Today's Most Important Task

Last Updated Nov 23, 2008 7:24 PM EST

A couple of weeks ago I received an email from Michael, an internet specialist. In it, he described a problem he was having with that old chestnut, procrastination.

I've chopped his words a little --- procrastinators tend to run on a bit as you might expect --- so here's the gist of what he had to say:

"I always find that I say to myself, 'I'll work on that important task later after I've quickly done this unimportant task'."

Predictably, what happens is that Michael fails to address the important task during normal work time and so allocates the only time left available, the "after-hours" period.

And guess what? "I get to the end of the day, think in a split second about my promise and flick it to first thing tomorrow."

And so the cycle continues. Another supposed priority gets set aside and the people of the Procrasti Nation welcome another convert.

So, what to do?

For me the solution has to do with setting aside dedicated time to work on priorities. Time blocked out in your diary and not released for anything that doesn't involve blue flashing lights.

Steven R. Covey --- he of Seven Habits fame --- has a wonderful story to illustrate the importance and method of handling priorities, you can read a summary of the concept here.

But what have you got to say to Michael? Have you suffered the same inertia and what did you do about it? Ignore work for another moment and post a comment below.

  • Robert Gerrish

    Robert Gerrish is a coach, author and professional speaker and the founder of Flying Solo (www.flyingsolo.com.au), the Australian online community for solo business owners.