I truly believe that one of the greatest causes of procrastination
is mental clutter. Having so much stuff on your mind that you can’t
recognize that you can actually do this or that task right now without
it actually effecting anything else adversely.
For example, you open your work email and see 50 fresh new emails
just waiting for you. Now you may be tempted to then try and
multi-task…okay lets skim the emails then skim the bug reports, then go
back and deal with the urgent emails first then finish following-up on
the bug reports, wait a minute here comes a call…okay now let me go
back to those emails, wait here comes another bug report, then this
thought crosses your mind I”LL DO THOSE EMAILS LATER! That’s when the
pile of to do items starts to grow.
One of the habits I’m working on developing is something I call the now habit,
which simply means not putting off until later what I can do now. If I
need to send out 2 emails to resolve a issue then I do it now, if I get
interrupted while doing that, I will stop and deal with the
interruption, then immediately come back and complete the task that I
was working on before, then move on to the next action item. Being
single-minded and focusing on one thing at a time seems to keep me from
feeling overwhelmed by to much stuff.