We all procrastinate. You know those moments where you just check facebook quickly and then get sucked into the facebook black hole for an hour (or 2) and suddenly you are wondering where your time went and what happened and whether its still Tuesday or not. Or you go to do a search for something relevant to what you are working on and suddenly notice the interesting addition that Google has helpfully put on to your search query and can’t help but see where it goes – like this search
So how do you procrastinate productively?
Granted while it is difficult to not click on ‘what do hedgehogs eat’ because… well Hedgehogs! It is also not particularly relevant to your business – unless of course your business is saving hedgehogs and you’d need to know what they eat, which would probably be a good thing to know before you start the business of saving hedgehogs. So is your head on the hedgehogs now? Yes of course it is, because they are cute and your brain says ‘ooh just one quick look at the hedgehog pictures’ but stop right there. Hedgehogs will not, now or ever, help you bring clients and therefore money into your business, this is the sort of procrastination you can spend all weekend (or whenever your day off might be) doing but it won’t pay your bills.
How do you achieve the sort of procrastination that is productive to your business and won’t leave you feeling guilty, and then having to work longer because you’ve spent all day looking at hedgehogs? One thing I love doing is reading articles, now these articles can be useless pieces of information such as hedgehogs and the gross, but strangely fascinating fact that butterflies will feed on dead bodies, or they can be from websites that help my business. It depends on your business sector as to which business websites will help you but some such as entrepreneur.com can be a valuable source of information from some of the most successful business people in the world, regardless of what sector your business is in. I have about 5 websites that I regularly check in on when I’m in a procrastinating mood and they are all sites that will have articles which can help me run my business or learn something that will help me with my business in some way – even if it’s merely to get my creativity flowing. Not all procrastination is bad, sometimes we need to procrastinate and read that article so our brain gets enough of a break to solve a particular problem that’s been bugging us all day or get fired up about a new idea for a business or a blog post. I have felt utterly brain dead at times, until I’ve read a particularly good post on a blog that has got my brain cells fired up enough that suddenly the ideas and/or problem solving are flowing so much easier. So go ahead and give yourself permission to procrastinate – just try to make sure it’s the type of procrastination that will help rather than hinder your business. One more helpful hint before I go – if you think the hedgehogs will suck you in to procrastination land, then stay well away from the goats, you will likely never make it out before the weekend!