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28 Signs You’re Becoming a Productivity Junkie

28 Signs You’re Becoming a Productivity Junkie
Todo List

If you are a frequent visitor of Lifehack.org, then it is probably
safe to say that you thrive on productivity tips, lifehacks,
the latest tech tools, and all things GTD. However, how do
you know when you’ve crossed over to becoming a
productivity junkie? This article will point out some of
the warning signs to look for.

1. You have a shortcut created for every program on your
computer.

2. You try out a new productivity tool at least once a week.

3. LifeHack.org has become your second home.

4. You get excited about crossing off one of your to-dos.

5. You organize your desk at least once a day.

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6. You have your RSS feeds organized by priority and
filtered by keywords.

7. Your friends think you’re in a cult called GTD.

8. You’re training your kids to become future GTD masters.

9. You argue with your friends about which GTD system is the
best.

10. A few hours away from your PDA puts you into
withdrawals.

11. You’ve learned every Gmail hack in the book and you now
wear a t-shirt that proclaims your official title of Gmail
master.

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12. You have performed in-depth studies to find out when
your peak cycles of productivity occur throughout the day.

13. The timer has become your new best friend.

14. You know exactly which type of music puts you at the
highest level of productivity.

15. An empty inbox gives you a pleasant satisfaction
that you still can’t quite explain to your family.

16. You plan on naming all of your future kids after
productivity principles: Pareto, Zen, and of course, the
great GTD master himself, David Allen.

17. You have read “Getting Things Done” multiple times and
every page is covered with notes and references.

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18. Whenever a friend or family has a birthday, you give
them a productivity gift basket composed of a planner,
calendar, to-do lists, and your favorite productivity
books.

19. You’ve delegated all of your lower-level tasks to your
kids. They now run all of your errands while you work on
your most important to-dos.

20. You reminisce about the bygone days of procrastination.

21. You listen to educational audio books in the car to
insure that you don’t miss a minute of potential
productivity.

22. Your closet is organized by color and all of the most
worn clothing is placed in the most convenient and
reachable spots.

23. You have over clocked all of the toothbrushes in the
house. Your kids are thrilled with the idea but your wife
has now put all of her personal belongings under lock and
key.

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24. Friends and family are beginning to set up appointments
for allotted times in order to fit into your schedule.

25. On your next vacation, you are planning to take the
whole family to a GTD seminar.

26. You’ve started your own book club for all thing related
to productivity and GTD.

27. You’re now starting to wonder if your fascination with
productivity is actually making you less productive.

28. You’re thinking about joining a support group to
recover from this addiction.

Kim Roach is a productivity junkie who blogs regularly at
The Optimized Life. Read her articles on 50 Essential
GTD Resources
, How to Have a 46 Hour Day, Do You Need
a Braindump
, What They Don’t Teach You in School,
and Free Yourself From the Inbox.

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Last Updated on March 31, 2020

Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

Procrastination is very literally the opposite of productivity. To produce something is to pull it forward, while to procrastinate is to push it forward — to tomorrow, to next week, or ultimately to never.

Procrastination fills us with shame — we curse ourselves for our laziness, our inability to focus on the task at hand, our tendency to be easily led into easier and more immediate gratifications. And with good reason: for the most part, time spent procrastinating is time spent not doing things that are, in some way or other, important to us.

There is a positive side to procrastination, but it’s important not to confuse procrastination at its best with everyday garden-variety procrastination.

Sometimes — sometimes! — procrastination gives us the time we need to sort through a thorny issue or to generate ideas. In those rare instances, we should embrace procrastination — even as we push it away the rest of the time.

Why We Procrastinate After All?

We procrastinate for a number of reasons, some better than others. One reason we procrastinate is that, while we know what we want to do, we need time to let the ideas “ferment” before we are ready to sit down and put them into action.

Some might call this “creative faffing”; I call it, following copywriter Ray Del Savio’s lead, “concepting”.[1]

Whatever you choose to call it, it’s the time spent dreaming up what you want to say or do, weighing ideas in your mind, following false leads and tearing off on mental wild goose chases, and generally thinking things through.

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To the outside observer, concepting looks like… well, like nothing much at all. Maybe you’re leaning back in your chair, feet up, staring at the wall or ceiling, or laying in bed apparently dozing, or looking out over the skyline or feeding pigeons in the park or fiddling with the Japanese vinyl toys that stand watch over your desk.

If ideas are the lifeblood of your work, you have to make time for concepting, and you have to overcome the sensation— often overpowering in our work-obsessed culture — that faffing, however creative, is not work.

Is Procrastination Bad?

Yes it is.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you’re “concepting” when in fact you’re just not sure what you’re supposed to be doing.

Spending an hour staring at the wall while thinking up the perfect tagline for a marketing campaign is creative faffing; staring at the wall for an hour because you don’t know how to come up with a tagline, or don’t know the product you’re marketing well enough to come up with one, is just wasting time.

Lack of definition is perhaps the biggest friend of your procrastination demons. When we’re not sure what to do — whether because we haven’t planned thoroughly enough, we haven’t specified the scope of what we hope to accomplish in the immediate present, or we lack important information, skills, or resources to get the job done.

It’s easy to get distracted or to trick ourselves into spinning our wheels doing nothing. It takes our mind off the uncomfortable sensation of failing to make progress on something important.

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The answer to this is in planning and scheduling. Rather than giving yourself an unspecified length of time to perform an unspecified task (“Let’s see, I guess I’ll work on that spreadsheet for a while”) give yourself a limited amount of time to work on a clearly defined task (“Now I’ll enter the figures from last months sales report into the spreadsheet for an hour”).

Giving yourself a deadline, even an artificial one, helps build a sense of urgency and also offers the promise of time to “screw around” later, once more important things are done.

For larger projects, planning plays a huge role in whether or not you’ll spend too much time procrastinating to reach the end reasonably quickly.

A good plan not only lists the steps you have to take to reach the end, but takes into account the resources, knowledge and inputs from other people you’re going to need to perform those steps.

Instead of futzing around doing nothing because you don’t have last month’s sales report, getting the report should be a step in the project.

Otherwise, you’ll spend time cooling your heels, justifying your lack of action as necessary: you aren’t wasting time because you want to, but because you have to.

How Bad Procrastination Can Be

Our mind can often trick us into procrastinating, often to the point that we don’t realize we’re procrastinating at all.

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After all, we have lots and lots of things to do; if we’re working on something, aren’t we being productive – even if the one big thing we need to work on doesn’t get done?

One way this plays out is that we scan our to-do list, skipping over the big challenging projects in favor of the short, easy projects. At the end of the day, we feel very productive: we’ve crossed twelve things off our list!

That big project we didn’t work on gets put onto the next day’s list, and when the same thing happens, it gets moved forward again. And again.

Big tasks often present us with the problem above – we aren’t sure what to do exactly, so we look for other ways to occupy ourselves.

In many cases too, big tasks aren’t really tasks at all; they’re aggregates of many smaller tasks. If something’s sitting on your list for a long time, each day getting skipped over in favor of more immediately doable tasks, it’s probably not very well thought out.

You’re actively resisting it because you don’t really know what it is. Try to break it down into a set of small tasks, something more like the tasks you are doing in place of the one big task you aren’t doing.

More consequences of procrastination can be found in this article: 8 Dreadful Effects of Procrastination That Can Destroy Your Life

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Procrastination, a Technical Failure

Procrastination is, more often than not, a sign of a technical failure, not a moral failure.

It’s not because we’re bad people that we procrastinate. Most times, procrastination serves as a symptom of something more fundamentally wrong with the tasks we’ve set ourselves.

It’s important to keep an eye on our procrastinating tendencies, to ask ourselves whenever we notice ourselves pushing things forward what it is about the task we’ve set ourselves that simply isn’t working for us.

Learn more about how to fix your procrastination problem here: What Is Procrastination and How to Stop It (The Complete Guide)

Featured photo credit: chuttersnap via unsplash.com

Reference

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