This Spreadsheet Can Help You Focus on What’s Important
Are you a productive procrastinator?
Maybe your friends see you as fiercely productive, but you’re secretly avoiding the one thing that actually matters — that difficult conversation with an underperforming employee or addressing a key threat in your business.
To the outside world, I’m one of the most fiercely productive people around. But on the inside, I know there are a few things I’ve been putting off — important things that need my attention.
Even if you’re a relentlessly productive person, there’s probably something important you’re avoiding, often on a subconscious level. Perhaps it’s having that difficult conversation with an underperforming employee. Or addressing a key threat in your business.
Three forces drive us to procrastinate. The first is having a long, aimless to-do list. Sure, to-do lists can be helpful, but not if the most important items aren’t on them. Too often, we only add tasks that are urgent or deadline-driven, forgetting about the actions that actually bring us closer to our goals.
The second force is having a disabling narrative. This is that little voice in your head that gives you all the reasons you need for not acting. Maybe it says something like, “What if it all goes wrong?” or “It will take too long” or “You’re not good enough to do that.” This voice goes by many names: resistance, your inner saboteur, the gremlin. Whatever you call it, it prevents you from doing what’s important.
The third force is inertia. It’s hard to start moving something that isn’t already in motion. And when you have something big and important to get rolling, the perceived effort required can be paralyzing.
Any one of these forces might lead you to procrastinate. But when all three are present simultaneously, procrastination is inevitable.