One *NEW* thing I've learned...or should admit!

As a practice of reflection and vulnerability I have a new practice blogging about one thing I've learned each day!  As a mostly disorganized, scattered, multi-tasking, overall busy person this will be a challenge, but a challenge that I believe will help me become more reflective and contemplative, while sharing with all of you about leadership and life. Here goes nothin!

I'm a curious person. As such I seek out interesting things and choose to learn more; however, our daily lives are enough to teach us something new each and every day and reflecting on your daily learning is a great way to solidify your growth and development. Who or what has taught you something new today?

Today's lesson for me is in procrastination. Yikes, yes, I'm a procrastinator and I hate saying that. It feels like I need to be in front of a room apologizing with "My name is Chris and I'm a procrastinator". Somehow that seems to be a label that makes me feel like a terrible person/coach/consultant/mom etc.

There is something innate inside me that generally says: "Oh, I still have time to get to that", and I hate it. It falsely sets me up to push everything to the last minute. I know all the tips and techniques to manage my time and yet, something still inside me pushes everything off. That said, when I do work to deadline, I can produce some pretty great stuff, but I would say that I could even be better! 

Are you a procrastinator? 

Here are some tips to stopping from one of my favourite websites: Mind Tools:

  1. Recognize that you are procrastinating!
    • take the "Are you a Procrastinator" test
    • symptoms: filling your day with low priority items, reading emails several times without working on them, sitting down to start something and immediately going to grab a coffee, leaving items on your to-do list for a really long time, saying 'yes' to unimportant tasks that others ask you, waiting for the right mood to start your work.
  2. Work out WHY you're procrastinating.
    • are you avoiding it because it's unpleasant?
    • are you disorganized?
    • are you overwhelmed by the task?
    • are you a perfectionist?
    • do you have underdeveloped decision-making skills?
  3. Adopt Anti-Procrastination Strategies
    • treat yourself with rewards when you finish or meet certain milestones
    • ask someone to check up on you or hold you accountable
    • identify the unpleasant consequences of not doing the task
    • work out the cost of your time to your employer and shame yourself into it
    • aim to eat an elephant beetle first thing, every day which means conquering your hardest, least desirable task first thing in the morning so you don’t have to carry the load in your mind around with you all day
    • keep a to-do list
    • use Eisenhower's Urgent/Important Principle
    • become a master scheduler and project planner
    • set time-bound goals
    • focus on one task at a time.
    • create an action plan
    • start with quick wins, finish the small or easy parts first
    • break the feeling that it is unpleasant by trying it, it may not be as bad as you think
    • hold the unpleasant consequences of not doing the work at the front of your mind

So, now, I'm off go to begin working on what I should have been doing last week, but I'm focused, have my coffee and have proposed a reward of a nice glass of wine later when I'm done. Here goes nothin!