Procrastination – the act of delaying or putting off a task. 

At some point, we all do it. The good news is, procrastination is not laziness. It’s all in our head. Literally.

Our frontal lobe (known as our internal planner) will say to us… ” Hey, we need to start this project now”. Another part of our brain known as the limbic system ( or pleasure center) is saying ” Don’t start your project yet, let’s binge watch the rest of season 4 of The Crown”.

It’s similar to the age-old illustration of the conflict between the ‘angel voice’ in your head verses the ‘devil voice’.

Let’s take a moment to recognize the consequences that may result when we let our limbic system (devil voice) do the talking:

  • it impacts our relationships because others are waiting on us
  •  the quality of our performance may diminish due to a shortened work window
  • our stress levels are enhanced because of our looming deadline
  • or we may miss the deadline altogether because we’ve procrastinated too long

While we now understand how it works in our head and the consequences we incur, I’m sorry to say, procrastination is still not going away. Therefore, we need to outsmart it.

A powerful strategy to beat procrastination is explained in Brian Tracy’s book titled “Eat that Frog.”  A favorite of mine. The foundation of the book is based on Mark Twain’s quote “If the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that this is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long”.

Your “frog” is your most significant task.

Bottom line… identify your most important task. It will be the task with the greatest impact to your job or your company. It will likely be the task you’ve been putting off. Once you’ve identified that task, you have found your “frog”.
Now, you need to eat it. Actually, do it!  And do it first thing. Rip off the band aid and it’s done.

For other vital strategies to outsmart procrastination, bring Sandra into your organization for a training session.