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It appears everyone procrastinates at different degrees.   Some like to get things done right away, some like to have a well thought out plan and most use a combination of these two school of thoughts and yet wait until they get near the deadline to even start!   The rationale is we have thought about it and planned it in our mind, while in reality we have procrastinated until it is almost too late.   The pressure to get it done at the last minute is the motivation!

Many of us feel the pressure of the deadline is what motivates us to do our best work.  When we have time, there are other important matters and many distractions to take our attention away from focusing on the task at hand.

If there is no deadline, then it becomes easier to procrastinate since there is no sense of urgency.  Last summer I was asked to prepare some information to be reviewed on a rainy day.   No deadline was imposed.   So I ask myself why is it still sitting in my home office?  I am task oriented, get things done ahead of or just before they are due.   For me, that’s why I procrastinate – it’s the deadline that motivates me!

Recently in one of our company discussions, Atif shared a TED Talk by Tim Urban called “Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator”

This was an enjoyable and fun take on Tim’ version of what goes on inside his head.   There is the “Rational Decision-Maker” who plans and knows things need to get done well ahead of time.  Then there is the “Instant Gratification Monkey” who wants to do the easy and fun stuff now.   Does this sound like what goes on in your mind?

When there are deadlines, the “Panic Monster” wakes up and time to get things done at the last minute.  When there is no deadline, the “Panic Monster” lays dormant while the “Monkey” keeps pushing the easy and fun stuff.

Our group tossed around some good ideas and feedback on what we can do to help with not procrastinating.  We agreed to always set deadlines and to hold ourselves accountable to each other for any group discussions, ideas and plans to ensure they are executed successfully.  The concept of “Eat That Frog First” by Brian Tracy was shared as a  way to help:  Start your day with the biggest, most important and dreaded task because it’s also the task you are most likely to procrastinate.

Are you procrastinating and how are you dealing with not procrastinating?

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