Simple Productivity Task Of The Day: Indulge In A Guilty Pleasure

by Randy Murray on June 16, 2010

What keeps distracting you? There are so many things that make staying on task and getting things done seem like an active battle, a real struggle.

Think for a moment about all of those things that we tell ourselves are bad for us, don’t provide a positive return for our time, or simply entertain us. Temptations. The very word is often tied to the concept of sin. However minor the sin, giving into the temptation seems like a defeat, a loss. And yet, these are exactly the things that seem to keep us from becoming fully productive.

Do not despair. You can transform your guilty pleasures into something less distracting.

First, make a list. What are all of the things you consider guilty pleasures? Write “Guilty Pleasures” at the top of the paper or list.

When you’ve finished your list, cross out the word “Guilty.” Give yourself permission to enjoy the things on your list, unless they’re truly harmful, like smoking. Your goal is to recognize that these are things that you enjoy and that you don’t have to feel ashamed because of that. Embrace your pleasures and declare them your own. That’s step one.

Then the rest is simple. Plan for them. Don’t promise yourself, “I get to watch an episode of ‘Supernatural’ when I finish my work.” That will only insure that you keep thinking about it and will probably give in and watch it before you’re finished with your work. Instead, recognize that you enjoy the show (or whatever your pleasures are), own them, and plan on enjoying yourself at an appropriate time. You don’t have to hide it. Own it. And with this recognition, temptation will lose its power over you.

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