Don’t wait – do it now!

Procrastination, that dreadful curse of putting off important things until later.  I’ve been meaning to write about it for ages, but haven’t got round to it until now… 

We all do it, even when we know it’s wrong.  And we keep trying to justify it to ourselves.   

Sometimes we do it because the onerous task is difficult or scary.  But putting it off doesn’t ever make it less difficult or less scary – sometimes it makes it appear even more so.  And the job still needs to be done one day. 

Occasionally we procrastinate because we think we may actually get out of doing it altogether – as if by putting it off, someone braver or more clever may volunteer to take it on.  Never happens.

Sometimes we conceal our procrastination by calling it perfectionism, ‘I can’t call on that prospect until I’ve done just a bit more research.’ Yes of course we need to do background work, but don’t get drawn into ‘analysis paralysis’ and use it as an excuse for not actually completing the job.

The most common excuse is that we’re too busy.  No-one can argue with this one, surely?  This is the time to reprioritise, based on your business objectives and decide what really needs doing.  The best advice on how to cope with procrastination is, ‘Stop it!  It never helps!’  If it’s worth doing, do it now.  Now that doesn’t mean charge at everything like a bull at a gate, but if you’ve decided it’s the right thing to do, there is absolutely nothing to be gained by putting it off. 

By doing things as soon as they need to be done means you get to feel the benefits sooner, your brain is less cluttered for other tasks, and it can do wonders for your self-esteem! 

The last word must go to one of my favourite pieces of graffiti:  ‘If I procrastinate today instead of tomorrow, would that be called progress?’

So there you have it – if you’re looking for the magic bullet, that one thing that will give you the edge over your competitors, you could do a lot worse than stop procrastinating.  And do it today!

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