Safer Times: The Good Day's Work Blog

Is Procrastination Holding You And Your Safety Program Back?

Posted by Marty Huseman on Oct 12, 2017
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It’s not uncommon to hear people say, “we are totally on board with safety training”, however their second statement is “but we can’t seem to get around to it”.  At the heart of this is procrastination. We all do it to some degree: putting off for tomorrow what should be started today.  We try to put things out of our minds but usually end up carrying the load subconsciously.


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What narrative hits home with you?  Procrastination is in our heads (yes we can all admit that we talk to ourselves):  “I don’t have time”, “I’m already pulled in too many directions”, “I’m not versed enough in safety to lead this charge”, or whatever it is….something is holding me back.

What is your self-talk when the topic comes up? What is your single biggest challenge? If you state why you don’t get to something, listen to your self-talk.

Change your story. Rather than focusing on the fear of the unknown, embrace the reason or obstacle as an opportunity to grow. Change your self-talk story to a vision of the desired outcome. Not having a clear vision for the outcome is one of the biggest reasons people procrastinate.

You may have a fear of not having complete control over doing something entirely new. Some people fear failure; they won’t be able to do the task to a good enough standard so they delay getting started. They want everything to be organized but know it’s going to take time they don’t think they have.  Keep the Pareto principle in mind: “80% of the results comes from 20% of the work”.  So what if you only need to do that first 20%?

Change your story to - I can and I will.  I can do this because ____________.  What’s the vision of a successful outcome?  For example; when we train on safety, I feel more confident our people will get home safe or when we train on safety it brings our people together. What’s your clear vision for a successful outcome?


Break it down into bite sized chunks.  Then break it down even more. To get started what needs to happen?  Then what?  When you change your story from why you put something off to I’m going to address this, things change.  You move from undecisive to decisive. Move from inactivity to activity. We eliminate fear with action and build momentum. 



When you change your story, you start looking for solutions.  You go from not wanting to think about it to thinking about it. You move from avoidance to action. Keep the vision of the desired outcome and continue to tell yourself the new story over and over.  It will lead you to where you want to go.


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You can get rid of procrastination by moving forward.  Listen to the story you tell yourself why you haven’t started. If it doesn’t move you forward, change your story to one that will.  Then continue to tell yourself the new story.  You’ll change obstacles into opportunities. You’ll start to see solutions and resources you’ve not imagined. Do these things with your safety program and you’ll make a great impact on your people and organizations' culture.

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Topics: safety training program, productivity / goals / motivation

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