All of us procrastinate to some extent.
However, the best time-managers procrastinate on tasks that are of low importance. They procrastinate on things that don’t matter to them because they have far bigger fish to fry.
Procrastination only becomes a problem with tasks that are of high importance. These may be important relationships, major projects, your health and family.
As a result, putting these things off can cause stress and impact on job prospects and relationships.
To reduce the cost of procrastination to you, it is important to identify your top priorities and set time aside to ensure that you do this.
How can you do this?
Firstly, it is important to determine what is important and what is urgent.
Important are those tasks that at the end of the day/month/year are worthwhile to you to put your time and effort into them.
These are your big-ticket items and these tasks are usually linked to your personal goal setting or your business KPIs.
On the other hand, urgent tasks are those that may be slightly important (they may be important to others) but are grabbing your attention. These are often phone calls, emails, or other interruptions that vie for your attention.
I talk more about this quadrant approach to time management at the time management matrix.
To reduce the costs of procrastination to you, you need to be able to identify what are your most important tasks. These are usually the tasks that are aligned with your goals and constitute 20% of tasks that contribute to 80% of your output.
It is important that you are on the right side of the Pareto principle (or the 80/20 rule) and that you are spending the time when you are most alert on these tasks.
In short, it is important to overcome procrastination on those 20% of tasks that generate 80% of your returns.
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