Friday, July 19


Procrastination is very expensive!

When we delay our decisions, we have to think over again, that takes time and emotional energy. Procrastinate again, and now you are thinking it through a 3rd time, expending more energy and time.

The ‘do it now’ person will have made 3 decisions, or taken 3 actions in the time we have taken 1.

Let’s be honest, of course, that some decisions really do need much more thorough consideration than others. But we know when we are procrastinating and when we really do need more information to make a more informed decision. There is a difference.

Procrastination can be expensive, because we miss the deal. If we acted when our instinct told us that ‘we should snap it up now’, or ‘make that call now’ we could have won that deal, or made that investment at the start of its climb, or …

Now, let’s be honest, this can also be a false pressure on us to invest now, which we need to be careful of. Valuable research needs to be done. But as long as we are discerning the difference – the difference between irrational pressure, procrastination and a ‘do it now’ moment, we are ok.

I try and live by a ‘do it now’ approach with emails, sms’, in fact all forms of communication. Why put a name on a list of people you mean to call when you can call them now? Why put-off answering that email, when later you will only need to re-read it, re-think it and still need to reply, taking twice the time. You’ve read it? Reply now.

Now, let’s be honest, you can’t do everything NOW. That becomes a spontaneous life that has no order and isn’t ensuring the important trumps the urgent.

So this is how I handle that dilemma. I divide up my day. And then in each section of the day I apply the ‘do it now’ principle

I divide my day by matching energy levels with tasks needing to be done. So for me I have to generate a lot of content – leadership training, preaching, writing; I also have a high need to be planning and strategising. All these activities require deep and uninterrupted thought. This is best done right at the start of a day.

Administration and meetings, these I generally do in the afternoon.

So that blog I’ve been meaning to write but keep putting off gets done now, because I have a section of my day for that. In the middle of the day if I give half an hour to emails, I read and reply now – I can because I have sectioned off time for that. I don’t open a mail or an sms until I can reply ‘now’ – but because I allow time for it – I am responding to communication within a few hours generally speaking.

Steve, how do you find time for that? I do it now! I have saved hours of thinking time each week by doing it now, so that I can do it now! For those who procrastinate, or 2nd touch an item of work, you have at least doubled the time you spend on something.

I’ll do that later. Why do we put certain things off? Often its because we think motivation must come before action. But that is not true, often action comes before motivation. If we get the action started now, the wheels of momentum being to turn, which is highly motivating. It is generally the starting of something that is the hardest. So start now.

Now I have far from mastered this topic. It is all too easy to be distracted in those deep thought moments. But we have to note that these interruptions, it has been said, can take up to half an hour to get back the flow you had. So the fact remains … do it now is the principle to live by, and stay in the moment until it is done, whenever you can!

Why don’t you try putting it action now!?

Further reading : if you find making decisions difficult here is a good blog for you – Fear of better options is the reason you can’t make decisions.