Excellence 101 – Stay away from Procrastination and develop a diligent TO-DO list Culture
Procrastination is no respecter of personality or status. Interns, graduates or students, we are all victims and perpetuators of this act. It is a constant war we wage and fight against ourselves on a daily basis. In as much as we can’t do everything we set out to do all in one day or within an allocated timeframe, the temptation to make things wait a little bit longer than expected has constantly hurt us all one way or the other over the course of our lives. What makes this habit even more dangerous and consequential is the increasing pressure we face in our daily pursuit of studentship, career or family life.
One thing I like to have at my disposal is a free room to do things that matter most whenever the need arises. To make out such space, this means I must find a way to constantly execute every task in a timely fashion but also to the best of my ability. This is where the need for a good priority list comes in. I know some might consider this old fashioned but a daily TO-DO list is a very good tool for defining and prioritizing tasks as they come.
If you happen to be a career and family man both at the same time, this means that two separate lists would be required. One for career (School, work) related tasks and the other for family related activities. Whichever form you decide to keep this list, be it electronically or handwritten is left to preference and what works for you. The key thing is having a clear visibility of what needs to be done on a daily basis in a prioritized manner. You may ask, is having a well-written list all that needs to be done? The answer is No. This leads me to the most crucial aspect of beating Procrastination. I need to mention this before going any further, I seriously doubt if every form of procrastination can be conquered considering that we are all human and vulnerable. But one thing I am sure of, it can be minimized!
After building the culture of listing down your tasks in the order of priority, the next quality you need to build Is Diligence. It takes diligence to stay true to this regime. It takes dedication to stay motivated and alert enough to go after all the tasks in front of you. Most especially considering the fact that you have to deal with fatigue, unforeseen events and many more external influences. I also reckon that along the line that some tasks might need to be pushed to the next day. That is not a problem, as long as you have given each day your best and taken good account of the unaccomplished tasks in your planning for the next day.
I acknowledge the immense pressure that our time and era puts on us. I equally realize the enormous amount of work before us and the need to equally factor in the future in our daily plans. Let me lend you my knowledge, something I picked up some time ago from Anan Gokani, the grandson of “Mahatma Gandhi “, an icon whom I believe needs no introduction during a guest lecture in my Business school. My question to him that very day was simple but heartfelt. “How do we cope with pressure and constant need for fulfillment as an emerging 21st century youth? “In one word he answered without hesitation, mindfulness! Mindfulness is the acting of concentrating on one or two manageable assignments per time. Logically put in simple terms, a day at a time! A worry per time! A dream at a time!
At the moment, I am rounding up a tedious but rewarding Internship program in France. To go with that, I have to think about finishing my Masters degree thesis amongst other career and family related pursuits. I am not in anyway a saint or self-righteous preacher here. Procrastination is something I have had to daily deal with and presently still battle. I can’t just afford to add delay or hesitation to the piling bulk of responsibilities in front of me. The more we work at getting better, the better our chances of getting better. My tips today would be helpful to any reader out there who is sincere enough at heart and probably going through a similar phase in life.
We have to kick Procrastination out! It has hurt us for too long!