Everyone procrastinates. Even those people you admire for their tenacity, high productivity and accomplishments are afflicted with the procrastination bug. I know that I procrastinate. I have a reminder alarm that goes off every Tuesday morning at 7:30 to write my Monday Morning Wake-Up. I'm writing this at 6:11 a.m. on Friday, which is fairly typical for me. I could say that I allow the ideas to bake a few days, which they sort of do, but it's much more accurate to say that I procrastinate when it comes to writing. Would I write a better MMWU on Tuesday morning than the ones I write on Friday? Absolutely not. It's just me giving in to my procrastination bug.
Discovering what triggers your procrastination bug is the key to keeping it under control. Here are a few no-compromise strategies you can use to get things done - when they need to get done:
- Know what fulfills you: I love tasks that involve problem solving, strategy and getting into the thinking and behavior that drives business growth. I love teaching and coaching. I find it extraordinarily fulfilling speaking to and connecting with both large and small audiences. The more time I can spend on these tasks, the better I feel. What's your list of tasks that fulfill look like? Now, how does that list compare to tasks you do every day? When you engage in work and tasks you love, you naturally seek out more and achieve more. There's little room or reason for your procrastination bug to interfere.
- Know what saps and drains you: Repetitive and monotonous tasks drive me crazy and I avoid them like the plague. I also know that getting stuck in my office for days has me yearning to get back to teaching and speaking. I need diversity in my work to keep me productive. Likewise, if I'm on the road too much, I can't wait to get back into my office to write, create new content and just engage in the work of my company. What's your list of tasks that sap and drain you? If you're not engaged in work and tasks that fulfill you, work becomes work, and procrastination is the easiest way to avoid it.
- Know your blockages: Blockages are the higher-level tasks that are a necessary and essential part of your work. If you don't like numbers, financial reports and budgets, your procrastination bug is always ready to bite. If you label too many leadership conversations are "confrontational" and avoid them, your procrastination bug has grown into one big, nasty critter. Procrastination is avoidance behavior. The problem is that avoiding leadership tasks and responsibilities almost always leads to bigger problems and challenges. FACT: You can learn and make peace with numbers. You can learn how to navigate through difficult conversations. You can break through the blockages that hold you and your company back - if you swat that procrastination bug you've carrying around.
- Know your procrastination triggers: The best way to recognize your procrastination triggers is to listen to that wise little voice in your head. Every time your procrastination bug prepares to take a bite, that little voice never fails to say, "Hey, just engage and get it done. Don't put it off. Do it now." The instant you hear that little voice, you have two choices: Listen and swat your procrastination bug before it bites you, or ignore it and allow your procrastinating behavior to win. And when procrastination wins out - you and all who depend on you - lose big time.
Procrastination is a conscious choice that you make. No-compromise leaders choose to "get it done." Now, how "no compromise" are you?
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About: Neil Ducoff is the founder and CEO of Strategies. Since 1993, Strategies has been transforming salon and spa businesses into dynamic, profitable, and sustainable team-based cultures. Neil is a business trainer, coach, keynote speaker and award-winning author. For more information on Neil and Strategies, go to www.strategies.com. You can email Neil at [email protected].