Title: The On-Time, On-Target Manager. How a ‘Last-Minute Manager’ Conquered Procastination
Author: Ken Blanchard, Steve Gottry.
I used to be a typical flip-through-books type of person, not what you’d call a ‘big fan’ of reading. I decided to purchase The On-time, On-target Manager as a recommendation during a personal development programme called ‘Bring-it’. Committed to change my habit of procrastination, I plunged into reading the book. At the time, I was buried in other work; I had 1001 things on my to-do list, and was curious to find what miracle is in that book that would make me conquer my habit of procrastination once and for all.
I had read articles about ‘time management’ tips here and there, but usually it ends at ended in unconquered action, and failed to be put into practice. Luckily, the insights of the book during a week of long to-dos really helped, I had an important assignment that I had to complete by the end of the week. Naturally, as a result of feeling motivated by the techniques taught in the book – I was trying ‘my best’ to put what I was learning from the book into practice, and was hoping to see the first miracle with me finishing my assignment on time. I was doing pretty well though, I managed to get many things done on my to-do list, I was finally being “productive” you could say right?
However, come Friday of the week, I still hadn’t completed my assignment! I was stressing, panicking, depressing, couldn’t do any work. Then I took the book; as I was reading through, I came across the following passage:
“..So they create long to do lists filled with activities. Then they complete all of those activities and, after they do, they believe that they’ve been productive. When they eventually discover that there are no meaningful results, they are mystified. After all, they’ve been busy. They’ve crossed things off their lists. In the meantime, the important tasks have been ignored and they haven’t delegated a single thing. They haven’t triaged their activities. They have become last-minute managers by default. It’s all a form of denial really.”
Ouch, that hurts! This was a stab in the heart for me really. It was the plain and simple truth behind my procrastination in addition to shaytaan’s whispers to de-rail me. It made think and I realised that unless I want to be one of those people who are decieved into thinking I am productive, I ought to change and stop putting off today’s work till tomorrow. Ultimately, there is one time which is guaranteed in life – that’s death.
I hope the above illustrated the effect this book can have on you. Its format and style are designed to make you live through the transformation of a simple guy caught up in life called Bob -Yet through his lenses you see how it is practically possible to conquer procrastination.
It is also noticable that many, if not all of the tips given in the book, were actually supported by Islamic principles. This made me ponder what a complete and profound religion Islam is. The secret of conquering procrastination as described in the book was the “Three P Strategy”:
Set your priorities with your To-dos. Never leave the most important things til last.
Ensure you’re attitude reflects only the best. Making sure you work hard in the time you are gifted will allow you to reach productivity.
3. Well, this one you’ll have to discover for yourself when you read the book! ;)
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