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Forums > Time Management

Procrastination help


Posted: Jul 19, 2010
Score: 2

I posted this in the GTD forum as well so apologize in advance if I shouldn't double post:

I'm a huge fan of Taska as the best GTD app and would not leave it unless there was something really superior, which I think would be difficult to do, but can't stop looking for new stuff. I believe I completely "get" GTD but I'm also considering going to something much simpler, not really GTD but a simpler list that will provide more focus somehow. My biggest problem is that I seem to spend more time tweaking my system/lists and looking for new, better solutions than actually doing stuff - classic procrastination and now GTD seems to be enabling procrastination by providing a diversion, rather than reducing it. Any tips for dealing with this issue?

Posted: Jul 19, 2010
Score: -1

You shouldn't double post. ;)

This message was edited Jul 19, 2010.

Posted: Jul 19, 2010
Score: 1

What Claudio said. :\

Posted: Jul 20, 2010
Score: 1

Don't know how to remove it, thanks

Posted: Jul 29, 2010
Score: 2

I highly recommend 2 books each recently published and < $20US:

"Getting Things DOne, David Allen 978-0-14-200028-1 Author of GTD(R) approach -- for anyone wanting to get more organized.

"The Procrastinator's Guide to Getting Things Done" Monica Ramirez BAsco, 798-1-60623-293-4 -- for those of us with bordering on pathological procrastination.

Posted: Nov 25, 2010
Score: 0

I bought a book on procrastination once.

The punchline to this should be that I never got around to reading it, but actually I lost it while travelling.

Posted: Nov 29, 2010
Score: 0

One of my problems with GTD is that it doesn't, to my knowledge, deal with real issues like procratination. It's more a system to help hyper-doers, that always have huge task lists and want to do them all today, to get prioritized.

I find Zen To Done much for helpful for the rest of us.


I've also discovered a few tricks through various books.

For tasks that have to be done regularly, like housekeeping, I find it helps to set a time every week when I do my housekeeping. If I start in right after breakfast every Saturday morning with my cleaning, do it pretty much in the same order each time, it definitely helps. Of course, there are those occasionally those Saturdays where I need to be somewhere elss, and while I always promise myself I'll do them Sunday morning, all but the required ones get postponed into the week or even the next weekend.

For less frequent things, like doing income taxes, I find it helps if I set an appointment with myself to spend 30 minutes working on the task at a certain time. Usually, I can handle 30 minutes. And often, I find that by the end of the 30 minutes, it's not as bad as my imagination thought it was going to be, and I continue a while longer. And when I'm done, schedule another 30 min session.

Best of luck!

This message was edited Nov 29, 2010.
Andrew A

Posted: Nov 29, 2010
Score: 0

Salgud, as a procrastinator, I would argue GTD helps. Once you get over the inertia to starting. It helps take the worry out of it. A large part of procrastination is wonder about where to start or worrying about worrying about where to start or thinking about worrying when to start... lol. For me, it makes my tasks very bite size and easy to get through with a sense of motion and accomplishment.

Posted: Nov 30, 2010
Score: 2

After years of both procrastinating and GTDing, I found Mark Forster's Autofocus systems to be the best at breaking the procrastination barrier-- in GTD terms it helps you in the Do phase.

There have been multiple permuations of Autofocus, which satisfies my wanderlust while staying productive. Here's a link to the latest set of rules (called Superfocus) http://www.markforster.net/forum/post/1321345

Posted: Dec 02, 2010
Score: -1

Posted by jonrochkind:
After years of both procrastinating and GTDing, I found Mark Forster's Autofocus systems to be the best at breaking the procrastination barrier-- in GTD terms it helps you in the Do phase.

There have been multiple permuations of Autofocus, which satisfies my wanderlust while staying productive. Here's a link to the latest set of rules (called Superfocus) http://www.markforster.net/forum/post/1321345

Very interesting system. That has to be the best paper based system I've seen yet. Thanks for showing us that.

Posted: Jan 13, 2011
Score: 1

Also check out these cool GTD related Journal from the Behance group. I made up one for myself and created a little Cahier journal. Really nice layout.


Posted: Apr 08, 2011
Score: 2

Careful about using GTD to get over procrastination because I know first hand that it can makes it worse!

David Allen should collect more information and add a chapter on this topic in the next publication. (even though it's worth a book in itself)
It took me a long time to figure out that without dealing with procrastination separately obsessing with GTD implementation can aggravate the problem.

Posted: Apr 13, 2011
Score: 0

I know where joelhfx is coming from. Once the novelty of GTD wore off for me, I ended up with neat, up-to-date lists of things that weren't getting done.

Many people in GTD discussion groups recommended Neil Fiore's "The Now Habit" as a great resource to help fight procrastination, and I am doing much better now. Come join us at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TheNowHabit to discuss procrastination some more.
John McCarthy

Posted: Jul 29, 2011
Score: -1

The Procrastination Formula is an excellent book on the subject, collecting all of the research on the subject over the last few decades. It proposes a formula by which you can measure your desire to engage in a particular action. How GTD helps is that it decreases the amount of time it takes to make progress on a particular project by focusing on the next action instead of the whole project, making you more likely to want to do it. If that's not where you have a procrastination problem, then GTD may only have a minor effect on productivity. I suppose it can also help in the area of increasing your belief that you can actually completer the project, but it won't have any effect on whether you think the project has value or whether you are personally sensitive to delay. All of which are part of the formula.

Posted: Dec 26, 2011
Score: -1

I'm a lifelong procrastinator, but I may have finally turned the corner since I found stickK (www.stickK.com), a free service in which you commit a financial stake -- as small as $5 -- on a commitment to complete a task of tasks, or maintain healthy behaviors (for example, exercise more, eat better, give up smoking, moderate drinking, etc.) Should you fail to complete a task in time, or fail to maintain your healthy behavior during a reporting period, your money goes to a charity, an "anti-charity," or a designated individual. So far, so good for me, but I think the program works even better when you find a "referee" to monitor your progress and receive your reports. If anyone is interested in an arrangement in which we would be each other referee, by email, please respond to this post.

This message was edited Dec 26, 2011.

Posted: Jan 05, 2012
Score: 0

"People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well,neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily." - Zig Ziglar

I LOVE GTD by David Allen. It is hard to set a new habit of reviewing all of your neat new lists but the part I enjoy most is what an earlier poster said about breaking down projects into next action steps. Then I keep the project on the back burner while making progress regularly toward it.

Also, I find just getting it out of my head and onto paper is valuable for getting to sleep faster without my mind racing through whatever I "forgot" to do that day.

The other part of his system I enjoy was also cited by Jim Rohn in his book 7 strategies of wealth and happiness. They both said to keep pages on people you interact with regularly and bullets of your last conversations. this has helped me tremendously with managing a large staff. I review their page right before I meet with them or when they call I open my planner to their page and jot quick notes. hugely helpful.

Posted: Jan 06, 2012
Score: -1


That's a great idea. I just recently attended a class on Event Planning and one of his recommendations was to send follow-up emails to people you have important discussions with both to help you remember what was discussed/decided and to avoid misunderstandings. (I had heard this one years ago, and somewhere along the way, forgot.) This seems like an extension of your suggestion.
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