Vincy Workplace
November 13, 2009

Managing your priorities

AFTER DOING everything all the time management experts and books say to do, have you ever wondered why you still procrastinate? There are just those days when procrastination seems to be the easiest and best way out of a situation.{{more}}

Whether it’s a long report, a phone call, or a promise you know you have to fulfill, it just sometimes feels impossible to get motivated to complete the task. So why do we procrastinate when it most often causes us feelings of stress, frustration and utter mental pain?

1. Obligation. Humans hate to be told what to do. Resistance builds-up when we are told we “have to” do something. However, we are naturally energised when we “want to” do something. The minute the mind hears “have to” your procrastination routine begins. Strive instead to “want to” finish the task and it will eliminate the feelings of obligation.

2. It’s not that important. If it’s not a real priority for you then that item will inevitably get pushed all the way to the back burner each time.

We all commit to things that it would be nice to do but the question should be are you the person to do it? Often times even though it would be nice to do something, it doesn’t mean you are the person to do it. Even when a task is important, if there are no real consequences for not doing the task on time or reward for getting done in a timely fashion again we tend to postpone or avoid the task all together. Practice delegating and asking a colleague to help or simply learn to say no.

3. Perfectionism. Some people feel if you can’t do it perfectly the first time don’t even bother to attempt it. That need to be perfect paralyses many people as they strategise ways to get it right the first time. Errors will occur as we are human so keep that is mind the next time you invariably start postponing a project. Perfection is practically impossible; one should strive for excellence not perfection. Start small, break a project down into smaller task with a time limit to reduce to overwhelming feelings.

4.Pain avoidance. Sometimes the stakes are high and there is a consequence for late completion or there is a reward for a timely completion and even then our brain and body just doesn’t seem to be in sync. In cases like these, we think it’s more painful to do the task and the delay tactics bring a certain level of comfort. It’s never really as painful as it seems. Again, come up with reasons why you “want to” complete the task as oppose to why you “have to”.

Karen Hinds is “The Workplace Success Expert” For a FREE SPECIAL REPORT on 7 Ways to Develop your Competitive Edge in the Workplace, send an email to Visit online at