I have a basket under my desk where I tend to put things I don’t want to deal with and aren’t necessarily time related. The basket drives me nuts, but I just let it sit there and don’t do anything about it.
Is there anything that you can think of that you wish you had gotten done already? Is it bugging you? I’m assuming the answer is ‘yes’!
You may think when you leave your office you leave the unfinished tasks in the office, but you are wrong.
Everything that is uncompleted comes home with you in your mind and can weigh heavy on your shoulders. As you’re playing catch with your daughter that ‘little’ voice in your head is saying “You shouldn’t be out here. You should be back at the office finishing _____.” When you’re out on your date night with your spouse you may be thinking about the report sitting on your desk and not fully ‘be’ on your date. This does not feel good and can cause real problems.
What’s happening is procrastination and it is very common – you are not alone.
Procrastination is living life with the brakes on as you tell yourself “I don’t have time for this,” or “I don’t know how to do this, so I’ll put it here for now.” You constantly stop yourself. But whenever you put ‘something here for now’ you are simply postponing and when you do that your ‘little’ voice will go into overtime reminding you of what you haven’t gotten done. It’s interesting that it rarely reminds you of all the great things you’ve done!
There are a lot of great books about procrastination, but I’ve discovered as a ‘recovering procrastinator’ a simple cure… if you do it!
Let’s take my basket as an example. After I write this note to you, I’m going to pick up a piece of paper that is a reminder of an action I need to do and I will be SO tempted to put it back in my basket for later – I’m going to STOP – put it back up to my face where I can see it closely and ask myself “What is the next one thing I can do?” Just one thing. I’ll figure that out and do it. Yes, I’ll do it right! When that is done, I’ll ask myself “What is the next one thing I can do?” I’ll do that and keep going. Sound simple? Yes, but it works. If you use this method that I’ll be doing with my basket you will be amazed at how quickly the task gets done (much faster than you think) and how wonderful you will feel about yourself. No more little voice!
Do you have areas in your office where things have piled up? Click here to find out where your Productive Environment Scorecard reveals potential problems in your office.