As human beings we have the unique talent of being able to procrastinate. We put things off, things we know we should be doing, to first handle those things that are squeaking the loudest. The proverbial squeaky-wheel makes it easy to avoid those quiet and sometimes dreaded tasks that await our attention elsewhere! We procrastinate from a place of: “I don’t know if I can do that”; “I don’t want to do that”; “I don’t like doing that”; or “I’ll get to it.” And, because it is a part of who we are as human beings, we have to put systems in place that manage our unique ability to put things off.
The system you use doesn’t have to be complicated either. To send procrastination packing simply:
- Make a list with priorities and dates by-when for the tasks that need to be completed.
- When there is an item on your list that doesn’t ever seem to get done (it has been rescheduled 2-3 times), evaluate why that is. Ask yourself: Are you the right person to be doing this task? Is there someone that the task should be delegated too? And, if you find that there is nobody else that can do the task but you, and it still isn’t getting done, what accountabilities do you need to put in place so that it does get done?
- Ask for help. Ask a co-worker, a friend, your spouse, to hold you accountable. Tell them what needs to be done and by-when (heck, even give them your whole list), and ask them to hold you accountable for doing it. Ask them to check in with you half-way between the time of the request and the due date, making sure the job is halfway done, that you are moving forward, and that you still agree to be your word to get the job done by the established by-when… And the job will get done!
We all need accountability, and creating a system of accountabilities isn't hard to do. So, stop putting off until tomorrow what you can do today!