We started procrastinating in primary school.
We put off studying for our spelling test and we pretended we were sick on the day of the test. Our poor parents started to worry that something was wrong with us because the doctor couldn’t find the source of our constant complaints!
Now we are all grown up we might not even realise how much we procrastinate each day. We procrastinate in our email, we delay making decisions and end up multi-handling our work. We avoid people we owe work to, and little things become big things after we’ve put them off for too long.
In the meantime, here are three tips to help you overcome procrastinating.
1. Be clear on your priorities
We procrastinate when we prioritise a low-value task over a high-value task. The trick is to first understand what your priorities should be. Take time every quarter to clearly define your goals and high-value activities.
2. Understand what procrastination looks like for you
We procrastinate by:
- helping others with tasks they could do themselves,
- leaving important tasks off our to-do list,
- completing unimportant tasks,
- putting off decisions,
- allowing ourselves to be distracted, or
- having delusions that we actually perform better when we leave things to the last minute.
3. Watch for these signs that you or your team are procrastinating.
Procrastinators tend to:
- avoid responsibility through absenteeism,
- blame others for their lack of delivery,
- downplay the importance of the uncompleted task, or
- assign undue importance to another task.