In my unscientific findings, 99% of people procrastinate—and the other 1% just haven’t gotten around to filling out the survey.
And while it may seem exacerbated by WFH life, putting off important tasks has many a historical precedent. Leonardo da Vinci once promised to complete a painting in seven months…and that turned into 25 years. (A great fun fact to stall people who ask about your progress.)
As someone who also deals in masterpieces (albeit, more of the tiny kitchen variety), and who bravely wades through social media procrastination minefields for a living, I have some ideas about what’s holding us back and how we can overcome.
What we’re being asked to do seems difficult.
You just gotta believe. See self-doubt to the door, and greet your task with a handshake that turns into a power throw. As my wise spin instructor once said, “You can do hard things.”
We’re looking for instant gratification.
Carrots on a stick are a delicious treat replete with vitamin A—plus, they work! But if twine-wrapped vegetables aren’t your thing, you have to find the reward that’ll motivate you. Maybe you allow yourself some TikTok time once you’ve crushed the first 10 slides of your presentation. Work, reward, repeat, and you’ll be done before you know it.
You work better under pressure.
We’ve all been there: the clock’s a-ticking and the sweat’s a-dripping. Some people thrive in these tense times, but for all the sound minds out there: you can avoid this with some solid time management. Schedule your days and force daily check-ins to monitor your project deadlines. Snag an automated time management tool if all else fails. Because while time crunches make for awesome montages, they’re stressful for all involved.
In these wild times, one thing you do have control over is your time. After all, there’s enough going on—we don’t need The Panic Monster to rear its head, too.
Have a fun-can’t-wait weekend, everybody!
—Your on-time, on-task friends at Brokaw
P.S. One deadline you really can’t miss? Registering to vote!