5 Reasons You Continue to Procrastinate

January 7, 2020 by  

At work, you may feel stuck in the deepest rut of all time. You try to move forward but the groove is deep and you are really wedged in there well. Sound familiar? It happens to most leaders at some point. I have found the best way to get yourself out of that rut is to understand the reason you are there in the first place.

There are 5 usual reasons that people get stuck in those ruts.

Reason #1: You aren’t clear about your goals.
Goals that lack clarity are merely wishes. I’d like to make a million dollars this year. Wouldn’t we all! If you have no definite plan that will never happen.
It is much better to establish ambitious but realistic goals that include the target and some concrete ways to reach it. I am going to increase our sales this year by 10 percent by cold-calling a few prospective clients every workday is a clearer goal that you just might be able to achieve.
If you haven’t set a clear destination, don’t be surprised if you can’t seem to get any momentum or accomplish what you wish.

Reason #2: You haven’t identified Your why.
Motivation matters. There are plenty of ways out there to increase your productivity, but few of the people actually consider the why and if you do not do that, it will be much harder to accomplish the goal.
So when you get stuck, step back and ask yourself, “Why do I want to reach this goal?” and find your reasons: To make more money, to feel a sense of accomplishment, to take more time off, to go home this weekend and not have work hanging over my head.
Whatever your key motivations, when you find yourself dragging your feet, stop to remind yourself why you wanted to do this in the first place. Reconnecting with your why will always help to achieve your goals.

Reason #3: You haven’t chunked the project down to bite-size pieces.
Goals are big things that are going to take a lot of effort over time to accomplish. People can get stuck focusing on the enormity of the task. To reach your goals, focus instead on the chunking up the job in smaller pieces or steps that you will need to get there. This will make it easier to accomplish your job as we are best with tasks that last 15-20 minutes.
I should add the caution that while larger goals ought to challenge us, the steps toward getting to our goals should not. These steps need to be inside our comfort zone and ought to require little or no courage to do. The trick is to cut the giant into enough pieces so that he is no longer menacing.

Reason #4: You are distracted by too many tasks.
If left unchecked, the whirlwind of activity in your organization will constantly distract you from reaching your goals. So simplify things whenever you can.
The most helpful concept for me is what I call “The Big 3”. I teach that you should only have three main tasks per day. To focus on three and only three, you have to filter your tasks and eliminate, automate, or delegate everything that is outside your list.
You can also have a small list of non-essential tasks that can be handled at the beginning or at the end of the workday. Your attitude toward these things ought to be, “If I get to them, fine, and if not, that is okay, too.”

Reason #5: You haven’t built in any accountability.
Built-in accountability is one of two primary ingredients for goal success. You need someone who will hold you accountable without succumbing to your excuses. Their purpose in this context is not to shame you but to remind you of the road you set out on, and why getting over the finish line will be worth it. You need to focus on the main tasks in order to fulfill the whole project.

If you pay attention to these obstacles and find ways that make sense to you to overcome them, you will be much more likely to achieve your goals in a timely fashion.

Time Management Made Simple

January 24, 2012 by  

Time Management is actually a misnomer as you do not control the clock but you do control the energy and enthusiasm with which you manage that precious resource so use it wisely!

Here are some tips for achieving better self management:
1. Clear your desk….it is most distracting and difficult to work effectively on a cluttered desk. That includes your in box and filing systems….so purge those often and set up processes that help you to keep documents and messages you need in easy to find places.

2. Write down your goals and make them Specific, Achievable, Realistic and Time Limited. When achieved, reward yourself! In addition, if the goal does not have enough meaning and excitement for you, you will likely have trouble executing the steps necessary to accomplish it….be sure it matters!

3. Mutli-tasking is a myth….it takes your brain 15-20 minutes to align the necessary neurons to allow you to perform the selected task at a high level of performance. Every time you are distracted you lose a percentage of neurons to the new task and so are less able to do either job well. (Women are better at it than men, however it is actually better to do one thing at a time.)

4. Schedule email and phone calls so that you can concentrate on specific projects without interruptions for 1-2 hour time blocks. You will get more done and with fewer mistakes. Caution: do take breaks to “clear” your head, re-energize your brain (a walk is good) and hydrate and nourish your body….you will perform at a higher level if you take care of yourself!

5. Procrastination, one of time management‘s biggest stumbling blocks, is a result of fear of failure, not knowing where to begin, inadequate resources, feeling overwhelmed, or having no passion for this particular job…..so address those issues with delegation, clear deadlines, and maybe some friendly and helpful advice from a trusted friend; and you will be able to overcome your procrastination.

6. In order to remember what you have to do…make lists, prioritize the lists, and keep them short so that you can finish the list. You will be more motivated to achieve your daily goals if they are reasonable!

Remember…Time is of the essence so make the most of your time!