I meant to send this last week but I put it off. Why? I like to tell myself I’ve been too busy. Which is true, I have been busy. But at the same time, I’ve managed to get so many other things done.
Ugh. I hate to admit it, but this is starting to sound like procrastination. At least I know I’m in good company. I’m often amazed to hear so many people admit to struggling with procrastination.
Procrastination is rarely driven by a lack of time. There are often much more influential forces at work. In most cases, the root source of procrastination can be uncovered and consequently addressed, simply by asking ourselves why we seem to WAIT.
Worth: Does this piece of work provide value?
Yes, I do believe that this e-newsletter provides value (so this is clearly not the cause of my procrastination). On the other hand, when you perceive that a task does not hold value, I suggest deleting it, delegating it, or trying to understand it’s worth from the perspective of your customer/colleague/boss, etc.
Accountability: Have I committed to this task?
No, I have not committed to a deadline for each e- newsletter. The timing is completely within my control. Unfortunately, this makes it all too easy to delay publication. And so, I now commit to sending this e-newsletter during the second week of every month. Despite the mild anxiety I’m feeling, this simple step introduces some pretty strong influence – and I trust I can count on many of you to hold me accountable!
Imperfection: Am I comfortable with good enough?
Yes (and no). Clearly, there is no such thing as a ‘perfect’ message. There are simply too many variations. In most cases, good is more than good enough. Striving for more simply results in needless delays. People will still learn about productivity, even if this message is not nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. And so, starting with this message, I am striving for good enough.
Too Big: Am I breaking this project down into smaller chunks?
No. For whatever reason, I find writing to be a struggle. When I think about my next e-newsletter, I picture a mountain of work on par with scaling Mount Kilimanjaro. Silly, isn’t it? Because, when I break it down, this task becomes so much more tolerable – and even, dare I say, enjoyable. The first draft took me all of 20 minutes. Following another 20 minute ‘edit’ session, I had a solid message that was ‘good enough’. Suddenly, this project didn’t seem ‘too big’ after all.
Can you relate? If you’re finding yourself procrastinating, ask yourself what is causing you to WAIT. If you can get to yes on all of the above questions, you’ll be off and running in no time.