When it comes down to it, we all have the intention of completing our work before it is due but end up doing it moments before. For some reason, many of us work well under pressure and it is that pressure that increases our stress and anxiety, which is never a good thing.
Procrastination is the devil of productivity. We are all guilty of it and we are always finding a new excuse or something more important than the task that needs to be completed. Sometimes we even tell ourselves it is productive procrastination when it is just a mask for what needs to be done.
But what if you could eliminate procrastination for good? It’s definitely not easy, but it’s worth a try. So, before you start your work day - follow the 5 steps that we have shared below if you want to put an end to procrastination.
1. Make A List
Who doesn't love a good list? It is the first step to feeling like we are doing something with our day and getting somewhere and so it should!
More often than not, our minds can become overwhelmed with the 12 tasks, 10 projects, and 6 meetings you have planned for the day - it is difficult to keep track of what needs to be done or what needs to be at the top of that priority list.
Always put the more challenging tasks ahead of the easier ones, because we often let the easier ones take the longest so we don't have to bother with the more challenging ones.
As you go, mark things off and keep reminding yourself that you are doing the best you can. It’ll keep you on track of the tasks for the day and you will slowly start to see that you are achieving things too.
2. Set Yourself A Time-Limit
Most individuals can only focus for 20-30 minutes before the pen on their desk becomes more interesting than the job they went to university for.
By setting yourself time limits to get certain tasks on your to-do list done - you will have no other option but to get them done. And once the time is over - that’s it. You’re no longer allowed to focus on that particular task.
Doing this is great, because it puts your brain in a situation where it can’t procrastinate because if the task isn’t done - that can lead to more unfortunate situations that are far worse than actually doing the work.
So, clear up your desk, give each of the tasks on your to-do list a time limit, and get started.
3. Don't Forget To Treat Yourself To A Break
If you’ve genuinely done the work, giving yourself a well-deserved break will feel awesome. Having a break after an hour of laser-focused work will give you a feeling like no other, and that feeling alone will power you through the next working block as you know what you will get at the end of it - a well-deserved break.
How you decide to do this is up to you, but many people have a ten minute break after one hour of focused work. You can even do a five minute break for every thirty minutes of work.
4. Make Yourself Accountable
There is no better way to ensure you get something done if you know someone is going to come and check up on you. This is a brilliant strategy for those professional procrastinators who know better but can’t seem to get themselves to work.
Making a deal with a colleague to come and check up on you in 30 minutes to make sure you have done some work is a great way to stay accountable. Just until you get into the habit of working for 20-30 minutes a pop before taking a break.
That will build momentum, which you can then start making use of until eventually, you don’t need anyone to come and check on you.
5. Eat The Frog First Thing In The Morning
Eating the frog basically means tackling the biggest task first. This way, the most annoying part of your day is already done and anything else that is to follow is much more enjoyable and easy to do.
It’s a mind trick, but it works great, so if you have a big task on your to-do list, make sure you tackle it and get it out of the way first. That way, the rest of your day will be a whole lot easier as you don’t need to stress about it or have it on your mind anymore.
Procrastination disguises itself as a productive task but just delays what needs to be done. This can hold back your productivity and perhaps your overall motivation and work ethic.
By getting ahead of your bad habits and working towards fighting procrastination, you are making room to be proactive and inspiring at the workplace.
The first step to overcoming procrastination is to make a list. Once there is a list, the rest is just a mental battle. But we all know you are strong, so keep at it.