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6 Ways To Conquer Procrastination – A Primer For The Claims Professional

Putting Your Way To The Next Claim File?

Last post I wrote about 7 Steps To Effective Problem Solving For Every Claims Professional as taken from Business Insider War Room author Martin Zwilling.  In reviewing more of Zwilling’s work, I came across Six Ways to Overcome the Urge to Procrastinate that is so applicable to anyone in business, let alone claims professionals, that I decided to include it here.

Jan Yager, in her book, “Work Less, Do More” talks about procrastination as a primary obstacle to efficient time management. She describes how you can grow so busy doing everything but what you should be doing, that you’re unaware that you’re failing to address what’s really fundamental to your success.

Here are some techniques Zwilling espoused from Jan Yager and others for conquering procrastination:

  1. Plan your daily activities in advance. Make whatever it is you’re avoiding the very first task you do on a given day. Don’t start the day by checking e-mail, surfing the Internet, or reading the newspaper. Get a priority task done first every day, then take a break or do some low priority work that you enjoy more.
  2. Set up a personal reward system. Pick a reward that will be a real motivator, something you truly want but have been denying for yourself. For example, as soon as you complete your financial projections, you can call your business partner to skip out for that round of golf he keeps mentioning.
  3. Try creative procrastination. If you are finding your top priority to be too daunting, try tackling the second or third most important items on your to-do list. You will accomplish all your day’s priorities, but in a different order. That’s better than substituting a trip to the doughnut cart.
  4. Arrange for gaps in your schedule. Build space into your schedule so you actually have some free time that will still permit you to get the priority project done without the tendency to put yourself down or engage in the self-criticism that too often accompanies procrastination.
  5. Face the truth head-on. Take a few minutes to contemplate why you are delaying something. What does the postponement provide? What will it take to get you to act now? Write down the real deadline. Maybe it’s time to hire an expert, or assign the task to someone else on the team. Move the ball.
  6. Define a period without distractions. Make a resolution to turn off the phones for the first hour of a day, or close the door to your office to discourage interruptions. Do not let anyone distract you from your priority tasks during these periods.

As someone who fights procrastination on a regular basis, I was particularly happy to get these suggestions.  Claims can be a job with new and exciting information at every turn. On the other hand, it can also get repetitive at times requiring another new way to think about old problems.

What are some of the ways you fight procrastination?

Posted in Best Practices, SPOT on Issues.

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