Most people don’t know that I’m a recovering addict. For years I let this addiction stop me from progressing in life. I missed important events, deadlines and even the chance to see someone for the final time before they passed away. It took a long time for me to realize how massive my addiction had become and actually build the strength to do something about it. While I’m not completely out of the woods, I appreciate my progress. I am no longer prey…
That was my addiction.
It had gotten so bad that a friend nicknamed me “Excuse Lady.” YIKES! In my mind I had so much time to get things done but in reality, I didn’t. There was no real sense of urgency because I could always get a deadline extended or completely worm my way out of doing something. This is not the way to live a productive life!
It’s bad to stall on getting things done intentionally. I believe it’s worse though when you feel like progress is being made on something but when you look up you’re still in the same place. Let’s chat about some ways that we all may think we’re making progress when we’re actually devaluing our time.
Website tweaks: if you have a website, I know you want it to look its absolute best and be user friendly. I’m guilty! Last week I spent too much time going through website templates and plugins to try creating a perfect fit. Guess what I wound up doing at the end of it all. Keeping my website exactly the way it was. At some point you must slowly back away from your computer and leave the desk if you plan to get anything done for the day. Is your website up and running? Are visitors able to navigate easily? Yes? Then give it a rest.
Research: this is a tricky one here. Yes, I am absolutely telling you that doing research will halt your productivity. If you’re anything like me, you might start out searching “How to start a new garden?” and wind up on YouTube watching a video on how to talk to a giraffe. Just pointless! To avoid this…
- Go to websites that specialize in the answers that you need. Don’t go on a lawn care website to learn how to get rid of bugs. They may have an article on it but you’ll get more direct answers if you visit a pest control site.
- Set a time limit. If you don’t find the answer you need in an hour, let it go and try again some other time.
Meetings: and more meetings. I have been noticing an unfortunate trend with these. They don’t serve a meaningful purpose. If you spend 15 minutes of this time talking about what you did over the weekend, you have missed the point of the gathering. To avoid this…
- Focus on the topic at hand. It’s likely that everyone involved is leading a busy life. Respect this by making the most of your time together.
- End with action items. Everyone has a part to play here. People should leave with tasks to complete and bring back to the next meeting. This keeps everyone accountable in doing their part and keeps the agenda moving forward.
- Use technological alternatives. This goes back to respecting the time of those involved. Is it always necessary to meet in person to provide an update? Nope! Consider conference calls, video conferences and emails. I don’t think that anyone will be upset about getting an email update while they enjoy their family instead of taking time to meet face to face.
Networking: I love people. I enjoy building and maintaining connections in a lasting way. Whenever I go to an unfamiliar place, you might find me chatting with a person that I’ve seemingly known for years. It’s just what I do! This can be a downfall. When it comes to business, the social butterfly needs to be tamed. Here’s how…
- Mingle with everyone. Don’t spend an hour talking to the person that you connected with because you were wearing the same statement socks (or some other cool coincidence). Take that person’s number or social networking handles and connect later.
- Focus on your target audience. If you are interested in meeting people of a specific age group or profession, go to events that have these people in great quantity. Even if it’s not the kind of event that you might enjoy. FOCUS, baby, FOCUS! Work now, play later.
My favorite artist understood our plight! She recorded a song appropriately titled Procrastination. In it, Amy sings about the things that she needed to get done versus the things that she actually did. Here it is for your listening pleasure, if her music is your cup of tea.
Are you a recovering addict of procrastination? What are some ways that you dodge procrastination to keep your goals on track?