Procrastination. Where to start?
I wish I could say that I’ve never had to worry about this, but in reality, I have been a procrastinator for as long as I can remember. I put things off until the last possible minute and think, “Oh, I’ve got plenty of time to take care of it.” More often than not, I end up causing myself and others unnecessary stress. Kicking my procrastination habit is a work in progress, but I’m committed! This edition of TRIO focuses on three things that are helping me not only start projects but finish them.
It didn’t take me long to realize that part of my procrastination problem was that I had a disconnect between the amount of time I think I spend on something and where my day actually went. A time audit helped me identify patterns where I regularly lost time. I simply started writing things down. I took a paper planner and instead of writing down things that I needed to do, I wrote down things that I actually did. The results increased my productivity and decreased my distractions. Where do you think you can save time in your day?
Several years ago, I had the opportunity to take the StrengthsFinder – now known as CliftonStrengths – through Gallup. The online assessment consists of a series of “would you rather” statements. The premise is to discover your top natural talents and how to maximize your potential using them Completing it took less than 20 minutes, and I have to be honest, the results have been life-changing. When it came to procrastination, I recognized that it was generally a certain type of task that I put off. The process has taught me to focus on areas in which I naturally excel.
Asking for help isn’t something that comes naturally to most people. For me, asking for help has always felt like the equivalent of admitting failure. That changed after embracing the strengths-based perspective. I now see asking for help as just that – asking for help. I’ve also learned that most of the time, people are happy to help! This Harvard Business Review article offers simple ways to get better at asking for assistance.
Want to learn more about how to be successful in completing what you start? Join us for Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done, a session that is a part of our lunchtime HR Matters series. Call 405.377.3333 with questions or register here. To find out about more courses like this sign up for our monthly e-newsletter. View all of our upcoming courses in our digital catalog.
Cara Adney is the Marketing and Media Relations Coordinator at Meridian Technology Center.