Procrastination is a productivity killer! We have all experienced this before, when you have a task or project on your list that just keeps lingering and you keep finding ways to avoid tackling it.
Productivity, the very opposite of procrastination, is a big theme for me in 2016 so when I heard about Dan Sullivan’s book The 80% Approach I decided to add it to my list and give it a read. What I found was a very impactful 40 pages of practical advice on how to avoid procrastination by leveraging the 80% Approach.
The concept is pretty simple, as the title states, Dan recommends that whenever you have a task or a project you immediately work on completing 80% of it as quickly as possible. He argues that in most cases 80% completion is good enough to get going and there is no sense in wasting any time to get started or trying to finish the remaining 20%.
My favorite quote from the book is:
“By eliminating procrastination, especially in teamwork, we help others save time, improve their talents, and transform negative emotions.”
Then he goes on to say:
“When one person eliminates procrastination, getting things done as quickly as possible or even ahead of schedule, it has a dramatic impact on all the other members of the team. A sense of positive urgency is communicated to everyone: If he or she got it done that quickly, I should do the same thing.”
These two quotes really hit home for me because I work on a lot of projects in collaboration with my team. Many times they are waiting for my feedback or contribution in order to complete the work. So when I procrastinate and waste time, I’m negatively impacting the entire time.
In the book Dan shares the 8 advantages of the 80% approach which are:
1) First attempts are never more than 80%
2) 80% is good enough 80% of the time
3) Recognizing who should handle each 80%
4) The power or getting 80% done quickly
5) Why 80% is always better than 100%
6) Delegating the “second” 80% quickly and often
7) Eliminating procrastination improves everything
8) Who 80% achievers outperform perfectionists
For anyone looking for a simple way to avoid procrastination and be more productive I highly recommend checking out Dan’s book.
PS – I wrote this blog post based on the 80% Approach. Normally I would have waited for a few weeks but I just opened up my computer and started typing away, 15 minutes later I was done and felt great about it.