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Are you procrastinating?

- Bill Leaver, CEO, UnityPoint Health

While we’re striving to maintain a healthy work/life balance, it seems there just isn’t enough time to get everything on the “to do” list done. Yours may look something like this:

  • Finish the living room project.
  • Conduct training for employees.
  • Lose those last 5 pounds.
  • Address concerns about outdated office equipment.
  • Talk to employees about improving time management.
  • Pay that bill.
  • Schedule a physical.

The list can feel a mile long some days, and it can be challenging to find the motivation to complete teach item on a timeline basis. Each task left undone may not evolve into a crisis, but eventually you’ll be faced with a professional, personal or medical situation that could have been avoided with a little more attention . . . and less procrastination.

I believe the key to success is maintaining focus to accomplish the most important tasks first. Gretchen Rubin, author of three recent books on habits and happiness, offers a few quick tips to “stop procrastinating, and get yourself to do something you don’t want to do.”

  • Ask for help.
  • Remember that most decisions don’t require extensive research.
  • Take a baby step. 
  • Suffer for 15 minutes. (“You can do anything for 15 minutes,” Rubin reasons.)
  • Do it first thing in the morning.
  • Protect yourself from interruption.
  • Remember that work itself can sometimes be a subtle, sneaky way of distracting yourself from another task needing done!

With only a couple of months left in the calendar year, revisit your “to-do list,” open your calendar and schedule time to get things done. You’ll enjoy increased productivity and have more time to focus on your personal and professional goals, resulting in a successful end of 2015.

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