The "P" Word... Procrastination

Cynthia Kyriazis
 


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A problem many of us are familiar with. Its showing up in your work environment interfering with your daily life…. and peace of mind.

What does procrastination look like? Clutter on your desktop, over-stuffed filing cabinets, chaotic digital files, not getting to work on your priorities and failing to make deadlines to name just a few. The outcome? More stress, anxiety and frustration about what ‘wasn't done’. Reduced efficiencies. Wasted time. Fewer productivity gains. Simply put, delaying decisions is a deal breaker when it comes to personal performance and satisfaction. . . particularly in the workplace.

You're probably thinking that there are many reasons we procrastinate and you're right. And none of them are going to make a difference if you really want to overcome this roadblock. Here's how to begin shifting this paradigm:

Have you vision and ownership of your goals? A key point. Without the vision it's hard to remain focused on priorities and execution. You also need to write down your goals. Make them measurable, relevant and timelined in a way that helps you stay accountable to yourself.

What types of things do you procrastinate about? Most of us probably procrastinate to some degree about something. Even Professional Organizers. Years ago I began recognizing specific areas in which I was a procrastinator. I started using a timer to get me to take action within a certain period of time. It got me through the task and eventually these actions became a habit. Changing a negative habit to a positive one is the key. Take a minute to think about specific areas in your life where you might be delaying decisions. List a variety of methods that can help you work through that…and don't forget to include some rewards along the way.

Who can help? One thing that helps us get through change is support from family, friends and co-workers. If you want to change your behavior, identify one area or topic in which you know you procrastinate, list the action steps you can take overcome this hurdle and then share your goal with someone. I call them an ‘accountability coach’. Call this person for encouragement when you feel yourself slipping. Find someone who can help and offer to do something in exchange for them.

Start now. Take action. Because it's all about your actions…and not just your intentions. Remember…thoughts become words…words become actions…actions turn into habits…habits develop character…and your character is your destiny.

Copyright 2003 Cynthia Kyriazis. All rights reserved

Cynthia Kyriazis is an organizing and time management consultant, trainer, speaker, coach and author with over 20 years management experience in multi-unit corporations. Organize it, a division of Productivity Partners, Inc. is an organizational training firm she founded in 1995 and has been serving Fortune 500 clients ever since. Cynthia works with business and their employees to help improve performance and realize productivity gains.

Cynthia has appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Kansas City Star and the Legal Intelligencer. She currently serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO), member of the National Speakers Association (NSA), member of the Kansas City of the International Society for Performance Improvement – (ISPI-KC) and consultant to the American Coaching Association.

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