Even the hardest of workers have put off a task here and there just because they didn’t feel like working on it right away. But why do we procrastinate? There are various reasons why individuals procrastinate that range from laziness to being overconfident about the task. This is without considering all the distractions we have today from Netflix to social media.
When it comes to entrepreneurship or working in general, you need a plan to combat procrastination for optimal performance at work. The following tips should help you achieve that.
Tip 1: Make your environment procrastination-free
The environment you work in plays a vital role in how much work you actually get done. Technology, as helpful as it is, can actually be a hindrance, in terms of wasting time. Be it a notification from Facebook or an email, there are constant distractions around you. Now, it will be difficult to completely go cold turkey from your computer or mobile phone as you work. However, you can slot specific time where you ignore various distractions on these devices. Turn your notifications off completely for email, social media, and so on. Therefore, you won’t get pinged while you complete your task.
You also want to make sure that the environment you work in is comfortable. If it isn’t, you will only have an excuse to put off the task at hand, wasting time thinking about how to make yourself more comfortable in order to work.
Tip 2: Schedule your day
Getting work done can be slightly easier if you know what needs to be done and when. You usually have many tasks to complete throughout the day, some more urgent than others. We tend to focus on the urgent tasks leaving the not so urgent one for later and then procrastinating when the time comes to complete them. When you have a schedule in front of you, you know exactly how much time you have to complete certain tasks and when to move to the next. Having a specific time allocated for specific tasks tells your brain that this is the only time you have available during the day to complete the task so it must be done. It gives it a sense of urgency that allows you to concentrate on the task rather than leave it for later.
Tip 3: Schedule to complete the hard tasks first
It always takes a lot more effort to complete harder tasks which means the mind tends to procrastinate more when it comes to them. Think about it, wouldn’t you rather do a simple task such as photocopy marketing plans rather than actually coming up with the plan? Serial-entrepreneur Sidd Pagidipati says credits his mental toughness to accomplish tougher tasks has led him to where he is today. If you can get tougher tasks done first, it allows your mind to ease up a bit and distresses it as you complete the task. This allows you to focus more on the task at hand and not have tougher tasks hanging over your head as you complete simpler ones.
Tip 4: Break your project down
When it comes to managing tougher projects, the best way to tackle it and avoid procrastination is to break it down. Otherwise, the project may seem like Mt. Everest and climbing it will not only be daunting but will leave you hopeless. Look at the overall task and see what needs to be done. Try to break it down into series so make smaller tasks out of it until it is complete. The project will seem less daunting and can be accomplished in an easier manner. This reduces the chances of you procrastinating when getting it done.
Tip 5: Take breaks
Think of breaks between tasks as a reward for yourself as you complete them. This allows you to give yourself a mental and physical break. Whether it is giving yourself 10 minutes to check social media or just taking a walk to get some air. Rewarding yourself with breaks will allow you to de-stress and move on to other tasks.
To achieve success, one of the first things you need to learn is how to combat procrastination. While the task may seem difficult and it can be, it isn’t impossible. You need to follow the above tips and continue to work at it. It won’t happen overnight and will require some efforts from your end but with dedication, you can remove procrastination completely from your work life.