If you’ve read any of the preceding posts you will have quickly gathered that I am something of a procrastinator.
It’s not that I don’t want to do things, things that I feel are important and need to be done. It’s just that I don’t necessarily have the motivation to do them. There are a whole variety of reasons I’m sure I could come up to explain this syndrome, from fear of failure through to not fully knowing what it is I’m embarking on but it really just boils down to this: I can’t be assed and quite frankly I’d have more fun doing something else (in the short-term, anyway).
However a few weeks ago, I followed a tweet to this article by Oliver Burkeman which contains a one sentence antidote to this:
Don’t wait until you feel like doing something.
And there you have it. Simple huh? Oliver makes a very good point in his article that is only when in the midst of doing something that we actually start enjoying it and therefore feel like doing it more.
But this by itself I don’t think is quite enough to get you through a long-term project (I’m thinking my own start-up here!). What creatures of habit like me and you really need is to build a regimen into our daily lives that will keep us moving forward, incrementally and with gathering momentum.
By pure good fortune, I stumbled upon this very sage piece of advice shortly thereafter from Jerry Seinfeld who revealed a technique he used during the making of his 9-season long TV show run.
In short, Jerry conveyed through fellow comedian Brad Isaac that the key to long-term, sustained productivity is building a daily routine based on including a certain amount of work, even if it is a small one, can over time add up to big results.
I’ve taken on board both suggestions and giving it my best shot (got my yearly planner nailed up against the wall next to my desk). As someone who loves to tick off to-do lists and be able to measure progress I must admit I’m finding it quite addictive.
Here’s getting into some new habits and kicking some old ones.