Postponing unpleasant or difficult tasks is the procrastinator’s modus operandi. We all do it to some extent or other.
The good news is that there is no gene for procrastination. It is learned behavior. If you are in the costly trap of procrastination, adopt new behavior that improves your productivity and efficiency. Boost your confidence as well.
Unless there is enough benefit to undergo the discomfort of change, there is little hope for sustained success. It is up to you.
The cost of procrastination includes the following:
• Client relationships are tarnished
• Late fees, penalties and higher interest rates affect finances
• Health suffers with increased stress and compromised sleep
• Teamwork declines because others cannot count on the procrastinator
• Personal relationships take a hit as resentment builds
If keeping happy customers, saving money, improving your health, working well with a team, and maintaining positive personal relationships is important to you, learning new behavior would be a good investment. It is up to you.
Whatever I am postponing is rarely as ominous as I imagine it to be. Getting started is often the most difficult step to take. Whether cleaning out the attic, writing a report, preparing financial information for the accountant, researching health care insurance, or creating a new workshop, action builds confidence. It creates momentum by breaking the bonds of inertia.
Use the following steps to get started:
1. Envision the result especially for something you are postponing.
2. Plan your work
3. Batch like activities together
4. Use your most productive time of the day for activities that require sharp, mental focus
5. Work on a task for a concentrated, brief period without interruptions. The Pomodoro Technique is 25 minutes work and 5 minutes break. (Visit www.pomodoratechnique.com for more detailed information.)
6. Keep these major distractions out of your workspace: email, social media Facebook, and online games.
7. Get to work!
What difficult or unpleasant task are you postponing? Release the mental activity of thinking about it and do something about it. Accomplish difficult and unpleasant tasks with action. Give procrastination the slip.
© 2013 Ann Elliott All Rights Reserved
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