Procrastination: It's Not You, It's Your Task List

Ev Chapman
May 17, 2022
2 min read

I know this is going to come as a shock, but some days I am a terrible procrastinator.

I sit staring at my task list, re-arranging, and talking myself out of doing things. I let myself be distracted and I get to the end of the day not having accomplished anything important.

I don't blame it on a lack of motivation. I blame it on an inadequate system.

Procrastination is a signal to pay attention to. And if we can get beyond constantly blaming ourselves we might realise that our system needs a tune up (not us).

Here are three ways to upgrade your task list to beat procrastination

Define Your Task. Sales Report isn't a task it's a thing. Even if you've done it a million times before it's worth defining it correctly on your list. Use a verb at the beginning of your task to make it an action like - Enter numbers into Sales Report & send to Suzy. That is a well-defined task your brain can get on board with.

Identify Roadblocks. Ask yourself is there something standing in the way of getting this done? You might not know what numbers you need to collate for that sales report. That's a different task altogether. That is define KPI's for sales Report. Remove the roadblocks to get moving again.

Make it easy by having everything you need. Have you ever spent 20 minutes searching for a document to complete a task? Yea I have too and it sucks the life out of me. Take time when you're defining tasks to also throw any links or resources your might need to jump in and get started quickly. Your brain will thank you for it.

So next time you go to blame yourself for being a terrible procrastinator - look at your task list and see if the problem actually lies there.

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