There are various techniques for avoiding procrastination. Here are my favorite techniques:
• Taking The Path Of Least Resistance,
• Doing It Now Or Doing It
• Plodding Through It
• Delegating The Task To Others
• Avoiding Making People Decisions
• Institutionalizing Key Decision Points
• Biting The Bullet Earlier On
1. Take the path of least resistance
My executive team is required to set the salaries for functional positions. Last year, we moved through these discussions quickly and gave raises to the functional managers with little information with the premise that the salaries for these positions were under market. In my opinion, we took the path of least resistance. This year was different. The executive team discussed salaries and raises as part of the executive agenda. These raises were argued and debated based on merit and the improvements made by each functional leader. In the final analysis, the functional managers received raises and bonuses commensurate with their performance. Higher performing managers received the greatest rewards.
2. Do it now or do it later
I have found that creating a list of things to do help me overcome procrastination. Recently, I asked a very productive member of my team: how do you accomplish all your assignments? And how do you avoid procrastinating? His answer was short and direct. He said “The work will still be in my to-do-virtual-pile whether I do it now or do it later.” Thus, I’ll make a list, prioritize it and go to work.” Wow, it sounds like common sense but while procrastinating, I think we somehow conveniently forget that simple concept.
3. Plod through it
Predictably not everyone is the same. Find a challenge and you will also find many ways to overcome it. Some people prefer to “plod through it.” They start by choosing to tackle the hardest and more difficult tasks head on. These mavericks prefer to create a list of things to do, and at the top of the list place the hardest to do items. The objective is to avoid putting off important items because these tasks have the greatest reward to effort ratio.
4. Delegate task to others
Why do the work when someone else with higher qualification, skills or more time can do it? Therefore, another strategy for getting the work done is to delegate some tasks that can be adequately handled by someone else, quickly, while providing adequate oversight. Using follow-up and status meetings, I would monitor the work in progress to ensure that the task is done to my satisfaction while allowing for creativity and flexibility. People are smart. Therefore, if you give them a challenge and inform them of the desire results, they will surprise you with creative solutions.
5. Procrastination of people decisions
Underperforming members of the team can create risks for getting the job done. In general, team leaders and managers exaggerate the risks of replacing underperforming team members and disregard the cost and schedule risks of maintaining the status quo. Not changing underperforming team-members can lead to disasters.
6. Institutionalize key decision points
Smart business leaders, set up policies and time sensitive procedures for making important decisions. For example, performance evaluations are required to be performed twice per year on specific dates. The management team develops integrated tools to manage progress and ping non performing managers. Completing of performance evaluation on the established dates is mandated by the organization and forces manager to evaluate their employees in a timely fashion.
7. Bite The Bullet Earlier On
In response to my inquiry, a business professional explained that it is easy to submit to procrastination. However, he learned by trial and error that delaying a decision is damaging and detrimental. He recommends biting the bullet earlier on the decision-making process. Basically, get it done.
Everyone has their favorite techniques for avoiding procrastination. Which one is your favorite?
Dr. Victor Ramos is a Full Professor at the School of Business Jack Welch Management Institute,
Strayer University. He is a business research practitioner, entrepreneur and the founder of American Brokerage Firms (insurance, real estate, home mortgages and income tax service provider), Vice Chairman of Strategic Federal Credit Union, and Matrix Manager at a fortune 500 Corporation.
As Vice Chairman and Matrix Manager of a fortune 500 Corporation, Dr. Ramos was instrumental in streamlining investments, worldwide financial operations and integrated enterprise management systems. Additionally, I successfully negotiated and managed multi-billion dollars business arrangements.
Additionally, he has significant experiences performing marketing in support of international marketing operations. For example, while working at an international fortune 500 company, I was a member of a marketing team that marketed high technology, integrated ground commercial unmanned air vehicle systems and innovative remote maintenance operational systems in the United States and in the international marketplace. Follow him on Twitter @Dr_Ramos_V.