“Procrastination: the action of delaying or postponing something.”
Let’s face it, we are all guilty! Sometimes, we have super productive mornings where that task list is full of ticks and the kettle is left to go cold because we’re just so focused on what we’re doing. And sometimes we faff about, wasting time, pretending to work but not really achieving anything but not relaxing either. This is inefficient and we shall try our best to stop it!
I’ve put together a few tips and tricks that can help us understand why we procrastinate so much, and how we can avoid wasting time in the future.
Give it Five
“If you don’t want to do something, make a deal with yourself to do at least five minutes of it. After five minutes, you’ll end up doing the whole thing” – Kevin Systrom, Instagram Co-Founder
Set yourself 5 minutes to start a task you’ve been putting off.
Shut everything down
If you’re struggling to focus on a task, close everything else down. You’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to concentrate when you don’t have phone, email, and social media notifications pinging and flashing at you. Even if you weren’t answering them, the disruption breaks your flow of working and distracts your brain away from the task at hand.
Boost your confidence!
Sometimes the reason we put off a task is because we worry that it will be difficult or that we won’t be able to complete it to a good enough standard. Stop that silly brain-talk! Put on a positive, inspirational power song to boost your mood and shake you out of self-doubt. You CAN do it!
(A personal favourite of mine is Dog Days are Over by Florence and the Machine – always makes me want to run!)
Plan your Procrastination
Yes, you heard right. Schedule those little tasks that you do when you’re avoiding doing something else! If you’re going to do them anyway, have a dedicated time set aside and avoid the guilt that ‘I should be doing x,y and z.’ Click here for my free Daily Scheduler.
One of the most effective methods for combating procrastinating is having accountability. Having an ‘accountability buddy’ (or whatever silly or sensible name you’d like to call them) helps people keep to deadlines, rules and goals. By telling someone that you are going to do something and having to report back on your progress, you are far more likely to keep to your promise than if you had just thought about it yourself. If a bit of competition gets you going, why not add a challenge into the mix as well!
It’s one of those days where you started procrastinating and then it’s turned into a spiral of negativity – you can’t focus, you’re annoyed at yourself, you’re refusing to get off the chair and make yourself a cup of tea (because that’s just more procrastination, right?!). Forgive yourself, go make that cuppa and snap out of it! Sometimes it just takes a bit of forgiveness to get us out of that rut and back to being the effective, efficient worker you know you are. It’s ok to be rubbish sometimes – get over it!
So, you’ve boosted your confidence, set aside distractions, and got that pesky task done and dusted – now reward yourself! Recognise your achievement and give yourself a treat. It could be a ten-minute walk in the sun, a music and coffee-break, or if you’re like me, a muffin!
I’ve also heard wonderful things about sticker charts and gold stars! Hmm, food for thought!
Let me know if you have any more excellent procrastination-busting tips – I’d love to hear them!
All the best for a very productive week,
p.s. Enjoy reading my musings? Sign up to my mailing list and get access to my free Daily Scheduler to help you to focus your day!