Procrastination is a part of our daily life. We always have something to do that we don’t want to do right? Here are a few ways you can stop procrastinating and start maximizing your time to get the most out of each and every day! Even as I write this I’m actually watching my favorite Lifetime movie “Burned by Love” and writing during commercial breaks.
Procrastinating is not to be confused with laziness. Laziness is when we choose to do nothing (like I do on Saturdays) while procrastination usually involves doing something in place of something else, usually more important, that what we need to be doing. Does this sound familiar to anyone else? Let’s work through a few simple tips that can help you move through your day with ease, get more done, and enjoy life more with less on your plate.
FIRST, START BY RECOGNIZING THAT YOU’RE PROCRASTINATING
You might be putting off a task because you’ve had to re-prioritize your workload. If you’re briefly delaying an important task for a genuinely good reason, then you aren’t necessarily procrastinating. However, if you start to put things off indefinitely, or switch focus because you want to avoid doing something, then you probably are.
You May Be Procrastinating If You…
- Fill your day with low-priority tasks.
- Watch too much TV (and don’t work on commercials lol).
- Leave an item on your to-do list for a long time, even though it’s important. Think about all those papers on your desk and all those lists — go through them now!
- Scan social media when at work. Put the phone down.
- Start a high-priority task and then go off to make coffee or go out to lunch.
- Fill your time with unimportant tasks that come in periodically, instead of getting on with the important tasks already on your list.
- Wait to be in “right mood,” or wait for the “right time” to tackle a task.
- Start on things before bed and never finish when the morning rolls around.
NEXT, WORK OUT WHY YOU’RE PROCRASTINATING
You need to understand the reasons why you are procrastinating before you can begin to tackle it. For instance, are you avoiding a particular task because you find it boring or unpleasant? If so, take steps to get it out of the way quickly, so that you can focus on the aspects of the task that you find more enjoyable. Are you waiting for more information needed to complete it? Try following up to speed along the transfer of info.
Poor organization can lead to procrastination. Organized people successfully overcome it because they use prioritized to-do lists and create effective schedules. These tools help you to organize your tasks by priority and deadline. Another major cause of procrastination is poor decision-making. If you can’t decide what to do, you’ll likely put off taking action for fear of choosing the wrong task. If you need to get organized and prioritize, and love productivity themed products, head over to my TalkShopLive link and order your Boss Babe ‘Get It Done’ Box from my last show. Shop there for heavy discounts!
Adopt Anti-Procrastination Strategies
Procrastination is a habit – a deeply ingrained pattern of behavior. This means that you probably can’t break it overnight. Habits only stop being habits when you avoid practicing them, so try as many of the strategies below as possible to give yourself the best possible chance of succeeding.
- Forgive yourself for procrastinating in the past.
- Commit to the task. Focus on doing, not avoiding. Write down the tasks that you need to complete, and specify a time for doing them. This will help you to proactively tackle your work. Use schedules and time block on your day with NO PHONE to get things done. Once you see how much you can get done in an hour with zero scrolling or distractions then you will be hooked.
- Promise yourself a reward. If you complete a difficult task on time, reward yourself with a treat, or take 20 to yourself. Taking time to congratulate and celebrate yourself can go very far.
- Ask someone to check up on you. Peer pressure works, if you do not want to get anyone involved ( I do not blame you) use my method of alarm setting, I have prob 35 alarms on my phone daily that go off to remind myself of everything from to eat, be thankful, gym etc.
- Act as you go. Tackle tasks as soon as they arise, rather than letting them build up over another day.
- Rephrase your internal dialog. The phrases “need to” and “have to,” for example, imply that you have no choice in what you do.
- Minimize distractions. Turn off your email and social media and avoid sitting anywhere near a television while you work! EXCEPT when you work on commercial breaks, ha.
- Aim to get up and tackle the emails and lists first thing, every day! Get those tasks that you find least pleasant out of the way early. This will give you the rest of the day to concentrate on work that you find more enjoyable. This is why I go to bed at 8 and rise and 445. I am done usually by 3pm with all things work and can relax and write blogs and watch lifetime ha!
- Keep a To-Do List. This will prevent you from “conveniently” forgetting about those unpleasant or overwhelming tasks. Again, be sure to get the Boss Babe Box from my TalkShopLive link — trust me on this.
FINALLY, GET ORGANIZED!
- Prioritize your to-do list. This will enable you to quickly identify the activities that you should focus on and create a list according to most important to least.
- Become a master of scheduling. If you have a big project or multiple projects on the go and you don’t know where to start, these tools can help you to plan your time effectively and reduce your stress levels.
- Tackle the hardest tasks at your peak times. Do you work better in the morning or the afternoon? Identify when you’re most effective and do the tasks that you find most difficult at these times. I work way better in the morning and fade by 5pm, so be mindful of your peak energy times.
- Set yourself time-bound goals. Setting yourself specific deadlines to complete tasks will keep you on track to achieve your goals and leave you no time for procrastination! This is why time blocking works so well. I give myself 30-90 minutes to spend on a task to get it done.
- Use task and time-management apps. There are numerous apps designed to help you to be more organized, such as Trello and Toggl for example. We use Trello at the office and it’s a lifesaver!
I hope these practices help transform your time management and productivity levels as you gear up for the rest of this year. Don’t forget to share this with a friend (or employee) who needs to read this!