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Productive Procrastination and Getting More Done

The last 6 months have been very busy for me. Without going into too much detail, I’ve basically been blogging, writing and doing web development and project management work – side hustles, if you will, to use Frugal Dad’s term – while still working as a transcriptionist and taking care of my girls and home responsibilities as well.

The goal has been that I would transition away from transcription after our fourth daughter’s birth (which is now just weeks away!), and so I’ve been working hard with that goal in mind. While it’s been a great career, the deadlines and working with headphones on while taking care of four small children is simply not practical anymore.

I’m excited that it looks like I will meet my goal and be able to simply focus on blogging and project management work as of September. While making a complete career change was not an easy task, I wanted to share one of my secrets for making it happen with you because it’s a valuable tool for increasing your productivity and avoiding burnout.

I call it productive procrastination.

Although I don’t procrastinate now nearly as much as I used to (let’s face it, with so much on my plate, there really wasn’t much room for procrastination!), there are still times when I simply cannot seem to focus on the task at hand. Rather than simply wasting time, I have found that there are a list of activities that I can do while procrastinating that are actually fairly productive. This list includes:

  • balancing the budget (paying off a small amount of debt, saving cash for a car and lowering our monthly expenses has been a big part of our plan, so this is actually very motivating for me!)
  • working on  my ebook (which I can’t wait to share with you as soon as it’s ready!)
  • checking my feedreader for posts and articles to share with you all
  • simply switching between creative and mundane tasks depending on my mood and energy level
  • doing household chores (always helps to get up and get moving when I’m feeling sluggish!)
  • rewriting a schedule or to-do list for the week

I’m sure there are others, but that gives you a basic idea. By having a list of lower priority tasks that also need my attention, I’m able to procrastinate productively so that I’m always working toward my ultimate goal, even when taking a break.

I do not recommend working what amounts to almost two full-time jobs while still caring for your family if you don’t have to. It is not easy, and I’ve struggled at different points along the way to keep up the energy and motivation necessary. However, working hard with a specific goal in sight that I know will benefit our entire family has taught us all valuable lessons. My husband and I have learned to communicate more effectively about our needs and priorities as he’s supported me in this endeavor. My children know we’re working toward a  goal as well, and we’re all looking forward to reaching it together.

I’ve always been thankful to be a work-at-home mom because it’s taught me a lot about prioritizing and time management, and this time – while hard – has been a blessing to us all in many ways.

Do you use productive procrastination to get more done? What tasks do you save for those times when you just don’t feel like doing the higher priority things on your to-do list?