’t do anything serious. It’s true – I cannot actually multi-task, no more than my single-processor does true concurrency. I am a one-processor machine – I can do exactly one thing at a time. True, I might be able to switch quickly between tasks, but only one thing at a time has my focus.
- Techno Kicks It. I love listening to music when I work. At home because I can, without headphones on, and at school because having headphones on is the only way to survive in a computer lab environment. I actually switch between 80’s and Techno/Electronica. 80’s because it’s the stuff I went to high school on, and it tends to fade into the background, while making me bouncy happy. Techno because it tends not to have distracting vocals, and the songs last forever, putting me into an excellent writing/coding groove.
Techno might not be your thing (it’s not mine) but the idea is a good one — find out what kind of music energizes you (the “background music” you’re playing now is probably relaxing you, not energizing you) and see if it helps you stay focused. Some studies show that music is generally not an aid to studying, that it actually makes us less productive even though it often makes us feel more productive. Here’s the thing, though: if you have a problem with procrastination, maybe feeling more productive is more important than actually being more productive, because the alternative is not being productive at all!