Questions to Ask to Avoid Procrastination
In the first blog on procrastination, I identified three possible reasons why people might choose not to do the most essential task in favor of a less essential task. (http://www.mclarencoaching.com/procrastination-part-i-what-is-it-really/)
The first reason was:
Sometimes we don’t clearly see which is the most essential task.
Everyday, we make choices about what to work on. There are a number of ways to find the most essential task. Underlying all of them will be learning to be more conscious and purposeful about what you are choosing to do.
Identifying the most essential task is a challenge for many people. There is a concept called Pareto’s principle that says 80% of your results are generated by 20% of the actions you take. The key is to determine which of your actions are part of those 20% that will make the biggest difference in your day. (See http://www.mclarencoaching.com/time-management-tip-10-paretos-principle/ for my blog on Pareto’s principle.)
Once way to approach this is, before you begin that next task, ask yourself certain questions in order to consciously choose what to work on next. You might ask:
• What impact will this have on the rest of my day?
• Is this really important to me; or is it more important to someone else? (This will help you see if you are getting drawn into someone else’s agenda.)
• Am I doing (or avoiding) this task because of how I feel about it. (You’d be amazed how often we choose to do or not do things because we want to or don’t want to, rather than what task is in fact the most essential.)
• Who can I talk to who will help me to determine the most essential task at this time?
Other questions that you ask yourself? How do you determine which task is most essential? What gets in the way of your making that determination? Comment below.
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