Committed worker but procrastination is just dropping my productivity on those things that matter

by Ally

Overcome procrastination for the committed worker sounds like an oxymoron.

However, over-commitment is another common cause of procrastination.

Case Study: Michael

Michael was always the first to put his hand up when things needed to be done.

When the boss asked for a report to be done, most of the other employees would blend into the walls - knowing Michael would put his hand up.

Michael was the employee that every boss wanted! He was willing and motivated to step up and take responsibility and get the task done.

Michael often did a great job - the only problem was that he never did it on time! He often committed to tasks and responsibilities before figuring out how he was going to do them.

In short, Michael was overwhelmed with work and often passed over for promotion because he couldn't meet his deadlines.

Are you dedicated and enthusiastic? Do you have trouble saying No?

Do you take on far more commitments at home and work - than you really need to?

While desire and motivation are fantastic qualities, it is not possible to do everything at once.

Often being over-committed can lead to poorer quality of work and family life.

If you have trouble saying no and as a result have a crazily overloaded schedule, then a couple of things could help:

  1. Resist the urge. Before putting your hand up again to take on a new responsibility, pause for a moment to consider your schedule.
    Ask yourself how this new responsibility fits into your time management schedule.

  2. Learn to Say No. Often in the short term it is easier to say yes rather than no. Saying "no" has the long-term advantage of allowing you to concentrate on things that are important to you.

    In the example above, Michael looks good to his boss in the short-term, but this is likely to be short-lived when he is unable to get the report in on time and lets his team down.

    Saying no can be a very difficult thing to say when you are dedicated and enthusiastic about what you are doing.

    However, a well-formed response as to ‘why’ you are unable to do the task and that you cannot focus on your priorities can help.

    If it is your boss that you are saying ‘no’ to, then take time out and think about the things you are currently doing, and then meet with your boss to prioritize your projects and their anticipated time lines.

  3. Prioritize your work. Time management skills revolve around prioritizing. One prioritizing strategy that you can harness is the 80/20 rule.
    This is the rule that 20 percent of your actions contribute to 80 percent of your output. So focus your effort on the 20 percent that are important and matter.

    Here is a time management activity to prioritize your work:

    - Draw up a list of 10 actions on your to do list.

    - Identify the top 2 items on that list.

    - Pursue those two items until you have completed them and moved onto the remainder of your list. This ensures that you stay on the right side of the Pareto principle, the 80/20 rule that ensures you focus on the 20 percent of tasks that contribute to 80% of your output.

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