When I think about procrastination, I think first of bigger projects. I have a column to write, a proposal to finish, a report to publish.
The real time-suckers are the much smaller projects. If you read an email and don’t take action right away, you’re procrastinating. If you see an interesting article or blog post and don’t do something with it right away, you’re delaying action – and you’re procrastinating.
I fight this type of mini-procrastination all the time. It doesn’t mean I have to actually do everything right then and there. It just means I need to decide what to do, and move on.
But if the task takes two minutes or less (respond to an email, set up a meeting, quickly scan an article), I try to do it right away. With such a short time period required for action, delaying that activity (and reviewing the request or task again later) is pure wasted time. Add that time up across a day of emails, blog posts, phone calls, etc. and it’s a ton of wasted time.
Simply acting on those two-minutes-or-less tasks right away will work wonders to clear your inbox, get things done, and keep you moving more productively throughout the day.
Matt Heinz is principal at Heinz Marketing, a sales & marketing consulting firm helping businesses increase customers and revenue. Contact Matt at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.heinzmarketing.com.