That thing... you know
What is THAT THING? You know, that thing that you are avoiding, procrastinating on, set aside for another day or time. Yes, that thing!
Why do we put things aside in the first place? Well, you probably set it aside because it requires too much of your energy and time to complete it within a reasonable time frame. I mean, you do have other things that take priority and need to be done, right? Saving it for a rainy day is only one of many reasons we move that thing to a hidden area of our office.
Another reason, you aren't sure how to do it. Is this possible? Yes, it is. A major reason we set things aside is because we either do not fully understand what the project entails or we have yet to formulate a plan of attack. This thing may require collaboration or instruction from others around you. Time consuming and scary.
Well, let's stop the procrastination and get to work!
First things first. When you are handed that thing, look it over. That is all, just look it over. You need a moment to soak up all the details to understand your next move.
Identify your key stakeholders. Make a note of the individuals that need to be involved in any respect.
Take the monkey off your back! Reach out to each of the key stakeholders and tell them what you need from them. i.e. Sally, could you provide me with last month's sales by customer numbers? John, could you tell me which marketing strategies we were utilizing in Dec. 2013?
These are quick ways to start the information flow and one step towards getting that THING done. Tip: Always give a due date. By giving a due date, you are expressing to others the importance of the task as well as how they should prioritize the response to you.
Schedule work time. Schedule time in the amount you believe suitable to knock this thing out. The time should be after all your responses are due and after you have had the time to review the responses for accuracy and detail for what the project demands.
Get BUSY. During the scheduled time, really make a strong effort to finish the project and move it along in the process. With all the information readily at your fingertips, this should be much easier to do.
Tip: I like to store all responses as well as any project edits in a folder labeled by the project title that I give it. Keep these on hand for future reference, you never know when you will need it again.
Finally, make the worst work your first work. That's right! If you get that ugh feeling or OMG expression after being handed the project, make it the first on your list to get off your back.
Work that is held on to because it is being procrastinated on is a driver of stress. You do not need any more stress!
April Salsbury, MBA is a strategist, an analyst, an operational guru, a recognized leader and C-suite global healthcare executive with drive and focus for competitive markets. Co-host of The Business Forum Show and regular contributor to various business journals, she possess multi-functional and multi-national competencies with more than 15 years experience in business and healthcare. Her expertise is in invigorating revenue growth and infusing value of lean practices in growing companies through improvements to cash flow and operations management.
Fueling revenue, growth and profit, Salsbury & Co. is a consultancy firm focused on helping businesses and healthcare organizations achieve excellency. Our specialists have executive experience combined with deep functional expertise to provide our clients with services that drive real impact and results.
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