You know, I’m not sure if I read that word somewhere. No one I’ve told about it has ever said they’ve heard the word before… so maybe, I coined it myself.
I once described it to someone like this:
Let’s say the goal is to make lasagna. You know you need to (1) review the recipe, (2) buy the ingredients, and (3) cook the dish.
But then you decide that now is the time to look for the perfect lasagna pan, because the one you have isn’t good anymore. So you google the pans that lasagna experts use, and you find something that needs to be ordered online with a 2-week delivery date. So you go do that. Maybe you decide you should do a proper cleaning of the oven before you start any baking. And while you’re at it, the whole kitchen needs a good scrubbing too. And there’s this super kitchen mop you saw the other day, and you want to try it out. So you go do that too. Plus really, you need to figure out which serving dish to use when it’s cooked, and the plates, and ….
You get what I’m saying. You’re so busy, and yet the dish never actually gets cooked. That’s procrasti-working.
It’s when you run around with a long checklist of To-Do’s, seemingly being productive and attacking your project, when in reality, you’ve been procrastinating.
It’s when you do everything else but the core of what needs to be done.
I think I may have perfected the art of procrasti-working. Not exactly the thing I want to be remembered by, so I’ve been looking for strategies to make sure I avoid it.
And I found it listening to one of my unconventional mentors, Seth Godin.
Here’s the key: always ask yourself “what’s the hardest part of your goal or project?”
That’s it. That’s how you avoid focusing on the minutiae or creating busy-work.
The hardest part of your goal is likely to be the core of it. The part that you will delay, avoid, overlook, push out.
Putting It In Practice:
Identify the hardest part of your goal and make sure that’s at the top of your to-do list.
Every time you are tempted to put something ahead of it–as a pre-requisite–challenge yourself if it really, seriously, needs to be done first.
It’d be like you’ve discovered the magician trick. You know the trick you’re mind’s playing at you, so you can now reveal it. Ask yourself “Is this just a procrasti-working trick?”
(By the way, if you think procrastination has become a nasty habit, here are the 6 blunt reasons why you procrastinate, and 18 ways to beat it.)