Ben Franklin proclaimed that “the way to wealth is as plain as the way to market. It depends chiefly on two words, industry, and frugality: that is, waste neither time nor money, but make the best use of both. Without industry and frugality nothing will do, and with them everything. Lost time is never found again.”
Reading this advice made me deeply reflect on my own daily activities. Exactly pinpointing what I do with my 16 or so hours of active time. How much of my day is spent with a laser focus on the activities that offer me the biggest personal and professional yields? Ashamedly, after some days of self-observation, I realize that I spend far too much of my time trifled in meaningless distractions that are wrapped as important but once revealed are not contributing to my vital goals. If we really reflect, we all have a little or a lot of procrastination in us. Sure, we all have areas of our lives that we cut to the chase without pause but then other areas where we just cannot seem to get off the bench. Procrastination is a humanistic quality that is deeply rooted. That said, we all must figure out how to avoid the sand trap and keep moving.
Why is it that some of us can shut down distractions effectively while most struggle? In fairness, if you are one of the weary individuals working in the hospitality industry you must be feeling… “this doesn’t apply to me. I wish I had time for trifling distractions or a mere momentary distraction. It is undeniable that our front-line hospitality service members are working around the clock without a break. Still, the question begs, “could we be getting more out of our minutes, hours and days and gain some time for the things that we want to do in our personal time? The answer is, “YES.” Now, let’s explore the “HOW”. At Palette Hotels Developments, a full-service Hospitality Management Company based out of El Paso, TX, our 2021 team initiative is to make maximizing TIME our number one goal.
Most of us consider the term procrastination as lazy, stagnant and underachieving yet while we demonize it, we collectively participate in this very behavior to some extent. The deeper question needs to be what are we procrastinating and most importantly, “WHY”? Simply identifying that we are allowing, and in some cases, inviting ourselves to be swooped away from vital tasks means we can start the change process. Once we identify the mental obstacle, we can transition from busying ourselves with the trivial and get to the real grit work that is needed to accomplish our vital goals. Perhaps, we invite distraction because of self-doubt and fear of the unknown. Irrespective, no one can reach a goal without first identifying what the goal is. Perhaps for you it is securing your finances, cinching your growing waistline, feeding your body well, unshackling your career cuffs, or building better relationships. What is your ONE big thing this year? Start there!!! Identify your one big goal this year!
My Own Big thing this year is …………………….?
Now…. Say It! Write It! Read it! Live it!
Secondly, lets identify your procrastination tendencies to begin overcoming them.
Are you The Perfectionist? *
Do you pay too much attention to the low value details? Are you scared to be anything less than PERFECT!? Procrastination is often a symptom of perfectionism. Because perfectionists fear being unable to complete a task perfectly, they put it off as long as possible. The higher the fear of failure and ridicule, the more perfectionists procrastinate. To clarify, procrastination is not laziness!
Are you The Dreamer? *
Do you ever get stuck in your own fantasy land and put off taking practical steps to accomplish a realistic goal? This type of procrastinator enjoys making the ideal plan more than taking actions. They are highly creative but find it hard to finish a task.
Are you The Imposter? *
Do you ever put off starting a project or a task because you lack self-confidence?
These types of procrastinators are afraid of being revealed as unqualified or inferior and put off doing anything to avoid that risk.
Are you The Crisis Maker? *
Do you love to push a deadline to the 11th hour and get a rush of adrenaline when you make it just under the wire?
This type of procrastinator, the crisis-maker, deliberately pushes back work until the last minute. They find deadlines (the crises) exciting and believe that they work best when being forced to rush it.
Are you The Busy Procrastinator? *
Are you busying yourself all day long and by the end wondering what you accomplished? These types of procrastinators have trouble prioritizing tasks. They do not know how to choose the task that is best for them and simply postpone making any decisions.
Now that you have identified that you fit in to at least one of these categories and perhaps even dibble and dabble in all of them, lets drill down on what we can do to get us out of the procrastination trap. For this, I like to utilize a tried-and-true Time Management classic tool, the Eisenhower Matrix. Former President Dwight D. Eisenhower invented the Eisenhower principle, bore from the need to prioritize making tough decisions on a national and global stage. He prioritized his tasks into 4 quadrants: urgent/ important, not urgent/ important, not important/ urgent and not important/ not urgent. The objective is to spend most of your day in the top two quadrants. The Urgent/ Important needs to be done to clear your day. I call this quadrant the “eat your spinach first.” Complete the most pressing and potentially least enjoyable items of your day at the outset. These are typically the action items that you want to procrastinate because you do not enjoy them. Instead of pushing them back, get them out of the way and you will feel like you’re building a day that you are increasingly looking forward to. Once that is done you get to the “meat” of your day, the longer-term planning and goal achieving portion in the Important/ Not Urgent quadrant. This is where you create your long-term success. An example of this could be implementing a training program for your associates so that you are no longer putting out fires or actionizing a healthy lifestyle. The third quadrant are activities that you delegate. Remember that when you are doing work in someone else’s job description you are not doing your own work. Now you have a situation where two people are not being highly productive. Therefore, you never want to get caught in the third quadrant for any lengthy period. The third quadrant task could and should be delegated. Caution….! this does not mean giving others your vital tasks but rather empowering others to be successful at completing their own. Lasty, the fourth quadrant is “time wasted.” Avoid this trap that comes in the form of social media, unnecessary scrolling or wasted conversation.
Now, let us circle back to your ONE BIG THING this year. Since you have determined why and when you are procrastinating on it. Use the Eisenhower Matrix to help organize each day with that one big goal on the agenda in a meaningful form or fashion. Make sure that each day you are making a valuable contribution to your BIG thing bucket.
A minute saved is a minute earned. Let’s not spend another moment wasting our time in useless self-flagellation. Instead, let us start saving minutes and cashing them into the areas where we really need the time to reach your ONE BIG 2021 Goal. We can’t wait to check in our Palette Hotels ONE BIG THING 2021 Journey!!