If there is one thing I need help with, it is procrastination. Don’t worry, I’m fully aware of the problem. In fact, I plan on making it one of my 2012 resolutions to work on procrastination.
The problem with procrastinating is that it causes conflicts with deadlines. You have a Friday deadline to get a blog post written and you find yourself scrambling to do it Friday night. Anyone else been there?
Deadlines sure can take the fun out of life. The nice thing about the deadlines, however, is that they DO force you to get the project done. The projects of mine that don’t have solid deadlines are the ones that are still sitting on the backburner. The key is to try and be pro-active and get after the deadline before it sneaks up on you.
My plan is similar to the “set your clock ten minutes early, so you won’t be late” technique that many people use with their alarm clocks. If I have a Friday deadline, I put it on my calendar as a Thursday deadline. The downside is that I’m pretty clever and usually sniff out the bluff. However, at least it gets my brain working on the project the day before. That way, if I DO end up waiting till the last minute, at least my brain has been working on it a little in advance.
Seems like a trivial advantage, but it does help a little – at least for me.
For example, say you had to have a report ready for a meeting on Friday. Put it on your calendar for Thursday. When Thursday rolls around, you will probably just push it back to Friday, but at least you will think about it briefly. You might even find that Thursday is a slow day and you have time to knock out the report right then and there. If not, at least you won’t be totally surprised by it when Friday morning rolls around. That is NOT the way to kick off your weekend!
Give It A Try
Try it out and see what you think. Next time you have a project with a deadline, put it on your calendar a day or two earlier. You may still go down to the 11th hour in completing the project, but it might just help!
Also, plan on adding “Work on Procrastination” to your 2012 or even your 2012 New Years Resolution list!