I’ve been thinking a lot about procrasti-planning lately.
I get asked a lot about whether or not putting the work into making your Notion setup is worth it, or if it’s just procrastination.
I also recently stumbled into a Reddit thread that was criticizing someone for “watching a 30-min video about productivity instead of actually being productive.”
How do you know when you’re crossing the line from planning into procrastination?
Or building productivity systems instead of doing the actual work?
Or learning about productivity instead of being productive?
It takes years of practice, awareness, and iteration to design the way you work, and to know what’s going to work best for you.
For the last 9 months I’ve been working closely with Notion users, helping them design functional spaces that facilitate work and reduce friction. What I know to be true is that productivity and workflow is truly personal.
What feels functional and streamlined for one person, creates friction for someone else. Changing a table view into a board view, or a calendar into a table can suddenly open up possibilities and potential for another.
We all process and hold information in different ways, and many of us did not grow up learning basic time management skills from our parents 🙂
When I think about the years I spent burning the midnight oil, waking up in a panic every morning to check on client emergencies, and churning through endless to-do lists and emails… I know that taking the time to learn about productivity, time-management, and systems would have helped me immensely.
Understanding the value of planning would have helped me slow the F down.
A weekly review would have been a game-changer.
A business and life management hub? Be still my heart!
Everyone is at a different stage in their journey to design their work-life ecosystems.
Can spending 30 minutes learning a new way of operating or organizing your information outweigh the benefits of 30 minutes of “doing work”? A thousand times yes.
Is it possible to take it too far? 100%.
I love this graphic from XKCD:
It puts things in perspective.
Task management, email management, weekly planning, project setups… these were all routine activities worth optimizing because they were thing I was doing over and over again.
- Finding, copying and pasting the same link over and over again
- Writing similar emails
- Managing daily tasks (both personal and biz)
- Setting up new client projects
- Creating systems to organize notes, files, and information
- Creating and delivering proposals
Many of us are managing both personal and business activities (especially if you’re now working from home instead of at an office). Many folks have never had to build their own productivity systems; they simply plugged in to pre-existing systems at their place of work.
Self management and productivity are skills that take time and conscious awareness to learn and embody.
Give yourself a [limited] amount of time to build and streamline your systems. Optimize for “good enough for now,” and tweak/iterate as you go.
Notice where there is friction in your workflow.
What feels annoying, difficult, or frustrating?
Start with the most routine activities that take up the most time, and tackle them bit by bit.
It’s not going to happen in a weekend, no matter how nerdy or committed you are 🤓
Be patient with yourself in the process, and be honest with yourself:
Are you avoiding the work? Or are you optimizing because something is actually broken?
Only you know the answer to that one.