I am a procrastinator. Not for everything, but for some. I also have mild OCD – which makes me sort the documents on my laptop into the “right” folders, rename the files, so that they are uniform, and generally try to keep everything nice and tidy.
It’s a stupid waste of time.
You might be the same, or waste time with different activities. Aimless clicking from one link to another. Endless scrolling through your Facebook/Twitter/Instagram timeline. Watching one funny cat video after the other on YouTube.
Whatever your vice is – most of us have habits which are just a stupid waste of time.
A while ago I sat down with a very successful entrepreneur in his early 60s. His list of achievements was impressive – to say the least. Upon asking me what his story was, how he became so successful and stayed that way for four decades and how on earth he managed to run all his businesses without going crazy his answer was: “Do everything with purpose.”
After I must have looked at him quizzically he continued to explain: Everything he did, every action he took, he did with clear intent and purpose. If he chose to hang out with his kids and play games – he did so with intent and purpose. When he worked on an email – his sole focus was on that one email in front of him. When I asked him if he never procrastinated, he laughed and said that, of course, he wasted time doing things which didn’t move the needle – but when he did this, he still did so with intent and purpose. In his own words, he needed this downtime to clean his head, rejuvenate and reenergize or simply allow his mind to wander. He just never let it just happen – but rather made the conscious choice of watching a mindless talk show on the television.
Since my conversation, I have adopted the same approach. I still procrastinate, I still give in to my OCD – but now I do so consciously and with purpose. And boy – does it make a difference!