“There is never enough time to do everything, but there is always enough time to do the most important thing.”
Procrastination is not necessarily a bad thing. Now that I have your attention, let me clarify my point by sharing the following illustration. Several weeks ago while visiting a friend in the hospital, I happened to pass the emergency room. While in the emergency room I noticed an interesting pattern.
Patients were not being serviced in the order that they arrived. Those that had cold symptoms and minor bruises were forced to wait while the patients with major injuries were taken in immediately.
There was a Triage Nurse on duty, whose job was to make sure that the injuries with the most urgency received the highest priority. This was not a first come, first served system. The emergency room is a reminder of the fact that your most important priority is not necessarily the first task that comes to your attention.
Too many of the to do lists that I see are first come first serve. If there is a list of ten items, most people start with the first item on the list. The problem is that the first item may be the least important while item number ten could be urgent. So, how do you determine what is urgent and what can wait? Keep reading and you will learn how to procrastinate.
Triaging is a system for assigning priorities based on urgency. The nurse in the previous illustration is called a Triage Nurse because her main job is to prioritize.
I truly believe that if you have more than three priorities that you really don’t have any. When I attack my to do’s, I place a star by the tasks that are truly urgent. The star tells me that if there was a power outage and I could not get anything else done, completing this task would make my day a productive one. For me, checking e-mail, checking voicemail, or sending social media communication is not urgent and does not get a star. I can procrastinate on these tasks because they are not priorities.
Many of the people with whom I work have a habit of checking e-mail first thing in the morning. They react to a message and spend a significant part of their day putting out fires. The problem is that the truly urgent items take a back seat to something that is of lower importance. They either spend more time in the office or ignore what is truly important.
If you embrace the process of Triaging, you will have more time for your priorities by procrastinating on those tasks that are not urgent. A failure to triage you will cause you procrastinate on your priorities which is never a good thing! So there you have it. If you know someone who can benefit from this week’s message, please share it using the social share buttons at the bottom of this posting.
Eric M. Twiggs
Your Procrastination Prevention Partner
PS. For more information on How to Procrastinate, read my ebook.