My two latest videos over at Fast Company deal with how to get things done even when your lizard brain is completely against you. First, a bit on how to procrastinate productively; second, how to get your most important work done first thing, before you start procrastinating.
The topics are very much related. Once you’ve let yourself dread something long enough, you get stuck in a cycle of procrastination that makes you feel like crap. But my big secret is this: some of my best work got done while I was putting off doing something else. When you’re procrastinating, you’re highly motivated to avoid something for as long as possible. Which means you’ve got both the will and the time to knock out something OTHER than the dreaded task you’re putting off.
On the other hand, if you see that dreaded task looming on the horizon, you can set yourself up to tackle it first thing in the morning, before anything else happens. I jacked the title of a book I love, Eat That Frog, to describe that one. Here are the two clips.
First, on turning procrastination into productivity (here’s the the full transcript):
Second, on eating your frog–or doing your worst task first (here’s the full transcript):
Production note: based on the viewer reaction to the first batch of videos, when I was looking off to the side, we changed my eye line for these so I’m looking directly into the camera. (Everyone said “Why are you looking out into space?”) The change was a little weird for me, because before I was talking to my director during the shoot, and it’s much easier to feel like you’re having a conversation looking at a person’s face. Looking at a camera lens is more disconcerting–it feels like you’re talking to an emotionless robot. But, I like the results of the direct-to-camera eye line a lot better, and I hope you do too.