3 Techniques to Derail Procrastination, Not Your Career

Paul Newton
I head the FME team of management and IT professionals from a variety of backgrounds both commercial and non-profit organizations. As a team we are keen to share our expertise and knowledge with individuals at all levels of management. Each eBook, template and checklist has been written to help individuals develop the competencies they need for a successful career.
Do you find that you have an impossible number of tasks to complete each day?  Have you fallen into the habit of procrastination ? Finding that one-day turns into a week, this turns into a fortnight and pretty soon you have fallen behind on too many tasks to ever get caught up properly.


This can be especially difficult when your decisions have real-world consequences for your staff and organization.  You can break out of this procrastination trap by using three simple techniques that prevent your career being derailed. By staying on top of your duties as a manager meeting your deadlines you will feel less pressured.

Morning To-Do List

One effective method of staying on track is to make a to-do list at that start of each morning. It should include everything you need to do that day, both work and personal. Looking at this list you’ll be better placed to prioritise your tasks rather than just plunging in.

There is no benefit thinking you’ll make a list once the day has started because by then you’ll probably begin to feel overloaded, stressed or tired and be unable to think as logically.

Get in a routine of making your list whilst doing something relaxing like having your first cup of coffee at your desk before you do anything. You can then start your morning with a logical plan that ensures you have a productive day.

Hardest Tasks First

Tackle the hardest task on your list first whilst you are at your freshest and most efficient. The human brain naturally fatigues during the day, making it harder to concentrate and think clearly.

By using these two tactics the end of your day will see yourself working on the easier tasks satisfied that the most difficult tasks are completed or in-hand. This gives you a strong feeling of satisfaction as you work to complete the rest of your list.

 10-Minute Rule

This is a simple way to prevent your self from going round and round in circles making no progress with a task. You simply apply the 10-minute rule to tasks that hit a brick wall or seem to have no resolution.

After having spent 10-minutes working on this task and getting no-where you stop what you are doing and choose one of two ways to address this impasse. You either seek someone, possibly an expert, for assistance who will be able to suggestion a different approach, or you take a break defining when you’ll come back to it.

Staring at the same task for hours without making any progress will just frustrate you and be a waste of your valuable time. Stick with the ten-minute rule when dealing with a stubborn task and you won’t waste you whole day on any one job.

Don’t let yourself become addicted to procrastination. It will destroy your productivity and portray the wrong image to your seniors damaging your career potential. This free eBook will help you to break out of such a habit.


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This great article is one in a huge series which tackles the 6 Biggest Challenges Leaders face according to theCentre For Creative Leaderships Report published 2013    Don’t Miss Out!  Sign up here to be notified of our subsequent issues and posts