Are you a procrastinator on big projects?

SmartPulse -- our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership -- tracks feedback from more than 210,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our newsletter.

Are you a procrastinator on big projects?

  • Absolutely not -- I tackle projects as soon as I can: 24%
  • Not really -- I'll procrastinate from time to time: 44%
  • Kind of -- I put off most things with a few exceptions: 24%
  • Absolutely -- I always wait until the last minute: 8%

Some procrastination, but not much. Most of you are pretty good at tackling work as it comes in or, at the very least, not leaving it until the last minute. If you’re one of the procrastinators, think about the stress you experience by putting things off. Realize while a little stress does increase performance, too much stress -- especially if it’s chronic -- can severely diminish performance and affect your health. Consider changing your habits by planning better, changing how you tackle work, breaking big projects into smaller deliverables, and finding someone to hold you accountable for completing your work sooner. You might be surprised by how much less stress you face by making these changes. Coming from a guy who’s had a couple of heart attacks, trust me on this. Change your habits before they change your life.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS. Before launching his own company, he worked at McKinsey & Co., Capital One and Scotts Miracle-Gro. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He's the author of three leadership books: "One Piece of Paper," "Lead Inside the Box" and "The Elegant Pitch."