How To Procrastinate The Smart Way! Learn Targeted Procrastination | Amy Norton | Skillshare

How To Procrastinate The Smart Way! Learn Targeted Procrastination

Amy Norton, Freelance Writer & Productivity Whiz

How To Procrastinate The Smart Way! Learn Targeted Procrastination

Amy Norton, Freelance Writer & Productivity Whiz

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5 Lessons (24m)
    • 1. What You'll Be Learning

      0:30
    • 2. What Is Targeted Procrastination?

      4:06
    • 3. Using A "Put Off List"

      12:22
    • 4. Remembering To Use It

      5:28
    • 5. FInal Thoughts

      1:13
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About This Class

Have you ever wondered about the best way to handle procrastination? I certainly have. In today's class I am sharing one of my best kept secrets for keeping my weekly schedule trim while still managing to get to everything I want to. By keeping my schedule leaner and more specific, I am able to avoid procrastination. For many of us, we are so ambitious that we tend to set too high a workload and we end up overwhelmed. When we are overwhelmed we tend to procrastinate to avoid the discomfort which leaves us even more behind. I use what I call a "put off list" to manage things that I can target procrastinate on. Things that do need to be done or that I want to do, but they are not absolutely urgent. This keeps my schedule leaner while still keeping track of everything I'm going after. Stay tuned during the class for all my tips and tricks on this technique! 

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Meet Your Teacher

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Amy Norton

Freelance Writer & Productivity Whiz

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Hello there! I'm Amy and I'm so glad you've stumbled on this page. I am really excited to be sharing videos here on Skillshare and Youtube. I am very passionate about being as productive and creative as I can be. On Skillshare, I am sharing videos about different productivity techniques that I have studied and had success with as well as writing, freelance, and entrepreneurial tips that have helped me as I build my writing business. I love to use my time to the very best of my ability and I love trying new practices to stretch my time out. When I find things that work I am so excited to share them with you, so I hope you will check out my classes and let me know what you think!

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this and have a fantastic day! 

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Transcripts

1. What You'll Be Learning: have there. Welcome to at the skill shark class today. We're gonna be talking about targeted procrastination. Yes, you heard me, right? And how to make it work for you. It's a very interesting concept that I've stumbled upon in the last half year or so. And it's really worked well for me. So I wanted to share that today. And basically, in this class you will learn what targeted procrastination is how to make it work for you. How I keep my target of fascination and check by using a put off list. We will get into that. 2. What Is Targeted Procrastination?: Hi there. Welcome, Teoh. This sculpture class. My name is Amy. I'm so glad you're continuing with the class. And let's go ahead and get right into defining targeted procrastination because it's quite it's quite the odd word I know. The first time I heard it, and even the second and third time, I was like, What? Why is this a good thing? Why's procrastination and good things? So let's go ahead and get into definition. Targeted procrastination is all about deciding and prioritizing, most importantly, what to do first. So basically like procrastinating on tasks that are not as important putting things off when you decide to put things off. But it's in an active good way because you don't want a passively procrastinate past. The procrastination is when you're sitting on your bed schooling for your phone instead of at your desk, writing up a proposal or something that is passive because you're not really actually thinking about what you want to do with your time. You're just kind of like I don't feel like it, like I'm gonna scroll, So you're really not. You're not even accomplishing really relaxing because I don't know about you, but what I've crossed that. I have that guilty, guilty voice in the back of my head going, you know, you should be doing this. So we want to work on being active and targeted with the procrastination. So maybe more specifically, it's prioritizing the most important and procrastinating on the less urgent items. So it's kind of about taking brutal honesty each year to do lists and really going. How necessary is this? How urgent is this? How is this going to impact my life more than this other item, like which thing will be more impactful? Sooner is also about looking at what you can actually do, how much you can actually do in the day if you are anything like me. And I'm sure a lot of you are perfectionists as well. We want everything to be perfect. And we're also maybe over zealous, over ambitious and like, I can do all 20 of these things on my stool lists. And you know, if they're very, very small tasks, perhaps you can. But if you have major tasks on your to do list, 20 of them probably not going to get through them like you want to. So by procrastinating on, the less urgent you're eliminating this. Wow, I didn't accomplish anything because I only finished five items on my to do list, which is gonna let you be more peace with yourself and feel more productive and accomplished, which in turn is going to keep you wanting to work harder because you're like, Wow, I'm doing so well. I want to keep it up kind of thing. And if the idea of procrastinating on things is making you squirm in your chair right now, let me assure you, once I get into techniques, you will finish these things on your list is just about prioritizing the most important and putting off the things that are not as important but remembering that you are going to come back to them. And I'm going to show you how I personally do that. So another reason it's good to practice targeted procrastination is that you're gonna have less distractions if you're cutting or at least changing the way your sorting your to do list. So that way, when you look here to do list, you're like, Well, I have these, you know, five things that need to be done today that are important that are actionable. But then I have these other things kind of in the back of my mind, but still on paper that I'm going to dio but aren't like you need to do them today. So kind of with you more ease is that when you are focusing on other projects, you're not thinking about the other, like 10 things on your list. You're not thinking about this because you're rest assure that you have this down. You're going to do it. You're just not going to do it today, probably. And this is gonna help you prevent burnouts. I don't know about you, but I have certainly gone too hard, too fast. Just kept going when I shouldn't have or worked to Hong of days for, like, many days in a row and just ended up burnt out. And then I'm just out of it for like, you know, a couple days. So I'm actually getting more behind in the process. Rather, if I just balanced things out balances in a word that I am the best, that applying to my life. But it's certainly something I'm working on and targeted. Procrastination will help me do that. It does help me, particularly with my put off list 3. Using A "Put Off List": All right, So my put off list. That's kind of what I've been hinting about all of this video. This is my personal, like put off list. It's like it's kind of a to do list, but it's a indefinite to do list. So these things are not on my weekly planner because I set up a week every Sunday with my planner. Keeps me saying I have planner video on this channel. Actually, if you want to check it out, definitely has some really good plan or basics on that. But using the put off list, I don't have to clutter up the planners that I'm so overwhelmed just opening it every day just to look at it, because that's never a good feeling. But they're still on a list, and I'm not gonna forget about how I do this as I go through certain criteria. So something pops in my head. Uh, let's go ahead. Let's see what I have a list right now, for example, so I have quite quite a list of things here. This is my home like I do like a yearly notebook, which I'm thinking about putting up making a video, maybe closer Teoh December so that maybe if you're setting up your space for the new year would be a good idea. Maybe sooner. But these are things that don't have to be done right away, or even at all. Honestly, some of these things don't have to be done, but they would improve my YouTube channel. They would improve my skill ship channel, etcetera. So, like for examples, let's just see what I have. I have. I want to make a new end screen from I need to channel. I want toe update my skills, your description. I want a de clutter. My clothing Declutter books is a separate one. Have car tires here, Just which for me was just having the entire pressure checked, and I should specify for the car one. My tires were not in dire need like they were not an issue, but it was just kind of my regular, you know, every couple of months, go and have them check sort of thing. So that's why it's on the put off list. If it's more urgent, definitely put it on your actual planner or like current to do list. But this was not urgent. So other wanna have all my YouTube playlist updated, new descriptions, that sort of thing. Uh, have some different APS that have been recommended to me that I have listed on here to check out. So again, none of those are life changing. I need to look at this right now or even this week. But I definitely want to look at this at some point. See if it's something that would benefit me, so just give me an idea. So what I dio is I kind of have a rough criteria of what will be put on a put off list. What I recommend for you, if you do not already have something like this in place is suggest brain dump. Get out a piece of paper, anything on your head right now to do whether whether you think it's a put off this item or not. Put off this. I am just everything you know. I need to I need to dust the bathroom. I need to do my laundry. I need to have my car tires checked. I need to do this. This and this forward. Like all these things, just list. Get it out of your head. That in itself is gonna make you feel better. You're gonna have less going on up here so you can actually focus and use your brain to work towards progress rather than just being overwhelmed by all the things on your mentalists. So get them on paper and I kind of go through the criteria like this. So first thing, ask yourself, Does this actually need to be done ever like, Is this just something that's been in my head? Because I like the idea of it, but I know I'm never gonna do it. And what I say not ever gonna do it. I'm not talking about goals that scare you that you actually want to do. I'm talking about those things. Words like, Oh, well, this would be nice, but, you know, it's something you're not actually like 100% passionate about to dio just eliminated, you know, certain things you don't have to do, which is a tough concept. And I still have to work on myself with that all the time. But think about it. Does this Does this actually need to be done? All right. And then the next couple I have the next four questions they have. These are all things that would qualify something to be put on a put off list. So the 1st 1 is this something that can wait months or even weeks? Is this something you know, like the car tires? I could wait a few weeks, but I didn't want to forget about. So I have it on my list that way about forgetting about it. But I didn't need to be done this week, you know. So is this something that could be done weeks or months from now? And it won't matter, such as me trying out a new app. You know, that's not something that, for me, anyways, is urgent or me updating my YouTube banner, for example, it's something I want to do. It's something I finally just did recently, thanks to this list. But it's not something that had to be done two months ago when I put it on the foot off list, you know, so think about the timeline. Is this something that is not urgent? You have something maybe you wanted to you, but it's not urgent. Then put it on your put off list. That way, it's written down but it's not cluttering up your I need to do this today list and next. Is this a brainstorm or idea rather than a to do so? Is this something you just thought about? You know, like, Oh, I want to take singing lessons, But it's not something you're actively inclined to do right now, like it's just something that sounds nice in your head. Put it. Make another list I I frequently do. This, too, is just a list with brainstorm or like ideas. So these aren't things that are actually goals or actions. Currently, they don't have a little checkoff box to check off. But they're just maybe ideas that might develop. But love them probably won't or you'll find something better you like more and kind of going along with that brainstorm like, Is this an idea or an actual thing I would like to do eventually, Kind of like differentiating is ask yourself. Is this a wish or actual actionable goal? That's a bit of a massive isn't isn't an action because if you are interested, say in singing lessons, let's put it there. Then you put on your put off list research, singing lessons and sign up for one. That is an actual action. That's something that's telling you. This is what I'm gonna do. I'm going to research some, probably gonna google or ask for recommendations. I'm gonna do some research, call some places, make an appointment. That's an actual goal. Whether rather than saying, oh, you know, singing lessons sound nice. So if you just kind of have a general and clean towards something. But it's not something you could put in action behind right now because you're unsure or you're not in the right place for Put that on ideas list. You know what? That our brainstorm. A rain dumped. But don't put it on a put put. Keep your foot off list selective. These are things and put it off. But they are things that actually will do. And just in general, actions are so important. If you find yourself looking at your like, say, use a planner or some sort of calendar, too, or to do less to put your items things you're doing for the weaker day, look at them. And if you have things on your actual to do list that aren't even actions but aren't even like like I said, an actionable like I am on your list, things that are vague. The reason those things keep falling to the gutter and you're not doing them is because you don't know what you're doing. You don't know you don't have an actual specific idea or goal, or this is the thing I'm gonna accomplish. Or it could be something that's such a big project and you have it on one day with a bunch of other things and you haven't broken it down into steps. So you just look at it and your body is like, No, no, like, I don't know what I'm doing. This is so big. I can't do this. Break it down, Break your big projects into smaller goals and that's something you can use the put off list for us. Well, if you are doing some sort of project, say it has a couple of I am is on there that you're doing over time. Put the first item on the on your weekly goals or something for that week, put the other items on your put off lists and then each week out of one of those items to the week that way you're having consistent behavior that's getting you towards your ultimate project being done. But everything is actionable and you're not overwhelmed by just like Like, for example, if you have a very messy garage, Don't Don't just put clean garage unless you already have a method down for that. If you are gonna clean your garage, Brett, even if you want to do the clean garage in one day, you could break it into separate items like Okay, take any cars out of the garage. You know, take everything off of shelves sort and declutter like you can break it down into segments . And our brains are so much more attuned to processing things that Aaron smaller segments, rather than tossing this giant thing an idea and goal into our brain and our brains just trying to figure it out this way. You don't have a question. You already you already have your actions, so make sure everything on the put off list is an action. So if you don't have an idea for the action yet, think about it. Break it down into smaller actions on that put off list, or just stick the idea on your ideas, your brain dump list and think about it mole over it some more until you could make it into actions because otherwise, if it's not an action, it does not. It should not be on any to do list at all that I don't care if it to put off list that just do not beyond any lists if it's not in action. So make sure whatever you're putting on the put off lists in action, this is very key. When I first started my put off list, I would put things huge goals on there, like, you know, redo entire channel. You know, our work descriptions, playlists, all this. So guess what never got done that that did not do it because it's such a large I don't. So whether you're you just have something that's too big, that's not really an action or just such a big action that your brain is just overwhelmed. Make sure you make it an action or put it on the ideas list until you can figure out how to break it down. So, for example, I might put off this right now I have things like Update, playlists, update channel banner update YouTube description. So these air smaller, actionable steps that I am actually checking off. I just checked off the the YouTube banner. I did. They play less a couple months ago, so I'm getting through it and not feeling overwhelmed and feeling good about it and getting taking my time. So that is actually done well instead of rushed. So that might have been a little bit of a rant, but long story, short, actionable goals, actual items broken down, big projects. Break your big projects into the smaller, actionable items and take the vague things and make them into actionable items and steps as well, Like the singing lessons. That's great, if you know. But if you just put on your put off list, I want to be a singer or start singing that. That's not that's not really a step forward because it's very vague, so you're just gonna skip over it because you don't know quite what you're doing with it. So figure out what direction you're going in and what's the first step and then the last item and ask yourself if you are someone who keeps like a weekly calendar or to do less something like that you might have noticed over time. This happens to all of us myself very much included to look at items that keep being put off. What on your to do list is constantly put off? Is it cleaning the garage? Oh, is it signing up for singing lessons? Because you're nervous? You're scared. You don't know how to something like that. Is it just something that maybe isn't necessary that you can't actually eliminate from your list like our first step? But if it's something that you do want to dio But it just keeps getting put off, consider the fact that perhaps this is a non urgent item. I can put this off for a little bit targeted. Procrastination is you don't have that guilt all the time looking at it. So put it off. If it's just constantly put off or not, Donna, put it on the put off list, take it off of your normal planner and maybe come back to it in a month. Maybe right now it's just you're too busy or you have so many tasks that involve writing that you don't want to write another separate thing. So that's why this keeps getting put off, it could just be a bad time. So put it on your put off list and feel good knowing you will do it. But right now, maybe is not the right time. 4. Remembering To Use It: and a final section of this. You may be asking yourself. Well, Amy, that's great. And all this, you know, this put off list idea, I kind of get it. Makes sense. Cool. But how do I make sure, actually come back to it? That is a great question. So what I suggest is creating a habit. Put your put off list. All in Wana. No book to do list. Put it all in one place. Don't have always put off lists all over your place. That's just gonna be confusing. Believe me, it's very confusing. So get everything in one place and then figure out one would be the best time to create the habit of looking at this and adding a few items each week. I usually pick about three to your weeks plan. So for me every Sunday, pretty much without fail. Um, for me. Every Sunday, I pull out my way through patter, I pull out my pens, I pull out my calendar and I create the plan for the week. So what I do at the same time as I pull out this notebook has my put off list in it, and I check off anything on the put off list that I might have finished the week before, which is a great feeling. You already checking things off and they look at it and go and pick usually about three more things that will add into the weak and the weekly goals. So for me, this works really well. Look at trying to have it stack. Look, a habit you already do consistently that as may be relevant in some way to your put off list or planning your week out and pick that time. To add on this habit of looking at your put off list, checking off anything from the week before that you might have done, which is always a great feeling. I don't know about you, but checking things office do you list is one of the best feelings ever to me. So pull up that foot off lists and look at your planners. So every Sunday you also look at your planner and create your your weekly plan. Grab your put off less than if every Monday morning when you get to work, you look at your planner and calendar for the week, see what days were busiest. Think about your put off lists. Add some items on there and I suggest starting with three items. Maybe if you're you know, if your first jumping into this, maybe pick a few less. It really depends on how large the task is. And also consider when you're looking at your put off list. What items on this list are gonna mesh well with the week? Because one of the elimination criteria we talked about earlier was you might keep putting something off and which has put on the put off list. But you might be putting it off because you're just doing too much of the same sort of thing all the time. So if you're doing a lot of writing this week in particular and you're trying to also write something else, maybe put it off for a week or two when you're having a less writing intense a week because we all no matter how good or how much we love something, we're all gonna get burnt out. So if you find yourself with a week, that's very heavy in educating yourself and working and writing, and all of these more like mental simulations, perhaps add more chores I like to add things like decluttering organizing certain things because then I'm not at my computer and I'm organizing it. It looks better. It feels good. I'm getting things done that need to be done. But it's different from how most of my week is planned. So figure out. Perhaps what would mesh well with your week, maybe pick a variety of tasks, The one that's kind of more like a physical task, one that's more mental. You kind of just play with it and see what works for you. I think over time you'll definitely get a pretty good gut feeling about what would be the best way for you to go about this. And what's nice about this, too, is if you feel like you're put off listens giant, and you're just not getting through it. Remind yourself, limit yourself to five or less for sure, like don't I say, recommend about three. But maybe they're smaller tasks or you have more time this week, maybe out of five to your weekly planner or your goals. That's fine, but try not to add more than that. You're just going to start getting back to that overwhelmed state again, which is not going to help how efficient you are. And if you are struggling with that, if you're trying to hold off putting lots of things on your list, which I struggled with a lot myself, I always want to add everything. I'm like I could do it. I have so much confidence in myself that sometimes it might be bad in that case. So what I suggest is reminding yourself you were gonna do all of these things. And if you got ahead on the week, you know you got ahead or or, you know, you had an appointment canceled or something, And so you have extra free time, pull out your put off list and be like, Well, hey, I have this extra time or I'm ahead on the week. Good job, me. But let's go ahead and do one more item on here. You know, you can always pull this out. It's all there, but you don't need to put on like, you know, eight items on your list. Just keep it smaller. Remind yourself you can, ADM. Or if you do, And you know, if I finish all the put off list items and everything for the week, which is, I say, sort of rare. But if I do, then I pull out the put off. Listen, like, what can I tackle right now? So remind yourself again. You're getting to all these items you're not. You're going to do all of these things, but don't add all of them all once, just go through it. Consistency is more important. Then one really crazy day where you finish 19 items on your to do list. Like just take it from me. I tend to burn myself out one crazy day were you finish. Your town is not worth three days recovering from that day. So keep yourself in my and keep your health in mind only at a few items at a time. And if you have extra time, go back and do some more. That's awesome. 5. FInal Thoughts: Alright guys, I hope this was helpful for you. It's It was brought to my attention by a friend that she had never heard of someone who did like a put off list or anything of that sort. So I thought, Why not like, you know, why not share it? Because it really has helped me to plan my weeks out in a more realistic way without feeling like I'm gonna forget things or not do things. So it's just it's been a really, really great helper for me and not being distracted, not being overwhelmed but still getting to things. So I hope this is helpful video for you. If you do make a put off less than you feel comfortable sharing, I would love to see it in the class projects while you take a picture or type out a few things you're putting on your put off list. I would love to know, and I hope you will check out my other skill share classes here. If you enjoyed this class, I it would mean a lot to me if you leave review. That's kind of how skill share shows our videos to other users is if they get good reviews or a lot of people watching. So if you feel like you learn something from this video, it would mean a lot to me if you would review the class. And again, I hope this is helpful for you. I hope you have a wonderful rest you day by.