Productive Procrastination: Why We Get the Wrong Things Done (and How To Fix It!)

I love distracting myself. I also love being productive. Together, this combines into one of my all time favorite ways of screwing myself over: Productive Procrastination. This is when I do laundry, organize files, and tweeze my eyebrows instead of doing the shit that scares me or puts me out of my comfort zone. At the end of the day, I can half-heartedly give myself a pat on the back. After all, I wasn’t watching TV and eating generic raisinets all day! But lately, all my fake productivity has left me drained. And since action that’s taken from an aligned place leaves us energized and not exhausted, I knew I had to do something about it.

Behind any time management issue is the issue of fear. And fear comes from not having a good enough reason to give up old beliefs that don’t serve us.  Procrastination goes beyond a lack of productivity, it’s the failure to use your personal power, giving up your freedom in the process.

Admittedly, I do it because I think that taking action will be more painful than not taking action. Even if it’s an amazing goal that makes me happy like writing my book or being a badass athlete, when we procrastinate it’s because the pain of the painful action is more real than the positive results. The problem is that the goal isn’t sexy enough, it’s granny panties in a potato sack at best.

So in an effort to get clear on this process (and procrastinate some more) I decided to do a little research. 

  • 80% of Americans don’t set goals
  • 16% of Americans set them, but don’t write them down
  • 3% of people write them down, but never review then

This leaves the top 1% of people who set, write, and review them. Yup, they are the ones who actually get shit done.

I know it’s not New Years. I own a calendar! You’re more than halfway into the year. Are you where you want to be? Or are you still waiting for the magic to happen?

No judgment, I’m in the same boat!

So….here’s what we are both going to do:

Step 1: Complete the following sentence “Wouldn’t it be great if…”

  • Don’t say something ridiculous like “marry Matt Bomer” He’s mine.
  • Don't worry about the "how," it’s the daydream step!

Step 2: Make it measurable and actionable.

  • What are the action steps that get you there?
  • How will you know if you’ve achieved it?
  • Be super clear and break it into small bites

Step 3: Post the goal somewhere you will see it.

  • Bathroom mirror, front door, sharpied onto your toothbrush handle type of places

Step 4: Set a check-in date with yourself and put it in your calendar (or set up a lunch/coffee/chat with a friend for accountability)

  • Yes, set an actual appointment to check in with yourself. That means you clear out an hour and pen it in.
  • Accountability buddies kick ass!

Step 5: If the actions you are taking aren’t getting you the results you want, adjust your course.

  • It isn’t failing just because it isn’t giving you the results you want, you simply need to adjust your actions until you get what you want. Columbus was aiming for India when he found America and for some crazy reason we give him a whole day! (soooooo, tempted to rant on that…..) My point is that action is good, stagnation is bad. Tweak it til you get it.

Remember, it only takes one step to create momentum.

And no amount of laundry can take that away from you.

Need an accountability buddy? Email me at