How To Zap Procrastination As A Manager

by: Jim Roche

Why is it that my garage makes me tired? It’s a nice garage, as far as those things go. It’s big enough and bright too. But the floor needs sweeping, the walls need painting and the clutter needs organizing. The real problem, though, is that I’ve been meaning to do these things since Bush was President. The first Bush.

My garage is an incomplete. It sucks energy from me. Every time I roll my car into it, I think, “I should paint that wall,” or, “I should tidy up that pile of junk over there.” It’s like the stack of unread books beside my bed. “I should read those books.” Most of us have incompletes in our personal and business lives. Each one is like a little energy leech. Doesn’t it feel good to tick something off a to-do list? It frees up energy. Conversely, having an incomplete drag along on the list traps energy.

If an incomplete sucks energy, what can we do about it? Use one of the four Ds: Do it, Delegate it, Dump it, or Defer it.

The best is to just dig in and get it done. The next best is to get someone else to do it. Third best is to just forget about it – dump the whole idea. Another alternative is to schedule it for later but then really do it then (or else it becomes another incomplete).

I decided to divide and conquer my garage. I swept it on Saturday. I’ve hired someone to paint it later this month. I decided that I’m okay with the clutter around the firewood. And next Saturday I’m going to clean up the clutter by the door.

Ah, that feels good. Now what to do about those books?

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