9 Tips to Stop Procrastination
Procrastination can happen to everyone, especially in the workplace. You may have something going on in your life and are unable to focus, or perhaps you are just worried about the size of the task ahead. Procrastination can even occur because of lack of skill or time management. Whatever the cause, there are ways to overcome procrastination and get the work done.
Start with the most difficult task
If there is one task that you keep putting off, in particular, there is only one thing to do – start it today. It may be a job you dislike or are struggling to finish, and you keep putting it off until tomorrow. As you know, tomorrow never comes! It is time to tackle it head on and finish it before you fall behind.
Schedule email time
If you are constantly using email as a distraction, then it is time to limit it, even for a while. Check it first thing in the morning and then again mid-morning after you have completed the bulk of your workload. Checking your email often can distract you from your other, more important, tasks.
Prioritise the to-do list
If there are specific duties that have to be achieved throughout the day, then prioritise your workload. Make sure the essential tasks are crossed off the to-do list first and then tackle the non-essential items. Your day will run more smoothly when you are not anxious about trying to fit everything into your day.
Break down larger tasks
It is easy to get overwhelmed with more major tasks, so break them down to ease the burden. Splitting them into smaller actions will reduce some of the stress that can often accompany large projects and will make you feel more confident about your abilities.
If you find there are too many distractions over the course of the day, then reduce them. Turn off your phone, block websites, shut yourself in a quiet space and sit down to do the work. If there are external issues stopping you from performing at your best, then you will have to make some changes in your day.
Just do it
Being a perfectionist can stop many people from starting a task because they believe it will be less than perfect. But the truth of the matter is that even a rough draft is better than no draft at all. Just start the project and fine tune it later if necessary.
Give yourself a deadline
Often it is a task without a time limit that keeps getting put off into the future. So if that is the case, assign your own deadline and then stick to it. Setting a date of completion and ignoring it altogether just defeats the purpose of having a deadline in the first place..
If you need accountability to keep you motivated, speak to someone about it. Perhaps you need to check in on a regular basis with a colleague or friend to ensure that you don’t keep putting off the tasks you want or need to do. Accountability can be a significant factor in helping you bypass procrastination.
If there is a task in particular that you hate, but is a necessity to enable your career or business to function smoothly, then perhaps a reward will inspire you to do it. Make it something that will encourage you to do your best so that you can celebrate your efforts, hard work and perseverance.