A quick hack to fend off procrastination.
Today’s hack is inspired by Austin Kleon, author of great reads like, Steal Like An Artist and Show Your Work.
Austin is a multifaceted guy. He’s a self proclaimed “writer who draws”. He’s also a speaker, a husband, and a dad.
On an interview with the Art of Charm Podast. Kleon mentions one technique he uses to fend off bouts off procrastination.
From my experience, it’s not uncommon to start a bold new project with a head of steam and a lot of piss and vinegar. As the steam starts to dwindle, I realize that I’m now left with just the work. And in a natural progression, things begin to unravel. One elements of the project may not be coming together as planned. Visions are compromised, plans are changed. The entire fantasy become a profound disappointment. The fire begins to extinguish itself and I feel like throwing in the towel. And this is where Kleon’s hack comes in. Instead of just scrapping or shelving the project or moving on, he procrastinates on purpose. He calls it productive procrastination. He recommends, “… have 2 or 3 projects going at one time, so if you get sick of one, you can jump over to the other.” But, he does it with intention. He deliberately moves on to a different project that may have been put on hold for the same reason.
Returning with a fresh set of eyes to a new problem is sometime what is needed. I tend to get reinvigorated with the switching of gears. Instead of merely scrapping a project, opening up a beer, and letting the Sunday news wash over me, I transfer my frustration to a new project or problem.