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Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Procrastination and The Pursuit of Excellence

When we procrastinate, we get behind before we even start, and create a major time use problem.

If this sounds familiar, you may be one of the many people who procrastinates, and procrastination is probably the biggest time waster. Putting off the inevitable, sometimes until a deadline is staring you in the face, causes the highest stress level, and results in managing time by crises.

Why do people procrastinate?

Essentially, four reasons:

  1. Poor work habits
  2. Feeling overwhelmed
  3. Trying to be perfect
  4. Rather do something else

Perfectionists usually see their responsibilities as burdens, making it more difficult for them to accomplish tasks in a timely manner. They start tasks but put off completion until it meets their standards for perfection. However, these standards are most likely not recognized or appreciated by others, and thereby the perfectionist has wasted a lot of time to accomplish the unnecessary. The perfectionist should strive for excellence rather than perfection.

Excellence is defined as “very good of its kind” or "high-quality performance.” Perfection is defined as “the condition of being flawless” which is not impossible-- but most unlikely to achieve.

BOTTOMLINE: Focus on what is realistic rather than what is ideal. Do the best you can in the time allowed. The time investment should be appropriate to the magnitude of the task or project.

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