New Year’s Card an Object Lesson for Procrastination
In the end, we frantically hand-applied labels and inserted cards, counting up to our small CRM list of 2,200. We raced downtown to beat the First-Class Mail deadline, making it with just moments to spare.
When the project was complete, I just about cried. Others who were closer to some of the production challenges celebrated its completion even as they drowned some of their frustrations in Tequila.
The problems this job encountered were not technical. And, not production-driven. They were of our own making, and procrastination was the driver.
Though we ended with a beautiful piece we can be proud of, it mailed later than it should have. There really is a limit to how late you can send out a New Year’s card, and we pushed the line.
Sometimes, I understand why our customers give us false due dates. They, too, have seen the effects that procrastination can cause, and it’s not a pretty picture.
So here’s my New Year gift to you—seven anti-procrastination tools that you can use today (Don’t put it off!) to start your year off right:
- Leverage the power of teams. In my groups at MBA school, no one neglects a project because they don’t want to let down the rest of the team. Apply the same dynamic at work; peer pressure can be a very good thing!
- Break down tasks into consumable, doable chunks. Such chunks are more manageable and your likelihood of success will improve. Plus, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment when you tick things off your list.
- Provide rewards to yourself for finishing difficult projects, like the Tequila in our story.
- Plan better. No further explanation is needed!
- Avoid distractions. Don’t go to the water cooler when you need to get something done
- Ask yourself why patterns exist in your procrastination. Can you deal with these things structurally? Are there certain elements of your job you don’t find rewarding, and can you change them or deal with them differently?
- Find external motivation. Try to gamify the problem tasks. Compete with friends and co-workers to get things done. If life is a game, you can play to win.
Cheers to you and your efforts to win the business race in 2013. (And don’t put off the Tequila!)
A third-generation printer, Dustin LeFebvre delivers his vision for Specialty Print Communications as EVP, Marketing through strategy, planning and new product development. With a rich background ranging from sales and marketing to operations, quality control and procurement, Dustin takes a wide-angle approach to SPC