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ADmissions | The Next Right Thing (Like it or Not)

True tales of an Arkansan adman

By Frank Cox, Jr.


What is procrastination? Here’s how I define it: Putting off a needed job or task because it’s something you don’t like doing, or don’t want to do. Everybody I’ve ever known would tell you that they are guilty of procrastination to some degree. So go ahead and confess! I’m certainly guilty and, over the years, I’ve experienced a few negative consequences as a result.

Since we know that there may be negative consequences for procrastinating, why do we continue to do it, and how can we get out of that bad habit?

When faced with a decision about how best to get through the day, what I’ve learned to do is to ask myself a simple question: “What’s the next right thing?” Sometimes, the next right thing is the exact opposite of what I really want to do. Example: Write some needed content for a client? Or play on my social media pages? Take five minutes to return a phone call? Or look at guitars for sale on eBay?

One downside to procrastination is that the things we need to do rarely just go away. In fact, other needs will stack up on top of them. Then we can find ourselves in a real jam, with more to do than we have time for.

One motivator for me is that I’ve learned I have no idea what’s going to come flying in over the transom tomorrow. And that I’d be smart to clear the decks and get caught up just in case.

In fact, it’s rare when stuff doesn’t come flying in over the transom -- that’s just the nature of the business we’re in.

Perhaps the biggest downside to procrastination is lost opportunity. I’ve stared at business prospects for days and days on my to-do list. When I finally get around to calling them, I find that they’ve hired another firm last week. Not good!

There are usually many things that we’d like to do, instead of doing what we need to do. It’s all about personal choice -- here’s to choosing wisely!


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