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Procrastination kills Productivity

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Procrastination is the Enemy of Productivity

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Are you a procrastinator?
Why do you put some jobs into the “I’ll get to it basket” and just jump in and do others?

Procrastination is beaten by powerful plans which also demonstrably improve productivity.

Quoting the great achiever Benjamin Franklin – “by failing to prepare you are preparing to fail” – gives a great clue to beating procrastination and boosting productivity.

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Do you plan and how?
Plans provide guidance to achieving goals and without plans you can’t manage your progress toward achieving them.

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Maybe it’s time for you to reveal how you’ve been going.

Time to discover how you rank as a procrastinator or productivity whizz.

Below are four areas of life that I’ll ask you to review and make some lists.

Relax and let your mind flow with the thoughts it has and capture them in your lists.
Forget all about priorities while doing this.
Relax and let each thought generate another and you’ll find you mind opens up to many new ideas once you get into the flow.
Jot down each new idea as it comes; you’ll discover each thought generates another as your hands quickly transcribe your thoughts to the paper or keyboard.

You can easily fill up a couple of pages or even more than that with the lists detailed below.

  • Look at the ignored or unfinished jobs at work and make a list of them. Any size it doesn’t matter; include them all.
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  • Now you can repeat the list for jobs and tasks at home that never seem to get done. Walk around the home if you’re having problems thinking of anything just to encourage your memory. A quick walk around the outside of the house could aid you.
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  • Now look at carefully what needs to be done in your personal relationships that you have been putting off and make another list. Vacations, family matters, letters and emails and those telephone calls you’ve meant to make.
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  • Now a list for you – that exercise program or night out or even eliminations of a bad habit or anything that you have wanted to do but have put off doing anything about.

 

Now I’ll explain why this work was important.

The first thing to note is the amount of things you have been deferring in your life.

Could you have done better and is there a pattern to your procrastination / productivity behaviour and is it a problem.

Recognition that there is a problem is the start to recovery from the problem and eliminating it.

Procrastinators find many ways to explain and justify their incapacity get projects under way. The first step toward overcoming procrastination is the acknowledgment and ownership of the problem.

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Second, you should now understand the power of getting started on a project.

Action is necessary to build self-confidence rather than see it decrease as inaction increases doubts about decisions and this then decreases self-confidence more – a vicious cycle.   A self paralysis can overtake the procrastinator as this horrendous cycle of inactivity continues.

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When you recognise that procrastination has become the problem focus on the task that you have been avoiding and identify the first thing to do.

There may be a sense of overwhelm when you look at your lists but remember the lists are just a group of smaller items which can also be broken into parts.

Select one item from your lists –

Ask if the job will add value and, if not, is there any reason to do it.

Now identify and immediately take one action to get it started. 

It is easier than you might think.  You commenced your first list with a single item; it triggered another.

An action on your chosen item will cause your to take the next action and so on.

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Monitor your behaviour over time –

Review your day and work out how much time you have wasted.

Maintain a time log diary of how you spend your time.

Work needs to be done on time so how do you plan your work to meet the deadlines?

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Productivity is hampered by redundant work often carried out because of procrastination choices with little if any consideration of its value or necessity.

There is research that indicates that almost 80% of the effort put into a project is of little effective value to the success of the project and could therefore be effectively deferred or omitted – this is in agreement with the Pareto Principle.
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What do achievers understand that people who procrastinate don’t,
(many procrastinators don’t even know this): –

“failing to plan is planning to fail’ and you have to actually do something to get started.

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Below is a short video with one approach to beating the decision paralysis of procrastination.
Actually I don’t agree the “decision paralysis” description I used above because procrastinators do make decisions.

They make decisions that often keep them very busy. They are busy doing things that keep them “busy” appearing to be productive but do not end up delivering the results they seek.

Stephen Covey would describe many procrastinators as doing work that is either urgent or not urgent and in both cases unimportant.

Before you watch the video maybe you could write a list of reasons why you have “put-off” some important work or jobs that you identified earlier.   Your mind will be better attuned to the video content.

 

If you really want top know how to procrastinate then have a look at Jean-Louis Zimmermann’s Procrastination Flowchart.

There is a link to his original full size chart below the diagram.
Procrastination vs Productivity

Poductive - "Hell no" - I procrastinate

Procrastination Flow Chart – The enemy of Productivity by Jean-Louis Zimmermann http://www.flickr.com/photos/jeanlouis_zimmermann/3182674820/sizes/o/in/photostream/
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Need more help with overcoming Procrastination and building Productivity

You may be aware of one of my trainings – Productivity Base with the Dynamic Productivity Course. It has valuable information on procrastination and becoming more personally in control of your life. Go there here – Productivity Base after you have read this article.

Procrastination can also be handled with hypnosis and NLP.  If you’d like fast track help then Contact Chris.

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Productivity will improve measurably once you have taken on procrastination and commenced actions to achieve your goals.

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