Procrastination: 7 X efficiently wasting time - and how it works!


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Procrastination is so easy. You just have to do it intelligently and you always have the perfect excuse to get in the mood for too much stress and work. You can do your job easier.

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Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisher, German Top20 blogger and Consultant for HR communication.

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Important things are unattractive - but why only?

There is this law of nature, which you certainly also know: what is really important and urgent suddenly loses its appeal as soon as we commit ourselves to do it now. All the small, trivial tasks and activities we bravely try to ignore suddenly have an irresistible pull on us.

After all, at the end, we end up with the sweet temptation of procrastination. The reason might be, as we will learn below, that we always want to do what is easiest.

Procrastinate in style - 7 tips

So before we discover countermeasures, we give 7 tips on how to procrastinate with a lot of style - attention, they can contain traces of irony:

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  1. Rearrange the workplace. Always a great, because time-consuming occupation: Rethink and systematize the arrangement of the tools. In the ideal case, it costs so much time that you do not need to do any more with your actual work.
  2. Waiting for inspiration. Especially in creative professions a popular pastime: Just wait until your muse kisses. Works guaranteed, because of course, creativity and inspiration are preferred in deserted, lonely places. Meanwhile you can spend a few working days around.
  3. Computer stuff. : You wanted to photoshoppen still the last vacation photos, and of course you have to do that exactly NOW. Or you want to write a business letter, blog post or something else, but have the impression that the typeface is not ideal yet? Congratulations, with such tasks you can spend hours.
  4. Internet research and social media. You can lose a lot of time if you are foraging the internet and get on the stick from the little wood. Even more effective for procrastination is not only to search for the found content, but also to share it with others via social media - because still a video divided, here a picture sent - and of course you have to respond to comments then.
  5. To eat and drink. Granted, that's vital. It is even more important to stand in front of the fridge every five minutes. That's definitely great for the character.
  6. Sleep. That too is important. All the better, if a comfortable sofa is in the office and you can always slouch on it - because a long sleep brings more synonymous for productivity than short Naps in between.
  7. Cleaning. Also very important. What a cleaning lady looking for, if you can do that little bit of household on your own - and doing a nice job in your own job.

Procrastination usually with simple activities

And what are your favorite strategies for successful procrastination? How do you like to be distracted? Just create a list.

If you take a closer look at this list, you will come to a common denominator in all activities: All things are done relatively easily and quickly. Only they caused a lot of stress in the LongTail, because of their important tasks.

Decrease the activation energy

This leads to a very simple conclusion: you have to reduce the activation energy required for tasks that you want to do. And, conversely, increase them in tasks that distract us from the essential. Because Stuidien show: If we need more than 20 seconds to start something, the pleasure vanishes.

Here is an example: My personal favorite procrastination is this eMail-P.O. Box. As a webapp, I've got it handy in the browser. If I now delete this bookmark and the link must first find awkward, I probably need much longer. Of course, push messages are poison for our productivity.

Clear the path of least resistance for us

Even with the new input of passwords, I can trick this way. If I should, however, finally tackle the tax declaration, then I know why programs such as Lexoffice are a real relief: I used to collect documents only on the day of the tax return, since I do this now always in between, the work mountain has become much smaller and the desire easy to get started, grown.

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We humans go the way of the least resistance. We should therefore ensure that this path leads to the positive results or the good habits. We have to pave the way for ourselves accordingly.

Prepare the work of tomorrow in the evening

Many suggestions for changing habits or overcoming pusheritis follow this pattern. For example, the habit of planning the work of the coming day the night before. To prepare the first work for the next morning on the desk in the evening. Or to place the yoga mat next to the bed if you want to start the next day with a yoga session.

The idea is always the same: keep the energy it takes to start the task as low as possible. Conversely, the idea of ​​“distraction-free” software is based on this principle if the browser is simply locked or I have certain applications locked on the computer. With such software, you can build obstacles to your bad habits.


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German edition: ISBN 9783965960305

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English version: ISBN 9783965960312 (Translation notice)

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