One of the most common things people ask for help with is time management. When I dig down, I find that many clients are actually trying to fix procrastination. But, in most cases, procrastination isn’t really a time management problem. Instead, it is more about motivation (or lack of motivation) to get something done.
When I examined my own areas of procrastination (yep – I deal with this too), I found my feeling of being stuck fell into three categories: (1) I don’t have enough information to feel confident in choosing what to do, (2) I don’t see the value in doing the task, and (3) I don’t like doing that task. I too can beat myself up for failing to get everything done.
When the issue is not enough information, there are generally two potential solutions. One, figure out how to get the information you need and then proceed. Sometimes it is as easy as sending the correct person an email and asking a few questions. Two, determine that you have all the information that is available and you need to proceed anyway. This was the case the first time I wrote a grant proposal. I had no idea if I did it correctly. I had to do the best I could and then submit the grant on time. It wasn’t comfortable but I did it anyway (Good news! I got the grant!!).
When the issue is that I don’t see the value in the task, I ask myself why is it on my to-do list. It is often because it is important to someone else. Then I have to decide if making that person happy is important enough to me to make it a priority for me. Don’t forget, when you examine your to-dos, you can decide to eliminate things that don’t make sense to you.
Most of my things fall into the I don’t like doing that task category. While there are things that only I can do, there are a number of things that can be handed off to others.
Make a list of the things you are procrastinating. Determine which category they fall into.
If they are things where you don’t have as much information as you’d like, either seek additional information or make a decision and move forward.
If they are things you don’t see as valuable, decide if you can eliminate them (or if getting someone else to do them makes more sense).
If they are things you don’t like, determine if it is something you can have someone else do.
Learning to delegate is a skill. If done well, you can stop doing a bunch of stuff and you gain back time to apply in other areas. But that means you have to learn how to delegate to get the benefits. Just like the first time you do anything, you are likely to make some mistakes and feel frustrated along the way. It is important that you regroup and keep moving forward rather than giving up.
I talked about the benefits of delegating in my blog about earning back an additional 340 hours per year here.
If you need someone to delegate to a virtual assistant might be the way to go. I’m currently giving away 10 hours with a virtual assistant to a lucky person who signs up for my newsletter before 1/31/2023. If you win, you could try it out without any risk or cost! Just go to iWantMoreSuccess.com to sign up today!
Charlise Latour is a business coach and owner of Accelerate Your Success. She works with each client to determine what their goals are and create a plan so they can achieve them. She is actively involved in Dancing & Singing With the King, which raises money to promote dance education including working with local schools to offer dance classes during the school day. This is a natural fit as she is an avid ballroom dancer.