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Being A Pro By Pro-crastinating

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ByFaizal Sohaimi
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A connection commented on my LinkedIn post recently that she procrastinates by looking at TikTok. A few hours a day.

We all procrastinate to some degree or another. We look at our colleagues’ faces, and you can already tell they were procrastinating, at something… And the quickest way to procrastinate – social media, email, web surfing, looking at family photos, etc.

My own favorites — WhatsApp, email, and LinkedIn (still legitimate as they are linked to work). Then Facebook (almost legitimate as I often used it to “stalk” people that I’d like to know better), Instagram, YouTube and TED.

I am really guilty as I have my calendar (Google Calendar) and my scheduling app (Nozbe) which I check regularly so that I know exactly when I have to do stuff, and what stuff needs to be done! Immediately, or later.

Many try to avoid procrastination. One of the quickest and favorite ways of many, uninstall social media apps. Or any app that is likely to be taking focus away from work. Some people went to have only bare basic apps on their phones, yet they have the latest iPhone 14 Super Pro Super Mega Max. Only to use it for Whatsapp and selfies. And maybe some phone calls…

I recently went through this route too. But not as severe. I still have my social media apps and communication apps too. And a few that help my work. And no, I don’t have TikTok or Twitter on my phone.

Like Yoda said, “There’s no try. Only do or not do”. So I do. I “pro-crastinate”. I like to become a “pro” at it too!

Still, I have LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram, should I want to become a pro at procrastination.

Why???

I went further, I looked and read why I should procrastinate! I found my reasons though!

First, I am just super lazy! So, if I can’t put in 100% of my energy and focus, I will procrastinate. The reason, or my “WHY?” I procrastinate is that “IT” would suddenly come to jump at me and kick my butt to go do stuff. I’ll wait for that… I know it will kick my butt hard!

Meanwhile, I should not go and do stuff. It is dangerous! Like the character said in the recent “Spider-man: Across The Spider-Verse” movie, “You should not disturb the ‘canon’ event”, whatever that means… Que sera, sera… What will be, will be… So, chill dude…

Second, I read that if things should and would happen, that “IT” would somehow happen WHEN it wants to happen. So, when I get off my arse and do it, that IS the time it IS meant to happen. Even though I had procrastinated for 3 years!

Third, there are many things that are not best done, or best not done, by me. and, SHOULD NOT be done by me. Read David Allen’s book “Getting Things Done”, GTD. It is best done by someone else. I need to do something else; something that is best done by me.

Get someone else to do it. If I do it, I would be depriving that someone, him or her, of a task/job. That might cost him or her a job! Also, the quality that it would have been done otherwise. I know that I am definitely not the best at everything. So, don’t be so hardworking and want to do everything! No, I won’t…

I am good though, probably the best there is – at procrastination…

Slowness

Anyway, I had been reading and listening to books that talk about the slowness movement and doing less revolution. And hey! We are not robots. Even robots need some downtime. They need maintenance done too. Longer intervals between downtime maybe.

It is said too, that everyone should take five to six hours of “downtime” every day. Do something that is not work. And, sleep seven to eight hours, nightly.

By the way, I just heard this from an audiobook a few days ago, but I had already forgotten which one and who was the author… It could be the book “Move” by Caroline Williams. She wrote that we need five to six hours of downtime to take our minds off work and rejuvenate our bodies and mind. Of course, we need to move too. A lot. That’s the ten thousand steps thing. Not just sit on our butts eight hours a day!

One of the things that the proponents of the Pomodoro technique suggest we do (yes, pomodoro = tomato), is that we put in full concentration for forty-five minutes, then take our mind away for fifteen minutes. They even sell a timer in the shape of a tomato. You’d have a vibrating tomato (can you imagine it?) at the forty-five minutes mark.

In another technique, it was suggested that at the forty-five minutes mark, if you still feel like you are on full steam, go ahead for another forty-five minutes, if you feel so. Then, take a break for fifteen to thirty minutes. Well, whatever suits you!

But, what do we do?

Sleep maybe five hours; get ready for work – one and a half hours; morning commute – one hour; work – eight hours; additional work – three hours; evening commute home – one and a half hours; total nineteen and a half hours. Thus we have three and a half hours left.

How do we put in the time with our family, friends, relaxation & recreation in that three and a half hours left? By that time, we are already so well spent. Our energy level might already be at deficit and all we want to do is just tune out and maybe snooze in front of the tv or scrolling on the phone!

I am a wolf, or maybe a bear…

I time my work slots, that is when I feel like doing work, according to my chronotype. I learned this from Dr Michael Breus’ book “The Power of When”. It helps me to slot out when I would be better off doing some creative stuff, and when I would be better off doing some “not-so-creative” stuff – like checking emails and probably catching up on business news.

The catch, my creative hours often come from about 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm!

Dr Breuss has a website that you can check out. Go to the website to do the test and find out what animal are you. Then find out the hours that your energy is at its peak and what kind of tasks would be good for you at a specific time.

Go to: https://thesleepdoctor.com/sleep-quizzes/chronotype-quiz/

Often, when I am done with my morning walk, I would do some reading. Then I would spend probably thirty to forty-five minutes on LinkedIn, looking for something that would trigger my idea for the day’s post or article. Then maybe another fifteen minutes on Facebook and Instagram.

Snooze…

A twenty to thirty minutes nap would follow suit. I was often told that twenty-five minutes would be the optimum time. Half true I found. The tricky part is actually to get some help from caffeine.

Caffeine would take about twenty to twenty-five minutes to work its “magic”. That is, to give you the “kick”. What I’d normally do is drink half a glass of my iced coffee, then immediately snooze, having set the alarm to go off at the twenty-five-minute mark. Next, what I learned from Mel Robbins in her book “The Five Second Rule”, you MUST count “five-four-three-two” and jump up before it hits “one”. Otherwise, you’ll never get up or you’ll get up a few minutes later, seriously groggy, and for the rest of the afternoon!

Chug the remaining of my coffee and go do what I need to do.

This would be normally the time I would start doing my creative work, or work that needs deeper thinking or careful consideration. Something like writing long articles, planning for training, or planning for actions I need to take for business. I would schedule the “doing” parts normally in the morning or early afternoon.

Thus, we all have times when we are best at gung-ho “rah-rah” stuff, and there are times that we need to tune out – maybe looking at TikTok videos. Besides, if we keep on doing things, who’s going to watch those TikTok n Instagram reels? How are they going to make money? They need to make a living too!

This thing about being productive and working all the time, we are depriving many people of their income! We need to contribute to the nation’s economy. Yes, they too need to contribute. They are going great service by letting people take their minds off stuff, and recover. We help each other. We each have roles to play. We need to watch their videos and reels!

And since we “pro-crastinate”, we are being a “pro” too!

By the way, I have one or two meditation apps on my phone… Should I need to find a reason to do nothing for at least half an hour…

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