Recently I received an email from Michael, an internet specialist. In it, he described a problem he was having with that old chestnut, procrastination and wanted to know how to stop procrastinating.
I’ve chopped his words a little – procrastinators tend to run on a bit as you might expect – so here’s the gist of what he had to say:
“I always find that I say to myself, ‘I’ll work on that important task later after I’ve quickly done this unimportant task’.”
Predictably, what happens is that Michael fails to address the important task during normal work time and so allocates the only time left available, the ‘after-hours’ period.
And guess what? “I get to the end of the day, think in a split second about my promise and flick it to first thing tomorrow.”
And so the cycle continues. Another supposed priority gets set aside and the people of the Procrasti Nation welcome another convert.
So, what do you do to stop procrastinating?
For me the solution has to do with setting aside dedicated time to work on priorities. Time blocked out in your diary and not released for anything that doesn’t involve blue flashing lights.
Want more articles like this? Check out the time management tips section.
Steven R. Covey – he of Seven Habits fame – has a wonderful story to illustrate the importance and method of handling priorities and I’ve posted a link to it via a comment.
But what have you got to say to Michael? Have you suffered the same inertia and what did you do to stop procrastinating? Share your experiences and learn from others below.