Try Delaying Procrastination

“Procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried.”

— Author Unknown

Try Delaying Procrastination

by Tony Alessandra

Studies show that about 20 percent of American adults habitually procrastinate and, as a result, suffer personal or professional consequences. When they don’t finish projects on time, they often undercut their charisma and send the wrong kind of messages to their colleagues.

So fight procrastinating by:

  • Crying uncle. The biggest fear for many procrastinators is telling the boss they can’t do everything. But it’s far better for everybody if you do a few things well rather than a lot of things poorly.
  • Setting deadlines. Even if a project comes without a deadline, give it one. You’ll be amazed at how much work you can get done when you’re up against a cutoff. Remember how much you accomplished that Thursday when you wanted to take off the next day for a long weekend?
  • Derailing digressions. Take note of the wasted effort in stopping then restarting tasks. Learning to concentrate on one thing at a time may take a great deal of discipline. But if you commit now to finishing a job — or at least an identifiable chunk of it — before putting it down, you’ll be on the way to developing a habit that will pay off well for you in the future.
  • Rewarding yourself. Best of all, give yourself an “Attaboy!” when you finish a project on time. Maybe it’s just an ice cream cone or a walk around the block on a sunny day, but still it’s positive reinforcement.

Copyright © 1996-2008 Alessandra & Associates, Inc. Dr. Tony Alessandra can be reached at or at 1-858-456- 0028.

Coaching Call to Action

Are you a procrastinator? Have you ever noticed the energy it takes to procrastinate? The internal conversation can go something like this, ” I know I should do it, but I don’t…(fill in the blank) feel like it, want to, have enough time, have enough energy. This week instead of having the conversation with yourself about why not, take an action to move the project forward. Acknowledge how this works or doesn’t work for you and and tell me about it in an email. We may share your example in a future newsletter. Simply email me at