boost productivity by going easy on yourself

Most often described as a coping technique for stress or anxiety or a form of perfectionism, Procrastination is separate from time management because you know what you are supposed to be doing.  Everyone carries the title at some point. But, per usual, abnormal/need for intervention is gauged by intensity and duration.

INCIDENTAL COMICS: Sketchbooks of the Pros: 
Here's some tips to deal with procrastination personally, professionally, or to motivate your team:

  • Learn the lesson; quit focusing on each mistake. In fact, quit calling them mistakes! For a perfectionist, the mere thought of being wrong or making a mistake can lead to emails left unresponded to, empty pages, and lost opportunities.  
  • Sometimes, the lesson is learned in the process. Habits are hard to break; habits are hard to create. It takes consistency and practice before you notice improvement in personal and professional development.
  • Don't take it personally. If you are critiqued, adjust and move forward.
  • Five-minute plan: Work on something you don't want to do for just five minutes. At the end of five minutes, switch to something else if you want. Chances are, you'll be too involved to stop.
  • Advertise your plans using social media to accomplish something. If you have posted or tweeted a goal, people are likely to ask you about the outcome or progress. Use that peer pressure to push you forward.

  • Expect some backsliding. Don't expect to be perfect even when you're trying to get rid of perfectionism! So occasionally, your plans will not work. Accept setbacks and start again. Going easy on yourself can boost productivity for you and your team.

Recently, I covered an event for the local newspaper. I spent twice as long trying to not only meet the requirements of the assignment, but to really give honor to the history and wisdom that I encountered. I nearly missed the deadline in my obsession. In the end, my video and add-on story were denied because I went overboard on the artsy stuff. After I got over my disappointment, I watched the video I produced (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTcsN4iwSiM&feature=plcp) and realized my photography and video production skills have definitely improved since the beginning of the year when I began as an intern. I feel like sometimes procrastination is necessary to regroup for a minute before rolling up your sleeves and getting back on track after life may become overwhelming. After you check out the video, please take a moment to share other perfectionist-fighting tricks that have worked for you...