Dawdle, Waver then Delay

No-Frills Calendar


Procrastinating on the Wrong Project

Contributor: Jim Kearney 5/1/2018

Do you sometimes spend more time than is necessary in doing a task?

Do you find yourself moving from one minor task to another?

It’s not that your current project is hard to do. It's that the other big project is the real problem.

So you dawdle and waiver on other projects and tasks knowing that the next big monster project is looming.

I'll give you a short example:

let’s say that I have the following projects to complete by the end of the month; it’s the 10th.

  • Hire that next great manager for an opening slot.

  • Complete my travel budget for the next fiscal year.

  • Bob's Annual Review is due. I bet he's wondering when I'll be getting together with him for that.

  • Set the agenda for that big managers' meeting at the next convention including pass outs and Power Point Presentation.

Okay, here is my things to do list for tomorrow...

Take the job description for the opening to HR and discuss the qualifications and experience of the person I want to interview.  
Pull Bob’s last review and all communications from the last year with sales and expense budgets and results last year and YTD.  
Write a letter to managers attending the meeting as to their thoughts on topics they would like covered.. Offer a few suggestions of my own. Request return by the 25th.  
Start annual travel budget. Anticipate a 6% increase.  
Task etc...  

Even though I have not prioritized the list yet the way I listed them says volumes.

I don't like doing budgets! It looks like I pulled 6% out of thin air.

Writing, "Start annual travel budget." meant I don't really want to start my annual travel budget.

Key Considerations:

  1. Each project listed has about the same time frame to completion.
  2. All except one have a tangible first step.
  3. There is much more to do on each before its successful completion.


  • Absent a Things To Do List it is unlikely you will recognize, given the importance of your key protects, that you will be in trouble with your travel budget.
  • That you will not have the time to give your budget the thought and consideration that is needed.


Recognize this type of problem by continually asking yourself if what you are doing is the most important thing considering the time needed to produce the right results.

Tip regarding the budget:

History is prologue. The thing to do should have been...- Pull last year's budget with actual results and compare to current trends. (A nice first bite.)

Break a large project into smaller logical steps. That first bite usually gets the ball rolling!

Updated 06/21/2018

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