Procrastination Steals Time

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Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today. Procrastination is the thief of time. A lot of times we procrastinate because we think we are too busy. I’ve got too much going on, so to save time I will put this off until tomorrow. But by procrastinating, I actually end up costing myself more time in the long haul.

When I procrastinate, when I put something off; that phone call, that meeting; that decision, I cost myself more time in the long haul because of a few reasons. One, I further myself from when I should have made my decision, which makes my brain a little foggy. It takes me away from the point where I should have made the call, so I am not as keen as to what is the best decision. Often because I am end up delegating sloppily. In other words, I put it off; I put it off; I put it off. Suddenly then, I get put into a crunch time, and I’ve got to get it done, so then I am sloppy when I delegate. I am sloppy when I make the decision, and by being sloppy, I end up costing myself more time in the long haul because it just creates problems that I just have to fix.

Effective leaders are people that are good with their schedules; people that can get things done and make things happen. These people avoid procrastination at all costs. They just want to punch through, make decisions, and get things done. Even if it means making some wrong decisions now and then, it’s okay because I am making decisions, and I am getting things done.

There are some things that should never be procrastinated. Now I get it, you’ve got a really hard decision. You’ve got something that is going to take some time to prepare for, and I get the temptation to put that off a little bit. I’m not saying that’s right, but I get it. However, when there are some things that you can do real quick, why would you ever procrastinate on something like that? Just get it done.

David Allen in his book The Two Minute Rule talks about this very thing. If there is something that you think you can get it done in two minutes or less, just get it done. If it’s a quick phone call, a quick email, a quick go-talk-to-somebody, if you can do it in two minutes or less, don’t even bother to writing it down he says. Don’t put it on your to-do list. It’s going to take you 30 seconds to put it on your to-do list by the time you find your pen and you write it down. Just do it.

A lot of times we procrastinate on things we should just do. There is nothing as painful as a bunch of monkeys hanging on your neck. Do you ever feel like you have a bunch of monkeys hanging on your neck? Then you think, man, I really need to get some of these monkeys off of my neck and off my back. If you want to get monkeys off of your back, just be action-oriented. Choose to get things done. This is why you need to schedule your week, schedule your day. Choose to do the important things first and not the urgent things or the things always pulling on you like your phone and email. Choose to get those important things done, and procrastinate as little as possible.

Procrastination will not save you time because you have a million other things going on. Procrastination will actually cost you time because you end up making a bad decisions, and you end up delegating in a sloppy way. Those bad decisions and that sloppy delegation ends up costing you more time. Just choose today to get things done. Mark Twain said if you eat a live frog first thing in the morning, everything else will go easier the rest of the day. Your live frog everyday may need to be something that you tend to procrastinate on. Just do it. I bet if I took a look at your to-do list, I would find some things that have been on there for two weeks, maybe even a month. Just get that stuff done! Let’s all choose to eat the frog first, and stop procrastinating.

Your #1 fan,


Ryan Frank