I’m a procrastinator. Hate to admit it, but I oftentimes put off things until the very last minute, and it drives my husband bonkers.
According to Tony Jeary, author of the book Strategic Acceleration: Succeed at the Speed of Life, in his article “Procrastination: THE Results Killer!” , there may be a touch of procrastination in your habits if you feel kinship to any of these statements:
- “I can do it tomorrow.”
- “I don’t have everything I need, so I’ll wait.”
- “I can’t do it perfectly, so I’ll wait.”
- “I don’t have time right now.”
- “Someone else can do it better.”
For me, it’s a combination of thinking that I can postpone things and do it later, and that I do not have the time right now (you know, with 2 toddlers and a baby plus a long list of to-do for the day). Plus, I have convinced myself that I do my best thinking when I am rushed and trying to beat the deadline. Of course, none of these excuses matters if at the end of the day I have accomplished so little and merely wasted my time.
This year, I strive to beat my bad habit of procrastinating. That’s my New Year’s resolution, and I intend to keep it. I finally followed Donald Wetmore’s tips in Procrastination Pointers to plan the night before what I want to achieve the following day.
Then I used Gary Jennings’ tips in his “Overcoming Procrastination (and How to Start and Complete Any Project in Five Easy Steps)” by making a list of the things that I have been postponing and making specific lists about these to-do tasks.
After using several paper and electronic planner systems such as Franklin Covey’s, I finally decided that a blank journal with no lines works best for me (in college, I used sketchpads for my notebooks because I don’t like to be encumbered with lines). I got myself a very nice blank journal and now uses it to write the things I need and should accomplish for the week. I have a section for my big projects, broken down into specific activities I need to do and their timeline.
Overcoming procrastination requires changing bad behaviors accumulated through the years. And like any bad behaviors, it takes time and the right tools to help you overcome it. But it feels mighty good to be able to do things more now.
Let me know your stories of how you are overcoming procrastination and improving your productivity in your business.