9 Simple Steps to Overcome Procrastination At Work
If you don’t take action and produce, your business won't grow, will stagnate and could even fold. So why do we put off the important stuff?
According to Professor Joseph Ferrari some people are “avoiders”. Avoiders have a fear of failure or even success. They’re bothered about what people think. They would rather procrastinate than have people question how able they are.
He say’s others are “Decisional Procrastinators” who struggle to make a decision and so do something else.What type of procrastinator are you? Click To Tweet
Some like me are “Arousal Types”. I love deadlines and the adrenaline rush of leaving things to the last minute. I think this makes me look cool and rebellious. I’m ok with people thinking I lack effort rather than ability. In the past this has caused me to miss deadlines, let people down and forget to market my business.
In recent years I’ve worked hard to combat this. I’ve studied the best productivity masters like David Allen, James Schramko, Ari Meisel and Leo Babauta. Once I got over some of their funny surnames I uncovered the best parts of their systems!
From this I’ve created a simple productivity formula that works for me. This keeps me producing, which in line keeps my pipeline of clients flowing.
If you are a fellow procrastinator follow these simple steps and thank yourself later, for reading:
List your distractions. Whether that’s checking Email, Facebook and Twitter all the time or eating chocolate.
Pay attention to the pain. There’s no hiding from it. These distractions cause you sorrow. Focus on the pain they cause you later, rather than the temporary instant gratification they provide now.
Let go or schedule. Do you need them? If not let go. If you do, schedule them. Reward yourself for sticking to it. Have a forfeit if you don’t. Beeminder is a good app that forces you to stay on track or pay a predefined fine.
Acknowledge the discomfort. When you resist the temptation to distract yourself, it will agitate at first. Sit with it and notice how the world doesn’t end. This is a big step
Choose one big business goal. This can be a huge hairy ass goal because you’ve got 5 years to achieve it. Spend no more than 5 minutes thinking about this and then write it down. This may change overtime so have fun with it and don’t become attached.
Break the 5-year goal down. What’s the one thing you can do this year such by doing it everything will be else easier or unnecessary? Now what’s the one thing you can do this month such by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary? Now what’s the one thing you can do this week? Now what can you do today such by doing it…you get my point. This will give you focus and a place to start. I learned this powerful technique reading The One Thing by Gary Keller.
Batch Tasks. Group tasks contextually. So if you have phone calls do them one after the other in one batch. If you are running errands, do these together and so on. This allows you to get into the zone and stay in it.
Complete important tasks in the morning. If you had to eat a dead frog would you do it in the morning when it was freshly killed or later in the day when it has become rotten and smelly? It’s the same with important tasks. They stagnate and get smellier the longer you leave them. How do you know they’re important? They’re ugly and they smell. I learned this technique from Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy.
Use critical focus time (CFT). My critical focus time is fifty minutes. I set my timer for fifty minutes, turn off all distractions (including my mobile phone) and work solely on my one big task for the day. I then take a ten-minute break. If the task is incomplete I do another CFT and keep doing CFTs until the task is finished. This technique is known as the Pomodoro technique and the default CFT is twenty-five minutes on and five minutes off. Find out your CFT sweet spot and then work your tasks in CFTs. This has been the biggest game changer for me!
If you’re like me you will fall off the productivity wagon and land in a big pile of procrastination dung from time to time. That’s normal but if you keep using the steps above you will bounce back faster and it will become easier.
Stick with it and your productivity will soar!