Beating Procrastination – Why Are You Doing A Particular Job?
I spoke about procrastination last week and how to spot it when you’re doing it. One thing that helps you procrastinate less is to be clear about why you need to do the difficult jobs you keep deferring.
It’s easy to feel them as just shitty jobs and better if you feel how they’re going to help you feel better once you’ve done them, right? So think about how a big job is going to help.
Think about the benefit you’re going to get when the job is done – how it’s going to help your immediate situation – and think about how it contributes to your long-term plan for your business.
There are a few reasons we’re doing the big or difficult jobs.
Sometimes we’re investing in growth – building systems and structure or building teams/hiring people.
Sometimes you’re hoping to solve a problem or fix something that’s frustrating you. Sometimes you’re trying to make something happen (more work, win a particular job) – like a short-term goal rather than a long-term investment in the future strong business.
Sometimes there are two ways to get the job done. There’s the proper, long-term way that grows your business properly and there’s the quick fix that solves the immediate problem but doesn’t build anything for the future.
I’m thinking here, for example, about hiring someone. You can follow the proper process and write the job description, the attributes you want, the ad, interview questions, interview people, select someone and check their references and then hire them.
Or you can put it out to your network a bit and someone you know can come forward and you just do a deal and off you go.
The first way is the best way, you’ve built a process and you’ve taken the best chance of ensuring you hire someone good.
The second way leaves a lot more to chance. You might grab someone great with very little effort. And you might hire someone sh*t based on liking them a few years ago or someone you know liking them.
Or your network might not produce anything and you’re off to the process anyway).
There’s nothing wrong with a quick win – except they can be more risky, of course.
Is chasing a quick win instead of doing the proper job that requires more effort another form of procrastination? Could be, couldn’t it?
Anyway, I’m talking about when you’re procrastinating and you catch yourself thinking specifically about how completing the task will help, can help you be more motivated to do the shitty hard thing instead of procrastinating on it.
If you’re trying to fix something that’s causing you frustration, the benefit is kind of immediate and obvious, isn’t it?
But if the benefit is longer term, if you’re investing in structure and systems that will help you grow your business properly, you’ll have to work a bit harder, won’t you?
You’ll have to think about the benefit you’ll get down the track, which probably feels quite removed from today. You might need to use some of the other tricks to help you not procrastinate – breaking the job into small chunks, giving yourself a reward,
promising your coach or an accountability buddy that you’ll do it by a certain deadline – that kind of thing.
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