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.

Liked thIS? Then You Might Like My SPARK Newsletter...

My best content in your inbox each Sunday.
Learn How To Build Your Unique Personal Knowledge & Share It With The World

Join 1200+ other creators building a magnificent obsession around their their unique ideas.
Or Keep Browsing More Posts Like This...

How to Stop Being the Bottleneck in Your Team’s Progress

The life-changing method I created to manage work that was waiting on me, get back to people faster, and create more space to do my best work.
Read post

Master Your Schedule with My 10-Minute Weekly Planning Process (using Tana)

My foolproof weekly planning routine that takes me about 10 minutes every week and keeps me organised across my work, my creator business & my whole life.
Read post

How To Make Steady Progress On Your Big Creative Projects

Lately I’ve been struggling with my process for getting big creative projects done. They feel like they are taking forever to finish. Each step feels big so I put it off thinking I need a bigger chunk of time to deal with it.
Read post

An Essay About Boring SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures)

I am a master procrastinator. Not because I don't know what I should do or because I'm not motivated - but because most of the time I just don't have the headspace to get stuff done.
Read post

What Goal Setting Looks Like For Infinite Game Players

I was listening to an Instagram reel the other day from Sahil Bloom talking about finite v infinite games. If you're not familiar with the concept...
Read post

Three Questions About Rest The Internet Couldn't Answer

Yesterday I searched Google for the phrase 'How To Stop'I couldn't exactly articulate what I was trying to find, but basically, I wanted some advice on what it looks like to slow down, stop, & rest. I assumed I'd find some advice on this exact thing. Except I didn't.
Read post