When doing my auditing articles, one thing I learned from my manager is the magic power of doing things now.
Often when I go to her for assistance she will respond by saying:
How long will it take to solve it? 5 minutes? okay let’s do it now then.
Initially I was puzzled by this instant “How long will it take, let’s do it now then” response because often I, the person asking for assistance, would not even be ready to get assistance now now.
I have since adopted this approach in my work.
Assess how long it will take, and if it is something that can be done quickly, then do it immediately.
I will be presenting a class, and then see a spelling error on my slide. How long will it take to fix it? 15 seconds? Great, do it now then.
I will see an incoming email. How long will it take to respond? less than 5 minutes? Great, do it now then.
Over time, I learned to use this approach on many things and I found it efficient.
Do I still procrastinate? Yes I do, but not as much.
So what if it takes more than 5 minutes, what if it will take say 30 or 60 minutes?
If you have 30 minutes to spare now, great, do it now then. If not, then add it to your hot-list [to-do-list].
The thing about writing your hot-list is that when you see hot list items not ticked as done, it emotionally blackmails you to feel guilty that you are not working, and then forces you into action.
If you don’t write it down, you don’t get to see it, and consequently you don’t feel guilty.
If it is not written down, it will probably not get done. Out of sight, out of mind.
How long will it take? less than 5 minutes? Great, then do it now.
Do it now, sometimes later becomes never.