Workplace Hack: The “Unschedule”

Everyone procrastinates. No matter how productive we think we are, we’ve all put off doing something in the past and most of us are procrastinating on a daily basis.

Psychologist and personal coach Neil Fiore wrote a book called The Now Habit back in 1988 based around an insight into procrastination that most of us probably haven’t considered…

While it’s easy to think of procrastination as being lazy, or simply having other, more interesting things to do, Fiore suggests that procrastination is “a mechanism for coping with the anxiety associated with starting or completing any task or decision.”

According to Fiore, chronic procrastinators are usually bad at gauging how much time is available to them each day and schedule in too much work and not enough living. Trying to meet these unrealistic expectations stresses us out and disrupts our sense of progress. And how do we deal with this anxiety? We procrastinate.

Fiore suggests “unscheduling” as a way to tackle this anxiety.

To follow this workplace hack, you need to reverse the way you think about your schedule. Instead of filling your calendar with work commitments first and trying to fit fun activities around these, try scheduling your fun first.

If you find yourself spending an hour each afternoon reading your favourite blogs instead of working on important projects, why not schedule in a daily reading hour and working around that?

How do you deal with the urge to procrastinate? Share your tips in the comments below.

This hack is part of a series of weekly workplace hacks that teaches you about collaboration, productivity and time saving tips. Published every Wednesday.

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