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Productive Procrastination

I think I've perfected Productive Procrastination, or am certainly crafting my methodology for it. Everyone's pushing to learn and grow and we all have our own Achilles heels, those tasks that we most hate to do, that hold us back and signify our next level of personal growth and development. Call it personal mental block, plain old disdain for the task, or it's in our Myers and Briggs that our unique set of genes are just not programmed for it. There are some tasks that are best given to someone else to do, whether you pay or barter with others to do them. But then there are some tasks I know I just have to do myself. Perhaps I know that only I can deliver the quality that I expect or maybe I just need to know that I can master the assignment. Blog writing is my my current biggest mental block. What will you think of what I write, and how well will I express myself? Will I be eloquent and insightful enough or too pedestrian and redundant? I know I have so many ideas and concepts that would be valuable to share with you, but I have such a mental block with it. Is it because I want it so much? I've heard before if you fear something, it's because you want it so dearly. If anyone can find that quote for me, I'd love it.

So I've been torturing Mel Lim, my amazing website designer, and I hand in task after task, but not the blog. I have too many thoughts and topics in my head. Really, there are bazillions of them. I know that once I master this, I'll be so relieved and will probably relish blogging. For the moment, I wish to surpass this mental block, learn to blog, and to love it.

Yes I know I can pay someone to write the blogs for me, just as we do with other types of content. But this is something I care about dearly and I want to share things with you directly. That said, I will admit that there is an angel sitting on my shoulder overlooking this project I've set for myself, and I thank her dearly.

So I "Productively Procrastinate". Being (and I consider myself still) a young entrepreneur, there are numerous tasks and projects that need my attention. Most of these tasks are relatively important and impact all different aspects of building a budding young company. But there are a few key top tasks I'm avoiding, possibly because I can't wrap my head around them just yet (or at least in one sitting), or I’m not mentally ready to tackle them., or I’m not into doing them right now. Maybe I’m a bit of a perfectionist, because there are things I feel utterly compelled to do myself.

I also believe in doing things right. No matter how inundated I am, most tasks I feel are not worth doing unless they are worth doing right. I say this because too many times I've found myself spending exponentially more time to rework something done wrong.

And so I fill my days with all of the tasks I need to do. Where I avoid one task, I work on another that I have to do and may also dread doing. But I at least address the task I dread less than the task I dread the most. And I get a lot of work done. I make progress and feel better about myself and my day. The mountains of "to do"s diminish.

Early on I found that if I avoided a task I dreaded by doing absolutely nothing, I would end up feeling sorry for myself. As I found random tasks I needed to do and could be productive while avoiding the one task that plagued me most, I felt better about my day. Heck, I was accomplishing something.

Sometimes if I had a complicated project to avoid, I would focus on a menial task and get it done in record time while mulling over my approach to the complicated project. The opposite was also true.

You know the adage that if you have one thing to do all day, you get nothing done. But if you have 50 things to do, you get 25 things done. I completely understand it now, and it's true. I keep a list of various tasks I have to do, and I plow through one after another while avoiding something else. Some tasks demand heavy thinking, some require creative insight, and some involve number crunching. Then there are menial tasks that just simply take time.

Don't get me wrong. I also believe in those moments when it's healthy to do nothing and you need to take a break and unplug. I can't wait for that moment to come. But for now, I just don't have that luxury. There are times when everything converges at once and nothing can wait. Like right now at the end of the year. These overwhelming moments call for Productive Procrastination.

As mountains of tasks pile up, I feel like a samurai, wielding my attention, slaying task upon task. And the list of "to do"'s gradually dwindles. As I take a breather and look back, I'm impressed that I've accomplished so much in what feels like such a short amount of time. I take a moment to relish the zen moment, to breath and relax and do nothing but reflect. I may even start planning a reward moment to look forward to. And then I place my fingers on my keyboard and slay some more tasks, like this one – my first blog entry, where I’m writing to you.