Did you know procrastination can be camouflaged? Well not many people do and it’s commonly known as ‘Disguised Procrastination’.
Never heard of it? Let me explain…have you ever sat down at the end of a super busy day congratulating yourself on all the tasks you’ve done, but realising you still haven’t accomplished that big overwhelming job that you’ve been dreading doing for days? Well you’ve probably been busy procrastinating!
Disguised procrastination makes you feel that you are being super productive, accomplishing large numbers of jobs when in fact you are still avoiding your biggest task. You are just being busy working though jobs that are easier to do.
Here’s a couple of examples – you need to mow the lawn which desperately needs cutting (which you hate doing) but instead you keep busy tidying your desk which is a lot less taxing. Or you should be repairing your fence which urgently needs doing (even though it’s winter and cold outside) but instead you stay busy indoors in the warm cleaning the house.
Do you see what I mean? There are probably many times you work on an unimportant task just to avoid a large task you don’t want to do. Sometimes people can be incredibly busy without even noticing their procrastinating. You can still be productive, but it is procrastination in disguise if you are still avoiding your more important jobs.
How To Combat Disguised Procrastination
To get out of the habit of disguised procrastination you first need to be aware that you are actually substituting easier preferred tasks to your more important or urgent jobs. Ask yourself if there are any large or difficult projects that need accomplishing which you never get time to start, let alone complete.
If the answer is yes then the remedy is simple – you need to start prioritising your to-do list. When you prioritise, you identify which tasks are urgent, important and not important and then arrange them in a list ranked from urgent down to not important. You then have a clear understanding of which tasks need to be completed first rather than substituting them for easier less tedious tasks.
Here are five steps to help you prioritise your to-do list:
1/ Make a List
Make a list of all the jobs that need completing. These should include all daily or weekly tasks that you do regularly as well as any large projects. At this stage it’s not necessary to arrange them in any particular order but just get together a comprehensive task list.
2/ Identify The Urgent Tasks
The next step is to mark any urgent tasks. An urgent task is one that has a deadline with serious consequences if not completed. These are high priority tasks which must be acted upon before all other tasks.
3/ Identify The Important Tasks
Next make a note against jobs that you consider important but not urgent. This would include tasks that need to be completed but do not have an immediate deadline. Also include personal projects that are important to you even though there will are no consequences for not accomplishing them.
4/ Identify The Not Important And Not Urgent Tasks
Mark any tasks that do not matter if they are not completed or not.
5/ Order Your Tasks By Importance
Finally, list your jobs in order of urgency from urgent to important to not important and not urgent. For any tasks might compete for urgent listings you’ll have to make a decision regarding their placement.
Prioritization is a valuable strategy in helping to eliminate disguised procrastination, so grab a pencil and a sheet of paper and start making your list!