While Our Future Self Wants To Be Trim And Fit, Our Present Self Wants A Doughnut.

Thrive in Five: Procrastination

3 MinutesIn Thrive in Five

Now we have lighter mornings and warmer days, March’s Thrive in Five shares some productivity/procrastination ideas.

Create a “got done” list. Keep track on your calendar what you actually achieved in the segments of your day as you complete them. It will highlight when you are at your most productive, who with, actual time taken to complete tasks, and the effectiveness of meetings. A bit like dieters who keep a food diary, it can narrow any gap between self-perception and reality. A different way of looking at this: if you sleep 7-8 hours a day, you have 100 10 minute blocks each day to use. This is time you will never get back.

Do you read self-help books? Do you think that you should just “know” this stuff? This 4 minute video argues that we should all read these books, for our emotional education.

For the people who aren’t into “self-help” books, Oliver Burkeman’s book “The Antidote: Happiness for People who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking” …and for the people who aren’t so keen on reading full stop, here is a 2.5 minute video summarising the book.

Without irony, this is a long read on the nature and history of procrastination, setting out the reasons why procrastination is a human design flaw rather than an appalling personal failing. Fear can be a root cause, as can busyness (on the wrong things). We are urged to tackle the squeaky hinges, the small irritants that take a couple of minutes to fix. Don’t underestimate the positive impact of doing this. Perfectionism, news and pornography all get roped into the procrastination melee. In summary, we are unlikely to banish it completely from our lives – the key is “making the choice about where we are going to be inefficient so that we can be excellent elsewhere”.
If you want a 2 minute read on beating procrastination, try Gretchen Rubin’s “8 Tips to Stop Procrastinating”.

Tim Urban’s TED talk is my favourite – Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator – and his blog talks similarly frankly about procrastination. He also does a sideline in explaining artificial intelligence in an incredibly accessible way – a long, worthwhile read if you aren’t actually sure what “the singularity” is…..

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