Amateur or Professional – you should be neither!

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Discover the 7 secrets to salvation from the C-Problem

We live in a world where everything seems to get more and more accelerated.

Do you feel that you have less time but more things to do than a few years ago?

Does it appear that time is running and you are always attempting to catch up?

Have you craved for an opportunity to stop, take a deep breath and get a good view of what is going on, before getting back into the rush?

For a long time I have been in that same situation, maybe because when flying fast jets it appeared as if everything had to be done faster.

What did I do to overcome this problem?

Well, the issue is that most of us have more and more things we try to cram into the same amount of time. We feel we need to answer emails, write letters, attend to meetings, get our chores completed, make sure our finances aren’t getting out of whack, and on top of it all, meet the deadlines for the projects assigned to us.

Most people try to cope with this load by prioritizing. Finding out what is most important, what’s less important, and what might be so unimportant that it doesn’t matter if we do it or not. That works well in theory, but when you are rushing around, life happens and priorities get shifted. Suddenly you have to decide, often without all the information desirable for a sound, well thought out decision.

When this is happening, you are bound to forget something or shift certain things in a position that make it appear as if you’re already past that chore or commitment. When the actual deadline or delivery date arrives and passes without you performing as you probably promised, you have “crastinated” on this particular issue.

That’s the C-Problem strutting it’s ugly head.

If this only happens in seldom, rare cases, you can consider yourself an “Amateur-Crastinator”. I sincerely hope you identify/recognize when this happens and begin to take corrective action.

If you don’t and this happens over and over, you will become a “Professional”. At some point you might even become known for this behavior. Don’t let the pressure of fast decision making and an ever increasing number of balls to juggle turn you into a “Pro-Crastinator”.

On this particular topic, you don’t want to be an Amateur or a Professional. You want to be a “No-Crastinator”!

How do you do that?

Well, it starts with the right frame of mind. In addition you need to have a daily planner or at least a calendar with enough space for you to put in your assignment. Here are the 7 secrets to avoid becoming an “Amateur-Crestinator” or even worse, a “Professional Crastinator”:

1. Develop a system of priorities (A,B,C; or 1,2,3, or high, medium, low, or color in Red, Blue, Green)

2. Pick a day in the week when you sit down and enter all the known assignments, projects, deadlines, etc. into the planner/calendar for the following week.

3. On that same day, enter every new item you already know about for the weeks and months beyond the week following the one you are currently in.

4. Next, go backwards in your planner/calendar from today through the last 5 days, and identify any item that has not been checked off or completed. Move it into your current week and make sure the priorities are still correctly showing. If they need to be updated, make sure you do this right away. This way any uncompleted items will still get taken care of. (Better late than never)

5. Review every day of this current week (old and new entries you just made) from the last day of the week towards today’s day, and check if all the items are still current and have the correct priority annotation. If something changed, make sure it is showing in your planner/calendar.

6. Check tomorrow and today and make sure everything is set for you to be successful and meet your commitments. Make any changes needed to have a good plan.

7 -(A) For your work tasks, in case you have an assistant or confidant, tell them what the three most important items on your planner are and encourage them to ask you about those entries at least once a day. Let them know that this is helping you rather than bugging you (if you feel you can, give them a copy of your planner/calendar pages).

7 – (B) For your private/family tasks, do the same as for the work tasks and encourage your spouse/partner or a friend to ask you about the important items as a reminder (if you feel you can, give him/her a copy of your planner/calendar pages).

Armed with this kind of system and following the ideas you will have no problem avoiding to become an Amateur -Crestinator or a Professional Crestinator.

AMC is an international consulting firm that serves the corporate and private sectors in two prime areas:

  • Project management of change initiatives
  • Facilitation and teaching to implement learning designs

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