We’re all guilty of procrastination – even the most time-efficient among us! It rears its ugly head at the most inopportune times, especially when your workload is overwhelmingly large and your timelines are short. The good news is dealing with procrastination is a matter of organization and focus, two resources you have at your disposal.
Follow these tips to help you beat procrastination, before it beats you!
Create a To-Do list. If not already, you should get into the practice of creating and managing a list of action items you’d like to complete for the day and even week. Be detailed but realistic with your time, separating items by priority and urgency. If on a daily basis, you typically only have get through 3-5 tasks, use this as a template on what’s realistic and plan accordingly.
Make it Manageable. Break your project down into smaller, bite-size tasks. A broad, unspecified item will take longer to complete and therefore loom on your To-Do list. Tasks with firm objectives and end-points, such as empty the dishwasher and wash the kitchen floors, are much easier to cross of your list then clean the house.
Avoid Distractions. Coffee breaks, chats with your colleague, the latest celebrity gossip on your favorite blog – these small pockets of time eat away at your overall efficiency when you’re working on a strict timeline. Not only can they add up over the day, they can also melt your focus on a project. If you’re a firm believer in using distractions as a reward for completing a goal, then be strict with your time. While a ten-minute coffee break can help you re-focus on your list, an extended coffee break will only encourage you to procrastinate further.
Get Clarification. Sometimes it’s hard to begin work on a project because you do not fully understand the intended outcome. If you find yourself with more questions than answers before you begin, ask for help. Most often, asking follow-up questions and talking through any uncertainty will re-new your energy and focus. Use this spark to complete your project and cross any outstanding items of your list.