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Developing a Game Plan to Overcome Procrastination, Pt 4 (Get Things Done! #11)

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Daniel Whyte III

Daniel Whyte III

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Proverbs 22:29 says: "Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men."

Our quote for today is from Scott Belsky. He said: "It's not about ideas. It's about making ideas happen."

Today, we are continuing with Part 4 of our section titled, "Developing a Game Plan to Overcome Procrastination". 

In order to get momentum, is it always a good idea to "ease in" to a task, doing the simplest and most pleasant part first?

Usually it is, but sometimes the exact opposite works. Sometimes it pays to identify the most difficult part and take care of it first. I call this the Worst First approach.

That doesn't make sense. You can't have it both ways. If one way works, the other one shouldn't.

Actually, there are three ways of reacting when you are confronted with a complex task. One way is to get your foot in the door by doing the easiest part first and building some momentum. The second is to tackle the hardest part first and get the smug feeling that comes from getting something unpleasant out of the way as soon as possible (the old idea of eating your spinach first and your strawberry shortcake second). The third way -- the way of the procrastinator -- is to do neither, just leaving the task in limbo because it is unpleasant and because instead of choosing either of those plans of action you've chosen a plan of avoidance.

Suppose you have a group of volunteers, each of whom is supposed to call a list of people for donations to a political campaign. This is the kind of task most people find distasteful.

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