At a recent workshop I was giving, I talked a little bit about time management and how this one skill is critical to excelling professionally. Afterward, a woman approached me and asked, “Red, what about procrastination?” She wanted to know if that was a time management issue, then proceeding to tell me how she is “always” late.
My response to her was in the form of a couple of questions and the interaction went something like this…
“Do you procrastinate with everything?”
“Are you able to get to work on time?”
I went through a couple different scenarios with her, to which she replied that she was on time for certain things and that’s when I shared that being repeatedly late is not about failing to manage your time. It’s about your values. It’s about what is important to you.
For example, even if you’re a person who is chronically late, it’s highly likely that you’d still make it on time to catch your flight if you’re going on vacation. Why? Because you value your time away from work, time in which you can recharge your batteries and create wonderful memories with family or friends.
It’s also highly likely that you’d appear at your wedding or a family member’s funeral on time. Why? Because these types of events are majorly important, giving them a high value and making it imperative that you’re there when they start.
It’s the same basic premise in business. If you place a lot of value on growing your online presence, for instance, then you’ll make sure your social media posts or blog posts are consistent and regular. And if you value networking, you’ll appear at local events when they start because you know that it looks good to future connections.
On the other hand, if you are tasked with something that you give a low value to, then the opposite is true. You’ll find it harder to not only show up on time, maybe even not showing up at all.
It doesn’t necessarily even have to be something that you don’t value, but maybe it has a low score because you simply don’t like doing it. That makes it extremely hard for you to get it done, causing you to push it off and push it off, procrastinating as much as you possibly can.
To help you avoid this type of issue, it helps to first understand why a particular task is a struggle for you. Is it something that you don’t understand? Something you don’t like doing? Something you don’t feel is all that important?
Once you answer these types of questions, you have two options. Either you can find a way to make it more valuable or you can simply toss the action off your plate, never to worry about it again.
If you choose the former, you can actually still take it off your plate by having someone else take care of it for you. For example, if you don’t like to write your blogs, hire someone to write them for you. And if you don’t understand how to SEO your website, hire someone to do it for you.
This way you can still get things done without having to do them yourself. That makes it a win-win.