Why you procrastinate

Why you procrastinate

Getting Things Done by David Alan is a methodology for capturing every task on your mind and saving it somewhere you trust it will be retained and resurfaced at the right point in time for you to complete the task. I have practised Getting Things Done for years now, however, it wasn’t until very recently I really understood the methodology. I would often look at a list of tasks that I could be doing and procrastinate on all of them.

For a long time, I was capturing big multi-step tasks as a single item and not breaking them down into individual actions. This lead to procrastination, why?

It was only last week I came to the realisation this procrastination and avoiding these tasks was because they were not clear single step actions. The size and lack of clarity in the task were stopping me from getting started.

With this realisation, I spent half a day going through Things 3, my task manager of choice, and breaking down all these bigger jobs with checklists and clearly define what “done” looks like. Not all of these tasks required their own project like David’s book explains but that is where the checklist Things 3 has for sub-tasks comes into its own.

Getting Things Done is really a great method to follow and it is something that over time you really start to appreciate certain parts of the system David created here. Nothing I have written here is new, in fact in the book David says you should break down and multi-step task into single steps as a project. In the book, David also says you should be clear on what “done” looks like and use actionable words to describe your task. It only has years of working with the system and re-reading the book you start to realise where the flaws are in your own implantation.

Before making this change I have struggled to sit down and write something for my blog regularly. I have come up with a lot of ideas and topics to write about but never actually done them. Since taking the time to break down each blog post idea on Things 3 with a checklist I have written almost one a day and now I have a backlog of posts to edit and publish. Something I will be doing every week as a minimum from now on.