When you’ve got work on the docket that needs doing, it can be exceedingly tempting to chase down every little idea, plan, or new goal that pops into your head in an effort to escape, because it’s just so good and feels like it’s so close and achievable. But falling into this trap can (and will) lead to you falling behind on work that you do need to do, in the here and now, and is a sure fire way to procrastinate while fooling yourself that you’re being productive (I mean come on, I’m writing my first post on here in weeks). Here are some tips that have helped me to limit my “brain crack” habit:
- If you have a new idea, come up with some plan, or have a concrete project that comes into your head that you can’t get rid of or stop fantasizing about, get out a notepad, new word processor document, or note on your phone, and write it down. All of it. Got it? Now close it and put it away. It’ll be there when you get back.
- If you’re finding this happening to you relatively frequently, take a pause, schedule yourself some time to deal with it when you’re actually available to do so, and then follow through. Either you will, or you won’t, and whichever way you end up going may help you train yourself to work your ideas into your normal calendar, or learn to let them pass if you never follow through.
- Remember that the work isn’t going to get done if you don’t sit down and do it. There’s no fairy that will come in and magic it complete, no random act of chance that will make it so that you don’t have to get it done, and no value spending the time it would take to get an extension on your deadline. Sometimes you just have to power through.