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How do you prevent procrastination as a product manager?

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This job is so ambiguous, with few deadlines for bodies of work. You probably should talk to customers on a regular basis, but if you don't? It may not become noticeable for a while. Ditto with market research and a whole host of other product activities.

How do you put in the hours each day? I get distracted way too easy. What tips do you have?

Our response

Author: Joe Tannorella
Rocket Role Team
One thing that's helped me is setting a couple of non-negotiable tasks each day and just making them the first thing I do. If I get those done, I consider it a good day.

The Pomodoro Technique has been a pretty solid tool for me. It's 25 minutes of focused work, then a 5-minute break. Keeps me from burning out and staying focussed on things that I know I need to do, but also acknowledge I probably won't enjoy.
Procrastination is a given, try to make it productive. Also don't be too harsh on yourself. The reality is that work comes in peaks and troughs, you do kinda just have to take the rough with the smooth.

But, regardless of how you spend your time procrastinating, it is always par for the course no matter what job you're in. Honestly, sometimes you just need to embrace the downtime, be present for 5-10 minutes in whatever you're procrastinating with, and then get back to work consciously.

We also asked some experts...

Advice from thousands of podcasts episodes, including:
Here's what they had to say:

🎯 Set Non-Negotiable Tasks
Gergely Orosz, the Pragmatic Engineer, suggests setting a timer for focused work, such as 20 minutes, and eliminating all distractions. He uses a simple Python script to block distracting websites. The first few minutes might be hard, but once you get into the flow, it becomes easier.
Try this: Set a timer for 20-25 minutes of focused work and eliminate all distractions.
Source: Leaving Big Tech to Build the #1 Technology Newsletter: Gergely Orosz – Lenny's podcast

Manage Your Burnout Meter
The First Round Review podcast suggests managing your burnout meter proactively. If you notice your stress levels rising, take steps to bring it back down. This could be taking time off, going on a trip, or engaging in sports.
Try this: Regularly check in with your stress levels and take steps to reduce them when they rise.
Source: Episode 3 – First Round Review podcast

🔄 Embrace Work-Life Balance
Nikita Miller from The Knot and Trello suggests that sometimes you might have to work long hours, but it's also important to take time to recharge. You don't always have to balance everything perfectly.
Try this: Allow yourself to work hard when necessary, but also take time to recharge and do things you enjoy.
Source: Driving Alignment and Urgency within Teams, Work-Life Balance, and the Changing PM Landscape: Nikita Miller – Lenny's podcast

Closing Summary

To manage your time and stay focused, set non-negotiable tasks, manage your burnout meter, and embrace a healthy work-life balance. Remember, it's okay to take breaks and recharge when necessary.

All "ask an expert content" does not represent the views of any expert or individual. All provided links are not affiliated or operated by Rocket Role.

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