Productive procrastination is exactly that, being productive while procrastinating at the same time. But how can this be? They are complete opposites! In this post, I explain what productive procrastination is and how it can be affecting your online business.
WHAT IS PRODUCTIVE PROCRASTINATION
I discovered this trendy buzzword while listening to a YouTube video by Muchelleb (I tried finding the video but couldn’t remember which one it was!).
In a nutshell, productive procrastination is:
n. Doing stuff to keep busy while avoiding what really needs doing. When all is said and done, your room is clean, your laundry is folded — but you haven’t started your English paper.
It’s a useful phrase to be aware of. I found once I heard it for the first time I was ultra-aware of how much time I waste thinking I’m being productive when I’m really not.
For example, there are plenty of things I can do to uplevel my life, including getting my driver’s license or writing a book. Instead, I fill my time doing small daily tasks that aren’t really important for my overall growth. Normally these tasks can wait but I prioritize them. I’m productively procrastinating every time I general life admin work instead of working towards the bigger picture.
Until I learned the term I thought I was always busy busy busy…I completely see it differently now.
Unfortunately, productive procrastination doesn’t apply solely to our personal lives. The habit can extend into our work lives as well, especially if you’re working from home.
HOW PRODUCTIVE PROCRASTINATION IS KILLING YOUR BLOG
Running a blog is busy work. There is an incredible amount of work that needs to be juggled for the whole thing to come together successfully. This includes designing graphics, planning, writing content, social media marketing, promoting, website maintenance, admin tasks, outreach, etc…
There is so much work involved in the day-to-day running a blog that it’s easy to get trapped into productive procrastination.
The Fictional Tale of Suzie the Blogging Strategy Consultant
Here’s a great example:
Susie works from home as a blogging strategy consultant. Her work involves running a blog sharing various tips to be a successful blogger, promoting her services and actively making sales calls to find more clients. She has a vision of what her home-based business will look like 3 years from now, as well as financial goals.
Susie loves working on her blog, she feels the most creative doing it and she enjoys the connections it brings her. However, she despises sales calls, finding them awkward and scary, though she knows that’s where most her income comes from.
Unintentionally, Susie spends most of her day doing general blog admin work, because it’s the most fun and comfortable. She does the odd sales call but prioritizes her blog over the calls. She feels like she’s very busy working on her online business because of the amount of time she spends on it, however, she doesn’t have as much to show for it.
How to Stop Productive Procrastination
If Suzie continued to procrastinate her sales calls by keeping herself busy with the blog her business will never grow and she wouldn’t reach the 3-year goals she set.
That fake story I just made up might as well be true. A lot of us do it, including me, and it’s hurting the growth of our online businesses.
If you work from home, I recommend you do a little experiment. For the next week write down all the tasks you do each day. At the end of the week compare that log to your goals for your blogging business. If you worked towards those goals then that’s amazing. On the other hand, if you notice you’re spending most of your time doing little tasks that aren’t up-leveling your biz then you need to change your daily routine.
I like to look at my tasks and ask “Is this going to increase my income”? For a lot of it, the answer is “no”, such as writing this blog post. However, if I asked that for reaching out to potential Pinterest Management clients or developing a course the answer would be “yes”. The “yes” tasks should take precedence over other tasks of course, but sometimes we don’t prioritize things the way that will benefit us the most – hence the productive procrastination trap.
If you did the steps above, by the end of each week you should have done one task that moved you towards the bigger picture.
Productive procrastination is very common, most of us don’t realize we’re doing it. We’ve convinced ourselves we’re busy when in fact we’re just putting off uncomfortable or big projects.
If you’re not careful your blog can fall victim to it and stagnant. Pay attention to the quality of the tasks you are working on throughout the week. Focus on inching towards the bigger picture.