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The Power of Structured Procrastination :: Tips :: 99U

Stashed in: Simplify, Practice, Focus!, Productivity, Awesome, Kaizen, Procrastination, Life Hacks

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Basically, starting a smaller, easier task can help get into the flow, which leads to progress on bigger tasks.

Here's how it works:

There's that one "Very Important Task" that you really should be getting done. The one that gives you that familiar feeling of resistance: No, no, please - anything but Very Important Task! Here's the move that goes against the grain: put that task on hold. Give into your inclination to procrastinate.


Now that you've yielded to the urge to procrastinate, instead of turning to shiny time-wasting activities, however, start a different task from your list that needs attention.

So procrastinate on the big task with a small task instead of a shiny time waster?

Yep, a small, easy task!

Similarly, you can break down big tasks into small easy tasks:

  1. Write down the goals you want to be done
  2. Break down each item into sub-items. Write those down.
  3. Either complete an item and cross it off the list, or repeat step 2 with the remaining sub-items.

Divide and conquer is great and I love crossing things off lists.

I have tried (and failed) to use software but I keep reverting to paper!

Do you use any software to help you manage? I've asked before but I forget the answer. :)

Taskpaper is pretty darn close to paper lists!  After trying tons of more complicated stuff, for me it turns out that simple is better.

Simple is definitely better. Thanks Matt, will check it out...