Five Fantastic Faffing Buster Tips – or how to slay the procrastination dragon
“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.” – Albert Einstein
The Faff Zone is a reverse vacuum. Instead of there being nothing at all there are millions of things,
- forms to be completed
- people to call,
- letters and reports to write
There are also
- gardens to be weeded
- sheets to be changed
- even fridges to be cleaned.
The problem is that in the Faff Zone list two, however unappealing they may seem at first glance, are in fact considerably more appealing than the things on list one.
When you think about it this is extremely Because all those things on list one are things that are going to bring you a step closer to your dreams. Unless your dream is to have a house like Martha Stewart (in which case I suggest to remodel your dreams to enable you to employ the staff to keep it that way), list two is going to have absolutely zilch effect on your dream to learn to fly/climb Machu Picchu.
So why are you busy with your head in the fridge when you could be writing an outline for your next training programme, or calling potential partners to develop your new project? You have your head in the fridge because you are well and truly stuck in the Faff Zone.
It’s not even that the jobs are particularly hard, time consuming or fiddly, it is just that they don’t give immediate results. Change the sheets and put on a load of washing and you know that’s a job well done. Tidy and clean out the fridge and you won’t be irritated every time you have to wade through several bowls of leftovers to find the cheese and ham you need for tomorrow’s packed lunch.
On the other hand, the chances are that the people you want to talk to will be out, you will have to leave a message. You know you don’t have all the information to hand for the application form that has been waiting for two weeks already, you will have to trundle around locating reference numbers and addresses. Instant satisfaction zero.
Panic not – it can be done 🙂
- Swallow the frog. Mark Twain said, “If you eat a frog first thing in the morning that will probably be the worst thing you do all day.” Brian Tracy turned it into an anti-procrastination tool in his book Eat that Frog. Start with your ugliest frog and work your way up through the marginally prettier ones to the one that actually looks quite cute. You will feel a whole lot better and will probably surprise yourself with how easy they were
- Change your work space. If you work at a desk move to the kitchen table. If you kitchen table is, like mine covered with A-Level revision, empty mugs, the remains of snacks and my missing iPad, relocate to the library, but don’t sign up to the free wifi until you have all your emails and reports written and ready to send!
- Get an accountability partner. I have twin daughters, they revise hard for exams, partly because they can see the other one across the table but also because they can work together, test out theories on each other, read each other’s work. Find a friend in the same boat as you. Commit to meeting once a week (you can use phone or Skype but real life is better – it’s hard to lie face to face!) Share your goals for the next week and compare notes the following week. It also often helps to have a fresh pair of eyes to look at areas where you keep getting stuck.
- Don’t underestimate how long something will take and if it involves travelling allow for foul ups and give yourself time to go to the loo and brush your hair or spray yourself with your lucky perfume before you start.
- Finally done is better than not done. Sometimes fit for purpose is good enough. I can hear the perfectionists hitting the floor in a mass faint, but seriously if you wait until everything is perfect you will be waiting longer than poor old Vladimir and Estragon in their futile wait for Godot.
No off you go – you’ve got frogs to swallow!
Love Gillie x