Productive procrastination is when you delay important tasks or responsibilities while still engaging in other tasks that are considered productive, but less essential. In essence, it involves avoiding one task by working on something else that still provides a sense of accomplishment or productivity.
How much time you spend optimizing and figuring out the best strategies for a seamless productivity system should be less than 10% of actually implementing said system and taking it for a spin. Doing the work should account for the bulk of your day, not playing with your productivity workflow. Systems are supposed to be “set it and forget it”, not “set it and keep messing with it.”
Making a to-do list, updating your kanban board, automating some tasks, these need to be the candy on top of the cake, not the actual cake.
Imperfect action is better than a perfectly optimized productivity system.
At some point, the curve that indicates how much you benefit from all you fancy productivity set-ups will reach a plateau. You should stop well before that plateau. Relentlessly trying to tweak it is a sign of perfectionism as much as it is a sign of procrastination.
We’re constantly running in circles, with our eyes glowing from shiny object syndrome, always putting our faith in the next life-changing tool, that’s going to solve all our problems and transform us into million-making-machines.
At some point, you have to stop.
Take a few tried and tested strategies, set up a system that makes sense for you, and then just live by it. It doesn’t mean don’t tweak it or don’t change it all together if it’s not serving you anymore, but at least give it a chance to show its powers.
Stop overthinking, over-optimizing, over-analyzing.
Don’t fool yourself into thinking you’re being productive. You’re just suffering from severe productive procrastination.