It can block you at the worst possible time. It’s not welcome. Especially in the space of WFH and when you’re trying to meet some deadlines. But, its there. The friend we don’t need when we don’t need it. You would think with all the hurdles removed in distractions of a work place we’d be able to beasts at getting stuff done. Nope. Procrastination for me is worse in a WFH environment.
I’ve been digging into the psychology of procrastination now for a while. Every since I’ve been forced to WFH. I ran into a some really great podcasts and research that explains this idea of triggers that are most common when it comes to why we end up in the procrastination cycle. Three that most resonate with me:
- Lacking a kind of intrinsic pay out
- Just plain work that’s dull
I need a clear big picture in my work. When there is not end in sight, like not knowing when I will return to a new or old normal, it can be hard to craft a plan for next steps. Managing ambiguity when things are uncertain is really hard for me to do. When the way is not forward in momentum I feel like I don’t know where the energy of all the work is going, or what purpose it serves. But ambiguity is great for productivity because its uncharted territory. You can innovate like crazy which is a booster that can be tapped into eliminating procrastination before it can take hold. Think about what’s possible during times of ambiguity. Love this quote:
“Take advantage of the ambiguity in the world. Look at something and think what else it might be.”Roger Von Oech
Intrinsic motivation I have found is the most rewarding kind of target to go after. Something that is intrinsic to you is something that you feel natural about, it connects with you in some way. A deeper kind of connection. Something intrinsic is essential to you. When you can find the intrinsic element in the work you doing, you find purpose in it that wasn’t there prior. But, you have to go deep to find how it become essential you. It doesn’t lay on the surface. There is intrinsic pay out in everything. Peel back the curtain or better yet, make a curtain where one didn’t exist.
Lastly, find the “spice” in the work that you’re doing. Even the most dull work has some fun or a different perspective that you can make. We just lack the ability sometimes when shut in for imagination. When you see the same environment and cannot go anywhere else to be inspired, it can be easy to het trapped by dull moments. Can you take the conference call outside in a beach chair? No one really has to know but you. When is the next time you’re going to be able to office from your front lawn? Probably not for a while when things return to the new norm. The point being, don’t lack vision. Instead make the mundane special. Take a different lens to look at the work differently.
I’ve put out 2x more podcasts this month and nailed every single 7 Point Saturday post. Taking the three triggers for procrastination above with some intentional awareness keeps me out of that time suck of zero productivity. Reversing them keeps me in the optimal, intentional space to do really cool things with the work I have in front of me.
What keeps you in the procrastination zone? Love to hear about your triggers below. You never know, you could help someone else out with just a simple comment below.