Organization Helps Avoid Procrastination


Dr. Seuss once wrote: “How did it get so late so soon?  December is here before it’s June.  It’s night before it’s afternoon.  My goodness, how that time has flewn.”

I interpret Dr. Seuss’s words two ways. 

Interpretation number one: Ever find yourself missing a deadline?  Ever just simply put things off until later, which ends up being too late?  We have all fallen victim to procrastination.  Sometimes it just happens.  Other times it is planned – although it may be planned subconsciously. 


My feeling is that I hate to be late.  I hate missing deadlines.  And, even though I work well under pressure, I hate the stress I put myself under for not starting whatever it is that I’m working on sooner.  While I don’t want this to be an article on time management, there are few things I’ve learned that help me stay on track at the office.  It’s about stuff and things.

First, I write stuff down.  I use the term stuff to describe the little things that are important and must be done.  I have a small stack of papers on my desk with my “to-do” list on top.  It is that simple.  Since I’ve done that, a lot of stuff gets done.

Second, I write down the really important things.  I use the word things to describe bigger projects.  I try to limit myself to three or four big things each week, which is very manageable.  At the end of the week I write down the things that need to be done next week.  It is on the same list of my stuff, so I see these things every day – throughout the day.  Also, at the end of the week I write down what the things accomplished during the week.  Looking at my list I’ve seen some of the stuff disappear and some pretty important things completed.  Noting what I’ve done is as important, if not even more important, than writing down what I’m supposed to do.  I feel a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment for the week.  This is a simple system that works for me.

Interpretation number two: On a much broader and maybe even more important level, maybe Dr. Seuss means that we shouldn’t put off what we keep saying we want to do.  It might be taking that family vacation, visiting a relative, calling a friend you haven’t talked to in a while, doing something with your kid(s), making amends with a parent or close friend, etc.  It’s about the important stuff.  Don’t put off the things you keep saying or thinking you want to do.  Before you know it, it may be too late!

Shep Hyken, CSP, CPAE is the Chief Amazement Officer of Shepard Presentations.  As a professional speaker and author, Shep helps companies develop loyal relationships with their customers and employees.  For more information on Shep’s speaking programs and books, please contact (314) 692-2200. Email:  Web: For information on customer service training, go to  

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