Procrastination Is The Antidote
Procrastination. This word embodies many parts of how I conduct my day. Getting started on actual work is hard for me. However, when it is something I believe is valuable, I jump into it with vigor and resolve as long as I can see the end of it. Otherwise, I become apathetic to the very thought of engagement. When I procrastinate on the premium, that is where the problem occurs.
However, procrastination is a great antidote for removing away the non-essential. By putting off or disregarding the unimportant, one can actually get a healthier balance in life and spend the precious resource of time more wisely. In Stephen Covey’s four quadrants, procrastination can occur effectively in 2 out of the 4 areas. Quadrant 1 should never have any procrastination, as it is the “urgent and important” quadrant. You should be swarming items that fall in this bucket to get them knocked out quickly. Where procrastination will really hurt is in the “not urgent but important” quadrant 2.
How to use procrastination to your advantage
- Don’t answer email right away - Here is my belief. If someone needs an answer to an email in less than 24 hours, the communication mechanism is wrong. In addition, let the others chime in on the thread. Let the discussion and discourse happen. If you are the decision maker, summarize at the end and then close it down. Also, if an email that you have written goes back and forth a few times with no result, schedule a quick 15 minutes to get to resolution and a decision if possible.
- Give people time to come up with their own solution - I am all for jumping in to help someone solve a problem. However, I have been really focusing on helping them help themselves. I have people come all the time asking for help without doing the proper research. Give them a pointer and send them back on their way.
- Just drop it off your radar - Everything can’t get done, so you have to prioritize. Procrastinate on the things that are not really important and not urgent to you. As a matter of fact the only time you should spend on them, is figuring out how to dismiss them quickly.
- Delegate, delegate, delegate. Can someone else, who is better qualified do the work? If so, why are you doing it?
- Let other people know your priorities - This may be the most effective way for you to avoid procrastination, as people will respect your boundaries and only come to you in the important and urgent areas.
I procrastinate but still get more done. Also the work is satisfying because it falls into the category of what is important. Procrastination done well, can remove distractions that derail us from what is important.