“Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today” -Benjamin Franklin.
How many times have you heard stop procrastinating ?
I think procrastination can be good for you. Too often we get caught in the “everything is urgent” vicious circle and we try to do our “never ending” to do list of the day. There is a smarter way to deal with the urgent: Stop, Think and Procrastinate.
First try to get reasonable deadlines and priority level and check how long it will take for you to do the job before answering. Maybe you can delegate to someone else. Wait and group similar tasks such as checking e-mails rather than to deal with them one by one and get disrupted every 5 minutes. Multitasking is not effective! Like computers we can switch our focus very fast from one thing to another but unless you are in an automatic mode, you can only do one thing at a time. If you respond to your emails while listening to a conference call you may not get all the information you need and miss the opportunity to ask the right questions. Plus you are at risk to send an important email to the wrong person and that could cost you your job !
Second, “urgent” is not equal as “important ” and you may think to postpone an urgent , non important task for a non urgent, more important job. Never over promise, do not react immediately to a request especially if you are upset. Be realistic, don’t use your full capacity, keep some time for when real urgent things happen that require immediate attention.
Plan in your daily to do list some relaxing activities, such as walking outside, go for lunch as important and urgent. By the way, do you know that if you eat at your desk, you have more bacteria than in the public toilettes ? How many times do you clean you keyboard after eating your sandwich or apple ?
You may have an open door policy but if you want to be effective you need to close your door when you need to think alone, and when you cannot afford to be interrupted.
In Conclusion : Some false urgent matters can be postponed. You have to track them by recording your activity, deal with interruptions by organizing your time in advance and be realistic on priorities and schedule, using procrastination as a tool to help you better load your day.