Don’t have a heart attack, but I currently have 1,215 emails in my inbox. Are you hyperventilating? Take a deep breath, here’s a paper bag – I hear you can breath into it and it helps.

If it makes you feel any better, I don’t categorize or file my emails. If I am at 1,214, I know that I have 0 unread emails. I have a system, it is just a system that gives other people anxiety. I sent an article around the office the other day by Tim Herrera of Smarter Living; the article addressed procrastination. If we are honest with ourselves, we all put off the tasks we like the least. I bet you just thought of that task right now…

So how the hell do we go about changing what is so ingrained in us to naturally do?

  1. To steal from Nike, JUST DO IT. Start out your day tackling the one thing you have been putting off for heaven knows how long. Schedule time on your calendar, say an hour or two to focus on that one task.
  2. If it is a larger project, then spread it out over a few days or weeks (as needed – don’t get carried away). My suggestion would be to do it first thing in the a.m. that is when I am at my most focused. It probably has something to do with the mass amount of caffeine I have consumed.
  3. If you are feeling truly introspective, you can write down all the reasons you have avoided that certain task. Is it time? Does it require confronting someone? It is something that does not come naturally to you; such as writing?

If you take my inbox as an example, I know it will take me HOURS to organize it and there are other tasks that are more pressing. Here is the deal though, it hangs over my head and I know that it affects productivity because I spend a lot of my time searching for certain emails. If they were categorized by clients or type of communication, I would be able to find it in less time – leaving more time for those other important tasks.

What do you think? What tips do you have for avoiding procrastination (get it)?

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