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Archive for Procrastination

Stop Procrastination – Now!

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

Procrastination makes easy things hard, hard things harder.
~ Mason Cooley

Procrastination is that sinister and seductive stealer of time. We have projects we know need to get done; however, we just can’t bring ourselves to get motivated to actually do them. We put these tasks off, telling ourselves will do them later and all will be OK.

The problem?

Later we have even more responsibilities that need to be taken care of, and our already full plate becomes even fuller. Soon, the work load seems insurmountable. Procrastination takes this opportunity to snowball our lack of motivation, and it becomes an increasingly vicious cycle. Following are six tips on how to stop procrastination – now!

  1. Give Yourself Permission to Work in an Imperfect World – If you’re waiting for just the right time, place, equipment, etc. to begin a project, guess what? That’s procrastination! Don’t wait around for the world to align and give you everything you need to get started on a project. Instead, dive in and get started. Gather the materials you need, as you need them.

  2. Make a Prioritized To Do List – There’s a reason why Daytimer and other planner companies are still successful – they work! Prioritizing a To Do list helps procrastination in a couple of different ways. First, it helps you take stock of what you need to get done, and gives you motivation as you check completed items off your list. Second, by prioritizing the tasks, putting the most important ones first, you can help ensure procrastination doesn’t lead you to the easy or fun (but unimportant) tasks first.

  3. Don’t Kid Yourself – That whole, “I just work better under pressure” statement is often procrastination tricking you into putting off things you really need to get done now! Working under pressure usually means more errors and lower productivity.

  4. Use a Timer – If you’re working on something you truly dread, set a timer and agree to work solely on that project for a certain amount of time. Once that allotted time is over, give yourself a little reward, like a walk outside or ten minutes on Facebook. Breaking up a large, unpleasant project into smaller pieces makes it feel a lot less daunting.

  5. Make a Decision and Move Forward – Sometimes decision-making takes time. However, if you have all of the information to make an education decision, don’t procrastinate by second guessing yourself.

  6. Put Away the Distractions – Distractions are procrastination’s evil cousins. This can be technological distractions, such as e-mail, text messages, or social media sites. In these instances, turn off the offending devices or shut down the related programs. Distractions can also be people. If you have a chatty co-worker, don’t be afraid to let them know you have work you need to get done, but would be happy to talk to them as soon as you’re finished.

About Colleen Kettenhofen, Leadership Expert

CREDENTIALS: Colleen Kettenhofen is an international workplace and employee management expert, award-winning corporate trainer, and conference keynote speaker. A media veteran, she has appeared on numerous radio shows around the country and has written more than 40 popular articles on diverse workplace issues. Colleen has delivered more than 1,100 entertaining programs in 48 states and five countries. She is the author of 10 published audio programs and two books including SECRETS YOUR BOSS ISN’T TELLING YOU.

Colleen Kettenhofen is available for keynotes, breakout sessions, and seminars by calling (971) 212-0479.

“Worry is interest paid on trouble before it is due.”

Lately I’m noticing a trend where I’m asked to speak not just on leadership, but leadership and life balance. Everyone is looking for ways to overcome procrastination, increase energy, and improve productivity. Her e are some quick and easy tips for leaders at all levels:

  1. Burning desire, passion, and personal motivation. Whether you want to achieve greater career success, personal success or both, make sure you’re passionate about what you want to accomplish. So many people in my workshops really don’t enjoy what they do for a living. And they confide in me privately they’ve got too much vested to leave. And yet, many managers tell me they’d “prefer the employee not be there if they don’t enjoy what they’re doing. “ If you can’t leave a bad situation, consider changing jobs down the road. Because there will be many roadblocks and detours along your path. And unless you’re highly motivated, you’ll become overwhelmed, lose focus, and not perform as well.

  2. How can you make things you “should do” more enjoyable? For example, I frequently write articles sitting inside Starbucks. And it makes my “work” more enjoyable, even though I dearly love writing articles already! Writing is my favorite way of sharing information, motivating and inspiring others. Matter of fact, today they announced closing 600 Starbucks in the coming months. Hopefully it won’t be anywhere near me here in north Phoenix. I love my Starbucks! Especially the one in Sedona with gorgeous red rock views. So…what can you do to make your work more enjoyable?

  3. Write down important tasks and specific time frames for when you will work on them. Write them in a place where you will constantly see them to be reminded. For example, consider writing them down on a white dry erase board in your office. This way you’re constantly reminded of what you are to do and when. You will get around to completing these tasks sooner rather than later because by “seeing” them all the time, you’ll want to cross them off your list.

  4. Plan a reward ahead of time. Make sure you give yourself some type of reward when finished. It can be as small as penciling in time to do something you enjoy such as meeting a friend after work, taking your child to the park, or spending time with your spouse or significant other. I used to live in Portland, Oregon, and would often take my Director of Goodwill, “dog” Joy, to a dog park high on a hill with gorgeous views of the Cascade Range. It was a nice reward. Especially after a day spent completing tasks like filing, that frankly, I didn’t want to do.

  5. Effective Leadership Means Being a Good Role Model…

  6. Be a role model others want to follow. Effective leadership means setting a good example. If you’re in a management or leadership position, others will often do what they see you do.

  7. What can you delegate? This is difficult for those of you who like control! If you’re like me, it’s easy to think, “Well, if I want it done right I might as well do it myself.” Or, “In the time it takes me to train someone I might as well do it myself.” Not to mention, many of us are evaluated on how well a job gets done. It’s hard to give up the control. But if you’re a manager, supervisor, or in any type of leadership position, you can’t do it all. And most likely, part of your job is to help grow, mature, and develop other people. Whether they are your subordinates or… your children.

Remember, everything you procrastinate today only compounds tomorrow’s pressure. Get a lot accomplished so you’re able to enjoy your July 4th weekend!

“Be like a postage stamp. Stick to one thing until you get there.”
– Josh Billings

For Colleen Kettenhofen’s articles on effective leadership, life balance, managing people, difficult people, presentation skills, success, and more, visit:

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