Avoiding File Avoidance

I was reminded earlier this week of the sage advice of one of my early mentors on the topic of “file avoidance,” a very particular form of procrastination that tends to attach itself to specific tasks on specific files.

He said:

“There will be files that you encounter in your career that, for one reason or another, you simply avoid.

“There may be no reason for it. You have tasks to be done and you absolutely know  how to do them.  But for one reason or the other, you never quite get to those files.

“They seem to linger and collect dust – and the problem just grows worse and worse until you fall behind.  But your avoidance just grows worse.

“There’s a simple solution. Whenever you encounter one of those files, just do something.

“Do something. Make a call, write a letter, draft a memo. Just take one step. The problem will magically disappear and you will be back on track.”

So this week’s tip, with the holidays immediately upon us, is that this is an optimal time to look through your file cabinet and identify any matters that have been unattended to for longer then you would have preferred.

And before embarking on that well deserved holiday break… just do something.

Write that email, make that call, send that memo, and create momentum so that inaction can be turned into action in the new year.

– Garry J. Wise, Toronto

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