A lot of “being productive” is going against your immediate whims. We are raised to believe that whims are evil, that what you want to do, and what you should do are at odds. The bad P word of “procrastination” is synonymously with lack of “will power.” Will power is needed to fight against your immediate desire.
There are certainly times when the two are at odds. It’s doubtful that you will ever desire to to your taxes, or desire to do certain house chores. It is, however, possible to make your production and your desire become more friendly. Instead of Production vs. Desire, maybe Production with desire. How can we put them in line?
There are two ways to approach this problem. We all have our lists of “Things we want to do” and “Things we must do.” We can find a way to enjoy doing chores, but if that was easy, procrastination would never happen. The other method is to make our desires productive, essentially, letting your desire drive you.
We should remember that “being productive” is usually attached to some large desire in the first place. We have to work because we desire to get paid. We have to clean the house because we desire to live in a clean environment. In that way you’re already aligned. The whims that come up and cause us to procrastinate usually aren’t real desires. They are superficial things that get in the way because we forget that most chores actually lead to things we want. We feel like wanting to nap, or watch mindless TV, or scroll the internet, not because we really desire those things, but because we feel that we work too much and fulfill desires too little.
Try doing what you feel like for an entire day. A weekend day is probably the safest to try this out. You can keep your chore list, but don’t put any pressure on yourself to do any of it. You’ll be surprised that after feeding your desire for half a day, you’ll feel “full” and may actually feel like cleaning the cabinets. When you can align your actions with your true desire, you’ll find that there’s no rooms for procrastination. Your whims will be productive.