Procrastination: The Kryptonite of Purpose

Procrastination can be defined as delaying action that reflects purposeful leadership. It is the avoidance of actively completing a task that needs to be accomplished by a specified deadline. It is an intentional delay of expected behavior despite consequences.

Procrastination is an active choice to make something else a priority over the activity that should have an urgent focus. As a leader procrastination hinders you from maximizing your potential and may hinder a department or business from maximizing its profits.

I think it is safe to assume we all know that change is constant, and situations change like anything else. Lack of response can create more issues in the long run than responding would because the situation you are currently in will not remain stagnant. Once you do react, it could be in response to a completely different circumstance. And often, a culture that lacks urgency or leadership in the moment, delays the vision

Why Do Leaders Procrastinate?

· Pride/Ego gets in the way. Some leaders would rather save face. These types of leaders feel it’s easier not to ask for help in order to complete a task.

· Lack of buy-in, loyalty or commitment to the person who assigned the task or to what the task itself represents can result in procrastination.

· Lack of clarity regarding the vision, the goal or next steps minimizes urgency for action. If a leader is unsure of what to do next, the result may be inaction causing procrastination.

Lead with purpose.

· Only commit to what you can actually accomplish.

· Collaborate with others vs. attempting to do everything yourself.

· Be clear on what drives you and what drains you. This will help you pinpoint what falls into the categories of ownership vs. delegation.

· Break big goals down into smaller goals proactively and work on one at time so it doesn’t feel overwhelming.

· Schedule reminders for even the most minor of tasks. Audible alerts in your phone will help keep you on task.

· Create due dates for tasks associated to the end goal.

· Enlist an accountability partner to follow up with you

· Handle your toughest task, or the task you’re most likely to delay, at your peak time. You may be more productive early in the morning or right before lunch.

· Take advantage of a task management app.

At the end of the day, you have the ability to be successful through moments of frustration. Instead of beating yourself up for procrastinating, find the things that help you consistently meet your goals, and implement them into your daily and weekly routine. Use the learnings to combat the kryptonite, and lead with purpose.

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