Author Rory Vaden writes in his e-book The Secret to Self-Discipline that there are three types of procrastination. I have known HR professionals who have suffered from each, as have I. So I wanted to give you this short lesson in hopes it will improve your work.
First is classic procrastination, something we have all done. It is just avoiding what needs to be done. There are many reasons for this avoidance. Figure out what that reason is and overcome it.
The second form is what Vaden called creative avoidance. According to Vaden this is “… unconsciously filling the day with menial work to the point where we end up getting busy just being busy!” It is paying attention to every email, every Twitter message, responding to friends and colleagues on Facebook, reading news and more until at the end of the day we feel like we have worked all day but have accomplished nothing. It was being efficient but not being effective.
The third type is what he calls “priority dilution.” This is, according to Vaden, “…most commonly found in high-performing people—the ones who are the most busy, competent, and overwhelmed. They have so many emails, meetings, objectives, family matters, and other responsibilities on their plate that they can start to lose control of their effectiveness.” It is doing the urgent not the important.
The solution for all three of these is not understanding what to do, but understanding what not to do. Vaden says this is a critical skill that needs to be taught to today’s younger workers. Though I dare say we older workers could always use a refresher. Vaden’s piece of advice is “It’s only as we embrace the incredible volume of noise in our work and our lives that we can silence it—or at least reduce it to a dull roar. Ignore the noise. Conquer the critical. Manage the minutiae.” Pretty sound stuff.
You can read his article and download the e-book here.
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