Inside our heads we all have both a rational decision maker and an instant gratification monkey - says Tim Urban in the excellent Ted talk below. When it came to creating content we would love it if the rational decision maker was in charge and we created posts regularly as planned. Unfortunately for most of us, the instant gratification monkey is King - so we tend not to. We get diverted.
For me when it comes to procrastination only the Panic Monster can overrule the monkey.
Case in point is this post. I have promised our Head of Marketing to create a post every week for the Passle Newsletter. The newsletter goes out at 9 am every Tuesday and the deadline is 4 pm every Monday. I have given my word.
The good news is that I nearly always hit my deadline and create my post. Although I tend to procrastinate until every Monday afternoon the panic monster comes and gives me a kick. The point is this works for me. The Panic Monster arriving on a Monday afternoon means I create my post and this is important. For me the deadline and the fear of letting my colleagues down works. I hit my target.
What I have learnt is that different things work for different people. Have you worked out what works for you? Have you (or your colleagues) set up a plan to hit your buttons?
Create methods to help you defeat the monkey. - Solicit external support by telling one or more friends or family members about a goal you’re trying to accomplish and asking them to hold you to it. - Create a Panic Monster if there’s not already one in place - If you really want to start a business, quitting your job makes the Panic Monster your new roommate. - If you’re trying to write a consistent blog, put “new post every Tuesday” at the top of the page… - Leave post-it notes for yourself, reminding you to make good choices. - Set an alarm to remind yourself to start a task, or to remind you of the stakes. - Minimize distractions by all means necessary. - Lock yourself into something—put down a non-refundable deposit for lessons or a membership.