One of my mountains to climb to reach life/balance, is my low threshold for distraction. I’m one of those people who was constantly looking for the magic pill that would make me organized, be able to locate every slip of paper, and every computer file, no matter how obscure the name.
I spent too much time berating myself for procrastination, which wasted even more time.
I heard other people shout the miracles they had achieved with hundreds of different systems, and wished I were one of them.
Although simple for some, those systems drove me nuts, and I found myself procrastinating before I could even purchase new file folders.
So I was happy and relieved when I started reading the words of Gina Trapani in "Fast Company," particularly "How to Make Procrastination Productive."
At last, someone was telling me there was an upside of procrastination. She said to do something worthwhile during procrastination, like cleaning my desk, so at least I can feel good about that.
I love that idea. The problem for me was that as I started to work on the proposal for my book, "The Dynamic Workplace Where Employees Love to Go and Customers Love to Buy." I realized that my desk was a mess, I felt overwhelmed by my it, and decided I really needed to bake some cookies for that jolt of sugar that would give me the energy to clean the mess off my desk, so I would have room to write. So, after eating 12 chocolate chip cookies, I felt too sick to clean the desk in order to write my book proposal, and realized that I needed a nap to sleep off the cookies.
Feeling even worse, I decided that I needed more information, and had to get back on the Internet, and read more of her advice. By this time, the deadline was quickly approaching to complete the white paper I hadn’t started.
I knew there must be one thing I could read that would make me productive, but after three hours, I couldn’t find it. I ended up feeling so guilty for getting nothing done, that I had to do something. I realized after rereading her articles that the point was to know what I was going to do and just do something.
I followed her advice about setting a kitchen timer for 60 minutes and closing all email alerts, windows and not answering the "urgent calls." I knew I still had to get out of my environment, so I packed up the computer, took my kitchen timer, got in the car, went to a coffee shop without internet access and started book proposal. I got more done in that one hour than I would have in my home office in two days. I thank Gina Trapani, and her generosity of ideas that make sense.
Now my only problem is that I’m addicted to reading her articles. I just have to resist creating a Gina Trapani RSS.