By: Lisa Kamper
Procrastination is the practice of carrying out less urgent tasks in preference to more urgent ones, or doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable ones, and thus putting off impending tasks to a later time, sometimes to the “last minute” before the deadline.
So we all tend to put off tomorrow what we can do today. It happens
to all of us at some point and time. Perhaps it is a project that we are not as interested in as other ones that we have to work on so we push completing it until the last minute; then rush through it to get it completed. Then we ask ourselves if this was the best we could have done?
With the flu season upon us, I recently found out that waiting until the last minute to complete something may not be a good option. I was out of the office for an entire week suffering from the flu and had a project to complete. Now the week prior I told myself I can complete that next week, I knew I would have plenty of time. So, when I finally returned to work there was only one day to complete my project since it was a holiday week and we had a short week. Good news, the project was completed in time and very successful.
There are several things we can do to make sure that we stay on task and complete projects not only on time but ahead of time. Start bymaking a daily schedule, weekly schedule and monthly schedule.
If you have large projects make a quarterly schedule as well. Your daily schedule can be used for just that a daily schedule, this is the schedule that you can add things to on a daily basis and at the end of the day reprioritize and prepare for the next day. Your weekly and monthly schedule should be used for long term projects that perhaps have several smaller goals in order to complete the main project. This will allow you to see how far out you have to finish the goal.
On projects that have goals that are let’s say a month away, back the completion deadline up by either a few days or even a week if there are other people involved in completion of the project. Not knowing currently what their schedule and work load consist of, this allows for some flexibility.
I recently read Getting Things Done written by David Allen. He said
that if a task takes 2 minutes or less do it now. This is one way to stop procrastinating. An example, say you are not a person who likes to talk on the phone, when you get in the office in the morning and check your voice mail, you write down who called and the message. Most think this isn’t a priority and push it down their list. Apply the Less than 2 minutes rule, and make the return call at that time. It takes less than 2 minutes to dial 10 numbers on your phone. Good tips and quick read.