Friday, 14 March 2008

How do you beat procrastination?

Do you have anything on your ‘to do’ list that you keep putting off? Is it because the task (or tasks!) seems too big to tackle, you’re not sure how to do it, or perhaps it’s going to take ages to finish? If so, you’re definitely not alone. We all procrastinate at times, but in business it can be costly.

If you have any tasks languishing in your pending tray, you know they’re there. You think about them often and worry that they’re not getting done. Maybe a deadline is looming, so now you’re getting stressed.

There are many techniques to beat procrastination. The best one I’ve found is to get the papers or file onto my desk. At this point, I’m not even thinking about completing the task. I’m just going to look through the papers. Then I write down the first step that needs to be taken – making a phone call, research some information – I just write down that first step.

By this point I’m ready to actually take that first step so I go ahead and do it. Feeling really pleased with myself, I have a look at what the next step needs to be and write that down. I may do it there and then, or I may schedule it for another time. But I’m no longer putting it off, I’ve beaten the stalemate of procrastination!

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