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June 4, 2020

What’s Stopping You?

Right now, are you procrastinating about something that you need to do? 

If you’re like many people, you answered yes!

Procrastination has plagued us throughout history. The Greek poet Horace, (65 BC – 8 BC) wrote, “He who postpones the hour of living is like the rustic who waits for the river to run out before he crosses.” So, how do we cure ourselves when the procrastination bug strikes? Here are some reasons for procrastinating and what to do about them.

  • You’re waiting for the right moment to start. It is unlikely that the “right moment” will ever arrive. Most days are jammed with tasks you need to accomplish, and if some time opens up, you aren’t likely to tackle the task that you are avoiding! Be proactive and schedule time on your calendar to start the task. This will give you some momentum to keep going. 
  • You don’t know where to start. Most tasks do not require a linear approach; you can start with any part of the task that is easiest for you to complete. The key is to just start.
  • You’re afraid that the result won’t be perfect. Perfectionism is the enemy of productivity. Nothing will ever be perfect no matter how much time you spend on it. Become comfortable with an acceptable level of performance and weigh which tasks require greater precision than others. See my blog post Perfectionism for more information.
  • It’s boring! We all have to handle routine, boring tasks sometimes. Filing, completing monthly reports, and other administrative activities lend them to delaying tactics. The best way to get these things done is to do them when we need some down time since they usually don’t require a lot of attention or thinking. Spend 15 minutes a day handling these tasks.

Procrastination is the enemy of productivity. If you’ve been putting off tackling something you need to address, take time to figure out why you are delaying and implement a remedy. You’ll feel positively productive when you get them off your desk!

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