If you put off everything till you’re sure of it, you’ll never get anything done.
— Norman Vincent Peale
We all suffer from procrastination at some time or another (some of us more frequently
than others). This basically means that we choose to postpone doing a task or action and instead make the decision to action low priority tasks, those that will take less time to complete, or those that we find enjoyable.
Per Wiley Publishing’s “Time Mastery Profile”, the three major causes for not taking action are because:
We find things unpleasant
We find things difficult
We feel tough decisions are required and we may be indecisive
Tips that may help:
- When procrastinating, the best thing you can do is to admit it. Stop rationalizing and you’ll be more likely to act.
- Analyze what causes you to put things off. Most of us tend to avoid things that are unpleasant, complex, or overwhelming.
- Do the toughest tasks first.
- Tackle unpleasant tasks in small pieces and short time segments.
- Delegate the task to someone who may enjoy doing it. Others often enjoy what we don’t!
- Don’t be a perfectionist and accept that some risk may exist.
- Don’t wait for the right mood as it may be a long time coming.
- Get started; keep going!
Addressing procrastination requires awareness. Reflect on your reasons why you postpone doing the task and commit to a daily review of what must be done
Make a plan, and then think in terms of Nike’s motto: Just do it!
Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no laziness, no procrastination: never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.
— Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield