As the storyline of life unfolds I have been lucky to yet again meet some amazing business women. Through the Awesome Hayley Mackintosh at Servcorp North Ryde – I spoke at an event there and had this enthusiastic Mentor / Consultant Character ask me really intelligent questions on Small Business Marketing & LinkedIn.
She was this kind and bubbly woman by the name of Katrena Friel. We spoke afterwards, met for breakfast and as the saying goes “The Rest is History!” We are both speakers at upcoming shared events, we exchanged some great ideas and stay tuned – in the next few months we even have a shared webinar coming up as well.
In the meantime I had to invite her to Guest Blog on “The Edward Files” and she wrote this amazing article titled “Strategic Procrastination”. Want to hear something funny? I disagree with her article and think she is wrong on this point.
This is awesome! I love hearing counter points of view, so read her article – then you can see my counter-point and I shall let you decide. That is the thing about other awesome colleagues – you can disagree and it creates amazing discussion.
Agree or not – I love her work and hope you enjoy this one as much as I did.
Strategic Procrastination – Guest blog from Katrena Friel:
As a corporate trainer for over 15 years, I was always being asked by executives how to overcome procrastination.
People define themselves as a procrastinator and label it as a negative trait. Something to overcome. A challenge that they put in their weaknesses.
So I would train around procrastination and educate people about how to overcome this problem. In all of my leadership management master classes, I would always have this subject addressed and everyone would learn how to fix it up and stop doing it.
Then I started to look at what I would procrastinate over. How long it would take me to get on with it and complete the thing that was sitting in my inbox. Then I had a realisation that I didn’t procrastinate in the traditional sense, what I did was strategic procrastination. So I coined the phrase and starting educating executives on the importance of strategic procrastination, turning something that was perceived as negative into a positive.
So here’s the thing. When I had low energy on something, I would leave it alone and not do it. I would wait until the energy came naturally and when I did I would do the task, the project, the activity quicker than if I had pushed myself to do it with the low energy.
Dragging your ass on a task with the wrong energy makes the activity boring and slow. However, my mind knew the task was there to do and would give me energy, which was the indicator to me to get on it, while the high energy was being offered.
So waiting strategically for the right time to do something is now a better strategy than beating myself for procrastinating on it.
For example, I would have to do these big 750 page tenders to government. I would get overwhelmed at the thought of starting that big mother f)*&^)O&er. In fact, just thinking about the project would drag the energy from my body.
So I would put the deadline into my diary and wait.
I would get on with other things more fun and enjoyable.
I would leave it up to my unconscious mind, to tap me on the shoulder with energy, when it was ready to get started.
When I would get the call, I would grab the tender and within a day or two it would be complete. Instead of taking 2 weeks to do it against the tide.
My advice is to look it over, show the mind what it is and then leave it. I promise, your mind won’t let you down and leave it till the last minute making the situation worst and adding extreme stress to the situation. No, your mind will work with you and if given the time to relax and ponder the task to come, it will be working out how to do it in the most productive of ways.
My mind has never let me down. I trust it now. By waiting, it actually saves me time.
Another example is doing my bookkeeping stuff. I had low energy on that for obvious reasons. So I would leave it and wait for the energy to come in. Once I got my energy in, it was amazing how fun the activity was and ended up creating a game out of it. Weird I know, I used to hate it, but now I strategically procrastinate and get it done when the time is right and energy has arrived to help me.
Another benefit of strategic procrastination is that sometimes the issue goes away altogether. My mind, would take its time to ponder the activity and come back to me with, “it’s no longer important, get rid of it”. I love when that happens, because I didn’t end up having to do anything, saving me time to get on with important things and not waste time on stuff that won’t add any strategic benefit to my business.
So, give it a try. I look forward to hearing your feedback on this new idea. Let us know of your successes. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me, if you need any further support.
Happy to offer all readers a FREE Strategic Procrastination Coaching Session to go over your specific challenges and how they might improve with this new thinking.
I’ll end on; stop beating yourself up and labelling yourself a procrastinator. Start telling people proudly that you practice Strategic Procrastination, which is excellent. Have fun relaxing and doing other stuff and wait for your energy to arrive organically.
Katrena Friel – Refresh your Thinking
Edward’s Post Blog Commentary:
I disagree totally with what she is saying on this one. I used to procrastinate big time and I just “Made” myself get over it and now I get stuff done fast, on time and always take out the hard stuff first. I take a totally different view on this issue, make yourself do the “Bad” stuff first, then you can naturally do it. Then as you have the bad stuff done, you can enjoy all the light stuff and have more fun sooner.
So I love it! Disagreement rocks and feel free to vote whose side you are on. Evil Katrena or Awesome Ed’s?
Just kidding – she is totally awesome. Enjoy and thanks!