Chapter 13. Overcoming delay
You may delay,
but time will not. ― Benjamin Franklin
It is often said that “Delay is a thief of time”.
An savvy audience member
at one of my seminars extended this view
and said that “Delay is a life stealer.”
Your ability to overcome delay
and get things done on time can determine the success
or failure of your career.
However, it is a fact that everyone delay.
Everyone has so much to do
with so little time.
But if it’s all procrastination,
what’s the difference between a high performer
and a low performer? Very simple.
High performers delay on low-value
or worthless tasks and activities,
while low-performing people delayon things
of great value
to the company and their careers.
To get the most out of your performance,
you must resolve to “creatively delay” starting today.
Be proactive in deciding what to postpone.
Take a look at your to-do list for the day
and pick out the ones that you won’t do
until you’ve completed other things
of much greater importance.
You have to work proactively
instead of letting yourself fall into delay.
We always tend to delay on the biggest tasks
that are often also the ones of the highest value.
There are a number of techniques
you can use to overcome
or at least control your delay.
In fact, there are many books on the subject
of overcoming delay,
of which I also wrote a book or two.
Here are some great ideas that you should implement right away.
Lost time is never found again. ― Benjamin Franklin
Programming for the mind
“Do it now!” are probably the most effective words
you can use to boost your productivity.
Whenever you find yourself procrastinating on an important task,
remind yourself excitedly:
“Do it! Do it now! Do it now!”
The great result is
that after you’ve repeated these words over and over again,
you’ll find yourself automatically driven
to the most important task
and complete it before doing anything else.
You will never ‘find’ time for anything.
If you want time,
you must make it. ― Charles Buxton
Complete bigger quests
Henry Ford once wrote,
“Any goal can be achieved
if you break it down into an appropriate number of small tasks.”
Any large task you need to complete can be done
if you break it down into an appropriate amount of small tasks.
One of the most effective techniques
is to divide your task into “eaten pieces”.
Take a piece of paper
and write down all the small tasks
you have to do in order
from the first to the last to complete the task.
Then force yourself to do “number 1” on the list.
There are times when deciding
to take the first step of a big task will make the next steps easier.
Sometimes simply forcing yourself
to embark on a major task will give you the momentum
and energy you need to keep working until it’s done.
Action is the foundational key to all success. ― Pablo Picasso
Method of slicing salami
A variation of the “eaten pieces” technique to overcome procrastination
is known as the “salami slicing method”.
Just as you wouldn’t want to eat a salami with just one bite,
you wouldn’t want to finish a big deal in one go.
Instead, you will divide the task to reduce its size.
Then try to finish one slice
of the job before doing another.
Every time you handle a key task,
especially when you’re overwhelmed
with other pressing responsibilities,
try to complete one part of the task.
Often this tactic will get you started on the project
and make it easier to complete the next piece of work.
Cultivate a sense of urgency
One of the rarest and most valuable qualities in a job
is a sense of urgency.
It is estimated
that only about 2% of people always act quickly to get things done.
When you are known for being proactive
and able to get things done quickly,
you will advance quickly in your career.
When 300 CEOs were asked
what their employees could do to get ahead in the company,
85% of them had the same answer.
The most important qualities they look for are:
1) the ability to set priorities
and 2) the ability to get to work that matters most
and get it done brilliantly and quickly.
When you’re known for starting
with the most important tasks
and completing them brilliantly and quickly,
you’ll be amazed at the amazing opportunities
that open up to you.
The secret is not in the mechanics of money,
but in the way of thinking that makes money.
Once you know how to think,
you will have endless possibilities for making money. ― Steve Siebold