Why put off till tomorrow what you can do today? It seems like a pretty easy question to answer, yet many people find themselves putting off tasks for days and weeks on end. Procrastination is an issue that a lot of people have to deal with, and while it can be somewhat glossed over in trivial details, it is something that can hurt you at work.
Leaving large projects to the last minute often means that the work delivered is not as good as it should be. Deliver that sort of work on a regular basis and the next thing you may be procrastinating about is searching for a new job.
Here are 5 ways to break free from procrastination and become more productive:
Answer An Important Question
Why do you procrastinate? Ask people who have made a habit of doing it and you will get a number of different answers. For some, it all comes down to self-doubt, while others will claim to be perfectionists who need everything to be just right before they begin. Once you are able to answer the question about why you procrastinate, you will then be able to take the steps to stop behaving that way.
Start The Clock
For most of us, actually getting started proves to be the toughest part of any project. How many times have you dreaded the thought of doing something, only to find out that is wasn’t as bad as you thought it would be once you get started? The more you think about the actual start of the project, the more ominous it seems. Decide that you are going to start today, set a timer for 10 minutes, and as soon as that alarm goes off, jump right into your work. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you start rolling once you get started.
Picture The End
Take a moment to think about a project that you recently completed, and then think about how good it felt once you completed it. We all spend time focusing on the negative aspects of the work that needs to be done, which is why it becomes easier to put it off till tomorrow. Instead of thinking negatively, always envision how good you will feel when the project is done. Trust us, you will want to speed towards that good vibe.
Have Some Fun
Even if you are committed to a large project, there are going to be times when you feel bogged down or uninspired. This can lead to a stall in productivity that can begin to stretch into hours and then days. Before everything starts to stagnate, think about ways you can make that task fun. Put on some music, or maybe take your laptop to the park or a coffee shop, or anywhere that isn’t your office. A little fun can lead to a lot of inspiration.
Be Held Accountable
We all become inspired to do better when we are held to some level of accountability. Enlist the help of a friend or family member when a project needs to be done. Tell then when you are going to begin, and when you plan on finishing. Have them check in on your progress at regular intervals. Trust us, the shame you will feel at not being where you said you would be at a given time can act as a great motivator.