I will get to that to tomorrow
Column by Michael Norton
This week has been one of those crazy busy weeks for me. It was full of calls, meetings, travel, and lots of reports, proposals and presentations to write, prepare for, and deliver. Normally I am well organized and avoid falling too far behind.
This year I made a commitment to stay organized by having a more focused and prioritized “to-do” list. It has made a significant difference for me in that I am accomplishing so much more. This week, however, I found myself getting caught up in the procrastination game, telling myself, “I will get to that tomorrow.”
Well you know what happens right? We all know what happens. More things come up, more calls, more meetings, last minute tasks or issues and now all of the items on my initial “to-do” list become compromised. And in order to complete everything I found myself taking shortcuts and not giving each project, person, or task the attention they truly deserved.
By procrastinating I found myself being spread too thin. Has this ever happened to you? I bet it has.
An attitude of “I will get to that tomorrow” can quickly become a bad habit. And as I looked back over the last month and a half I can see very clearly that my commitment to being more organized had really helped me to become more productive and less stressed out. In comparison to this week, the contrast was like night and day as my procrastination left me completely unproductive and extremely stressed.
And it all started out so well, it really did. I mean I had my list and my plan, it was focused and prioritized. I was in an excellent position to succeed. However, I failed to execute the plan. I pushed tasks aside, delayed calls, and justified it all to myself by saying I would still get it all done. Everything that I was putting off was just little things, small tasks, quick calls. The problem was that even though they were trivial in my mind, they became bigger as the week wore on.
It was a painful lesson but one that I guess I needed to learn. Nothing good comes from procrastinating. There are many benefits derived from carefully planning and preparing, prioritizing and staying focused, but only if we execute the plan. Like that old saying, “Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” This is such great wisdom that can really help us to develop a good habit of getting things done and getting them done on time.
What is holding you back from getting through your “to-do” list? Are there real barriers or just an attitude of “I will get to that tomorrow?” I would love to hear all about it, and as always, let's make this a better than good week.
Michael Norton, a resident of Highlands Ranch, is the former President of the Zig Ziglar organization and CEO and Founder of www.candogo.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org