Procrastination has been the thief of time and productivity for millenium.
I recently wrote about the reasons why we procrastinate.
Once we have a clear understanding of why we procrastinate we can take steps to become more overcome and guard against it.
The benefits of overcoming procrastination are clear.
It reduces stress and anxiety and enables us to create more time through greater productivity.
Having more time enables us to spend it on things that matter like quality time with our children, our partner and time to ourselves.
Here are 9 surefire methods to help overcome procrastination:
- Ask for help – one of the key contributors to procrastination is fear of failure and/or not knowing how to do something. Rather than sitting on a task we are unsure of, we can seek help, advice and reassurance from a colleague, a forum or a group. Gaining guidance and advice can help overcome this road block so we can move forward.
- Start with the least appealing task first – how often do we keep bumping the less appealing tasks to the bottom of our to do list as we move through the day? This contributes to rising anxiety and worry levels as the day progresses because we haven’t completed the one task we must do. Through developing the habit of tackling our least desirable tasks first at the start of the day, this clears the way for us to be more productive without the worry at the back of our mind.
- One thing at a time – it is well documented that multi-tasking is not productive and this is certainly something that can enable procrastination to creep in. By focusing in on one task at a time we can ensure we complete the task we should be focusing on.
- Break down tasks – through breaking down tasks into manageable bite size chunks we can reduce the feeling of enormity and overwhelm. Sounds simple but how often do we do this when faced with a complex and large task?
- Reward ourselves – there is nothing more motivating than a reward for completing a given task. Rewards can be simple things like a special hot drink, treating ourselves to a cake or doing something special out of work. There are lots of ways in which we can reward ourselves and they don’t necessarily have to cost money.
- Minimise distractions – turn the phone on silent, pause your inbox and close the door. Distractions are the enemy of productivity and a key contributor to aiding and abetting procrastination. Through taking steps to eliminate them we enable ourselves to focus on the task in hand.
- Mix it up – boredom and monotony are the scourges of procrastination. Through mixing up our tasks to intersperse less appealing ones with more interesting ones we can ensure that procrastination does not set in when faced with a day of boring uninspiring tasks.
- Change your working environment – our working environment can lead us to feel uninspired, distracted and lethargic. In the days of flexible working when we are struggling for motivation we can up sticks and try working in a different location to counter procrastination.
- Take breaks – regular breaks ensure that we are fresh and focused on tasks in hand. Linking these as a reward to when we have completed an undesirable task can help form these as a positive habit.
- Make ourselves accountable – there is nothing that breaks through procrastination more than to make ourselves accountable to someone in terms of completing a task. Whether this is a boss, colleague or client nothing sharpens the mind and focus more.
Do suffer from the affliction of procrastination?
What surefire methods do you employ to overcome it?
As always it would be great to hear from you with your comments below 🙂
Pop your details below to receive our monthly newsletter packed with helpful hints and advice to help you become even better!