As I am reading my blog I notice that it has been almost 5 months since I have written anything in it. Don’t I have anything to say anymore? Of course I do. So many exciting things have happened in the past few months, some of which I feel I must document somewhere, yet I procrastinate.
In the past 5 months there has been over six instances in my life which ought to have been chronicled somewhere and when it took place, my first thought was… this is going in my blog, yet I procrastinate. The CTO of my company has jokingly ( I hope) threatened to takedown this blog if I do not update it immediately and that got me to work on this blog, despite me having a very busy week having just been back from a two week Holiday in Germany. Would I have immediately attended to it, had it not been for a timely threat from my CTO? It got me thinking of one my or I guess any entrepreneur’s or lawyer’s worst enemy… procrastination.
I never gave much thought to it, but during the time while I was doing my masters in law several years ago, I realised I was procrastinating quite a lot. I realised how bad it was, a few days before I was to give my final exam. LSE had this system where they organize a lot of helpful seminars for the students on managing stress, writing dissertation, taking exams, etc. It is not mandatory to attend these seminars, it is organized to help the students. One such email I received a few weeks before the exam mentioned that there was a seminar on how to deal with Procrastination. I realized I have putting things off for the past couple of months and really wanted to attend this Seminar. I noted down the date and time and kept a reminder on my phone to attend it. On the day, as I was about to leave for the seminar, a friend asked to join him for a cup of coffee. I decided to go for the coffee and skip the seminar. I procrastinated on attending a seminar on how to deal with procrastination.
I did attend another seminar after that and tried a lot of methods to ensure that procrastination does not happen, yet there are times when the inevitable procrastination happens. I thought I owed it to other entrepreneurs as well as lawyers to inform about some of the methods I use to ensure I work more efficiently and deal with procrastinating.
- NOW = WON – This was suggested to me by my accountant (for obvious reasons, as he was an affected party of my procrastinations). Anything that can be done immediately has to be attended to instead of waiting for later. Some call it the 5 minute rule, which means if it takes less than 5 minutes to do, do it immediately.
- Creating a to do list – As clichéd as it sounds, this has been a life saver for me. If it is written down and the list is in front of me, then it is almost inevitable that I will do it. I am not sure if it is the same for everyone, but I am guessing no one wants to stare down a long list of things that are incomplete.
- Creating work Frenzy – I do this when I need to get some important work done. The method I use is that, I get into a workaholic mode and set things in motion with only doing work and not concentrating on anything else and getting into that mode makes everyone around me get into that mode as well. A lot of work gets done this way.
- Not being a perfectionist – One of the biggest cause for procrastination is trying to be a perfectionist. I seem to be getting a lot of things done when I complete the work to the best of my ability and then move on to the next task.
- Get a co-worker or team – Whether you are in a leadership position or not, a team is crucial for beating procrastination, you will be accountable to your team. If you mention the things you are to do in a given time to your team members someone from the team is likely to chase you up on that. It is very effective to have at least one other person working with you on a project.
- A Clean desk – A distraction free work desk is crucial to getting things moving fast. At least, it has been for me. I prefer to keep my work desk free from distraction to be more efficient ( However, my desk has a miniature statute of Darth Vader – I am yet to determine, if it is the presence of Lord Vader or absence of any paper on my desk that helps me finish the work on time).
If any of you out there have anymore suggestions to beat procrastination, let me know.