Boosting Management Productivity Creates Top Performance. Procrastination kills performance.


management development skills

Management & Procrastination

Understanding and Over-coming Procrastination

Would information that helps you understand two hidden factors contributing to involuntary procrastination be of value? Absolutely. If you could clearly tie into increased productivity! Involuntary implies that a given instance of procrastination is driven by factors outside of our conscious awareness. These terms are derived from psychologists who specialize in the “cognitive” area of human behavior. The first is called “Mental Fatigue” We all experience periods where our minds are just plain tired. It could be caused by work related stress, long hours, lack of proper rest, etc.   The tired brain syndrome is almost epidemic among driven managers and stress related jobs. The research shows clearly that the existence of mental fatigue at any given time has the following effects on the brains abilities:

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Avoid Mental Fatigue

The second major impact has to do with the consistency of your mental capacities and applications. Inconsistency of apply mental capacities can result in involuntary procrastination.

Dynamic Inconsistency

In a sense, this mental inconsistent is a result of clear and conscious goals, objectives and time management. Many of our decisions are conscious…but not deliberate. We sort of think about what actions we need to take but our thoughts are more “back of mind” . They are often not solid, clear front-of-mind decisions about exactly what actions or behaviors we need to take and when they need to be implemented. An example may help. You get up and have your first cup of coffee and think about the exercise you should undertake today. But your thought is not front of mind resulting in a firm decision as to what exercise you will do and exactly when and how you will do it. It is the difference between ‘I should exercise today’ and ‘I will exercise today by going to the gym at 4:00 and complete my cardio-goal.’ Applying this to management, it is like thinking it would be good to discuss communication skills at our meeting today, and then when you get to the meeting you decide to talk about team work. How do we deal with “dynamic inconsistency”? First, this loose stream of thinking is a very normal and human situation. It happens in personal life and in your business or professional life. It is a productivity killer.

“What we decide to do now, is not what we’ll decide to do in the future.”

Recognizing that this condition exists is not enough to fix it. This is more than “time management”. Time management is the result of being a management conscious competent. When you review what you need to do in a given day or time period, you need to think about a decision making process. Do not just muse about what you might do. Here is your objective and committing to it is the absolute answer:

  Top performing managers and professionals continually apply the decision making “introspection” at top of mind awareness in a constant effort to own your minds cognitive thought process.”

This means think actively about what needs to be done. In full awareness, review and decide what needs to be done, how it needs to be done and when it needs to be done. Tie it into your goals and objectives and execute your decision.

You need to be continually thinking about what needs to be done in the future and how the “future you” will behave in a way that brings the decided actions into reality. This protects you about the future situations that may distract and derail your plan. This takes active commitment and understanding this opens the door for higher performance.

 Commitment Mechanisms for Decision Making

overcoming procrastinationWe are talking here about the cognitive mind consciously invoking self-control and self-management. As mentioned above, it is the unconscious processes that derail our expected behavior. These unconscious processes that infiltrate our thinking and behaviors are automatic processes. As such, these back-of-mind auto-response mechanisms are too susceptible to distractions and creative diversions. You need to make conscious and dynamic decisions to choose a course of action and commit to executing the decision. For example, a managers “dynamic mind control” requires clear front-of-mind thinking that clarifies choices and makes the best decision for a future course of action or behavior. This mental activity is a control process that can block the auto-unconscious thought that are not goal or planned action driven. The dynamic mind control process thus becomes:

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Dynamic Mind Control

Summary To many future actions and behaviors are barely conscious decisions and without dynamic mind control processes, make our future actions vulnerable to distractions, unwanted change and side-tracking and under performing. When you think about future actions or desired activities and outcomes, make the process more front-of-mind, decision oriented (choosing the best course of action) and linked to a commitment. This process and your ability to implement your thinking in this way is a huge boost to over-coming any procrastination that creeps into your future management behavior. VIDEO RESOURCES

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Featured Image: Photo by Ivan Turgenev / CC BY 2.0


Michael D. Moore is the publisher of Management By Delegation and is a veteran executive with 40+ years in the Banking and Insurance Industries. A devoted entrepreneur, using his business experience to provide resources for managers and leaders at all levels. For the last 5 years, he has built a growing web presence for helping people with personal and professional development. To learn more about these advanced concepts & join our group Click here 5 Must Have Management Skills

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