Guest post by Cass Mullane, Creative Innovator, Right-Brain Business Plan® Licensed Facilitator, Prosper Creatively, LLC
I just finished my third online jigsaw puzzle of the day and I stretch. My gaze drifts over to my whiteboard and I see several, ok, 11 tasks that have been up there for so long that the ink seems to be fading into the board. I’ve looked at them so often that they barely register in my mind. I remember that I have to do them, but I skip over them.
It’s not that they’re not important or that they’re super hard, I’m just putting them off. As a business and accountability coach, I know better. I chide myself for continuing to avoid them. Then, I start looking around for something more interesting to do.
What’s wrong with me?! Some of those tasks have been there for more than a couple of months. They’re in various stages of completion, some just lacking a little, some barely started. I guess I’m just human and I’m wishing my work away rather than simply doing it. Even now, as I’m writing this post, I’m glancing over at the art calling to me from my studio table. I feel my creative brain starting to conjure up possibilities…
Stop it! Back to the screen. Focus girl, focus!
I know exactly what’s wrong with me. I’m suffering from procrastinitis. And I know exactly what the cure is: DO SOMETHING! The minute you move into action, you tend to stay in action.
There are real problems with not getting things done:
- Delaying is creating more work for you
- You are adding to your overall stress
- You are creating an opportunity to beat up on yourself
- You are making yourself feel pressure that you don’t need to feel
- You are pushing yourself closer to deadlines when the things will suddenly catch fire and turn into a crisis.
So, pick something small and do that. Now. Then you will have one less thing on your plate and you will have the satisfaction of completing a task that has been hanging around.
After that, tackle something pressing and something large. Could be the same task or could be a couple of tasks. Either way, set your priorities and get to work.
Since I’m all about accountability, here’s what am I going to do about my lingering tasks:
- I’ll take literally three minutes to prioritize them, assign due dates to them and put them in my calendar. I’ll be quick and clinical. I won’t spend time over-analyzing them or wallowing in them or thinking about them. I’ll just make decisions, knowing that I’m already intimately familiar with them and I KNOW what needs to be done and in what order.
- Then, I’ll pick one to finish tonight before I go home. (Just so you know, I’ve picked number 3 on the list, it’s been hanging around for nearly two months and it will take no more than an hour to finish… SHEESH!)
- Tomorrow, I’ll get to work on numbers 4, 7, 8 and 10 from the list. They’re just phone calls and a little bit of research.
- My date to have EVERYTHING off that whiteboard is Nov 15. You can hold me to it!
So what are you going to do the next time you know you’ve got a bad case of procrastinitis? How will you tackle your lingering tasks? What’s the date you will have them done and off your plate? Find yourself an accountability partner and help each other kick that procrastinitis to the curb.
Cass’ new #1 International Bestseller, The Cool Stuff Jar: Three Simple Ways to Live a Happier Life, is now out on Kindle! Keep tabs on the book launch and all the fun following the launch by visiting www.CoolStuffJar.com and entering your email. You can also follow Cass on Facebook!