Photo: David Urbanke via flickr
Just because you’re a Type A, hyperproductive individual doesn’t mean you don’t procrastinate.In fact, there’s a new “form of procrastination” that affects “chronic achievers” called “priority dilution,” and if you’re a sufferer, the results might be even worse than standard procrastination because this kind isn’t “self evident,” writes Rory Vaden at OPEN Forum.
At least the standard procrastinators know what they’re doing, but overachieving people don’t always know that they’re putting things off because they usually accomplish so much throughout the day.
“While priority dilution has nothing to do with laziness, apathy or being disengaged (like traditional procrastination) it nets the same result: a delay of the day’s most important activities because your attention shifts to less important, but perhaps seemingly more urgent, tasks. You are trading your to-do list for emergencies.”
He says that the main challenge these sufferers have is feeling guilty for not doing everything they meant to get done that day. Thus, they try harder the next day, but the most effective thing to do would be to identify things on your to-do list that “drive business.”
So how do you know if you suffer from priority dilution? If you answer “no” to any of the following questions, you might very well be “diluting your focus from your other priorities”:
1. Was this activity on my primary to-do list when I arrived at work today?
2. Is this activity one of the key drivers of achieving success in my position?
3. Does this activity require my unique thought process?
Furthermore, if you answer “yes” to the following questions, you should reprioritize your tasks:
1. Will this issue likely resolve itself without my intervention if I allow some time?
2. Is there another person on our team who is mostly capable of handling this?
3. Can the resolution of this issue wait until some point in the future without substantial repercussion?
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