You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything. Does this sound familiar?
At some point in our work lives, or more than just one or two times, you will have procrastinated during your working day. There are lots of signs you are procrastinating from distractions to being a perfectionist but of course it isn’t very useful when you need every working minute to help grow your business towards success.
So, how do we stop procrastinating and ensure we make the most of every minute we should be working other than deactivating all our social media accounts and shutting ourselves in a windowless box?
Sometimes, part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Perhaps there is simply too much of it or perhaps it’s something we don’t entirely understand.
The solution? Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Eventually you’ll have broken it down to the point where it is so easy that you’ll think you might as well just do it!
Where are you
This works differently for different people, but various environments have different impacts on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work, or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.
Whilst working remotely, it can be tempting to do it all from your bed, but this is not going to motivate you to work. Neither will be a messy work space. This can be both overwhelming and uninspiring and you’ll often procrastinate by cleaning it up!
One thing to think about is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a while. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around and work somewhere else for a while.
When you have just 1 deadline for your work it is kind of like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back as we only have one thing to do, until it’s too late and we’ve procrastinated all the way to failure of the only goal we had.
Break down your project into parts (like I previously mentioned before) and then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain time and date. Your timelines must be strict too – e.g. if you don’t finish this by 12pm, it’s going to jeopardise everything else you have planned after that. By doing it this way it helps to create a sense of urgency.
Just Do It
At the end, you just have to get out there and take action. You can do all the planning and hypothesising, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. If you don’t like your current situation and blame it on circumstances, only you can change them. Sitting by and changing nothing means that nothing will change, and you will continue in the same way you always have.
Think about it… have you ever heard anyone procrastinate their business to success? No. Have you ever heard someone during an awards speech say they owe it all to the time they spent procrastinating? No.
Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to pull yourself together and just do it. If you want to grow your business and achieve your goals, you just have to do it.
Which tips work best for you? Do you have your own personal tip to overcome procrastination?
My name is Selina Johnson and I'm a Business Support Expert providing Virtual Business Support to businesses. We help SME's with administrative, technical and creative support so you are free to grow your business and increase your profits.
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