I can’t believe I agreed to blog. First of all, English is not my native language. Secondly, I don’t consider myself to be such a great writer. Finally, writing is not my favorite thing to do. There, I said it. I let the cat of the bag. I feel better now.
What do we usually do with tasks that we either do not like, or consider ourselves not to be as good at as we’d like to be? You guessed it! Most of us procrastinate and put that stuff on the back burner. Then we leave it there until it is almost too late to take it off.
There are many things in life that we must do that, for whatever reason, we don’t want to do. Nevertheless, we do them because either the consequence of not doing them is too great, or the reward for doing them anyway is so great that it makes it worthwhile.
Above my desk hangs a German saying in a little old frame that I inherited from my grandfather. It says: “Do the hard stuff first and the rest will follow easy.” As a child, I could not relate to this. It did not make sense. Why do the hard stuff first? As a teenager, I revolted against anything anybody from my family suggested. School was hard and I wanted it to be easy. I learned the hard way that it was not smart for me to practice tennis all day, while avoiding studying for a French exam. I ended up repeating 9th grade which, despite being a common occurrence in Germany, didn’t make me feel very great.
As an adult, I learned to pace myself. Today, I create mini-deadlines that help me navigate through the larger process. I eliminate distractions and tell myself that it is okay to make a mistake. I now know that it is better for me to do the hard stuff first, when my brain is fresh, my ideas abundant, and I have plenty of time to edit or revise. If I wait to get things done, I usually miss things, risk being late, and experience stress for sure.
Here are some tips that will assist you with eliminating procrastination:
1. Remind yourself of why you are doing whatever it is you are doing
2. Set realistic goals that include specific outcomes and timelines
3. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake
4. Limit distractions
5. Remind yourself that procrastination is a learned habit and that it can be unlearned
6. Reward your successes and don’t judge your failures
Are you now ready to tackle your next project? Go for it! You have my full support in getting it done on time. Call me if you need a kick in the pants!
President and CEO