Ways you may be procrastinating, even if you feel productive.

Meg Panozzo
2 min readMar 8, 2022

Some days I’m on a roll, and other days I look at what I’ve achieved and wonder what I’ve been doing all day.

Procrastination is one of those bad habits that we need to constantly work on. It stops us from taking action and seeing the results we know clearly that we want to see.

We know the things we do when we’re procrastinating. It’s letting the next episode play on Netflix; it’s scrolling on social media for hours without intent; it’s hitting the snooze button instead because it’s too cold outside to run.

But this is not the type of procrastination I want to talk about today. I want to talk about the ways you’re procrastinating without realising it. The sneaky form it takes when it feels productive… but it’s actually not productive at all.

This type of procrastination is the type that stops us from doing real, effective, deep work. This type of procrastination stops us from creating change and making progress towards our goals.

1. You Google “how to” too much

Chances are you already know what to do, but constantly reading articles about how to achieve your goal is not helping you achieve it if you already know the basics. You won’t find a magic formula: usually it comes down to hard work done consistently.

2. You take too many training courses

Sometimes the desire to learn comes from a deeper feeling that “I’m not good enough yet”, and so learning is sometimes the safer — and easier — path. You will learn a lot through experience, and this will also highlight your knowledge gaps so that future training courses can be selected in a way that is more aligned to your growth plan.

3. You focus on the easy tasks that don’t really shift the needle

Often, it’s the hard stuff that makes the difference. List out all of the tasks you know you need to do, and focus your energy on the hard work.

4. You’re trying to do too many things at once

You can only do effective work on one thing at any given moment. If you flit between new ideas and want to make progress in too many areas of your life, you won’t be effective in any of them. While it is possible to grow in different areas of your life simultaneously, these need to be clearly defined goals so that you know you aren’t taking on too much at once. Keep a list of the things you do want to do because it’s ok to say “not yet” while you focus on taking action in just a few key areas of your life.

Do any of these ring true for you? Which one do you need to work on most?

Meg Panozzo

Philosophical perspectives on careers, life and leadership