We have all heard the old adage “Wait until the last minute” or have heard someone say “I work better under pressure.” As a public speaking coach here in Charlotte NC these phrases have often amazed me. Why would anyone think that this was a good way to live your life? Even worse, it can seriously affect your business dealings as well.
This is not to say I have not put things of as long as I possibly could but what did it usually get me: Poor results. Either my work was not as good as it usually is or my results as accurate. It is human nature to want to let a difficult project or task go so what can we do to help reduce procrastination.
The first step I take is fit a bit of the project or task in each day’s schedule as soon as you find out about it. Write it in your planner or on a calendar giving it a certain start and stop time to use as a guild. This works great for anything you need to remember but especially when you have a deadline to keep. When this is done stick to it. Make sure you have allotted yourself plenty of time so that you do not have to rush but be steady about it.
Being time restricted often reduces a group’s effectiveness and reduces concentration on details. This can be a detriment to the end product. Breaking the project or task down into the steps helps keep you and the individuals working with you from being overwhelmed. It also gives everyone time to work out problems and find solutions when things do not go as planned, which can happen quite often. If things do arise we can come closer to overcoming them if we have the time to do so.
Although we cannot change everyone around us, we can commit to changing our own habits. If we work to be examples to the rest of our team you will find it will make a definite difference. Remember, plan ahead, break it up into manageable steps, stick with it and do not put things off when you can do them ahead of time. This helps to keep procrastination at bay and productivity and job performance up.
Sonja Stetzler is a public speaking coach in Charlotte NC. She loves meeting people and working in groups but certainly understands the lure of procrastination.