Procrastination happens to all of us and we find it frustrating and a difficult barrier to overcome, especially when it ‘hits’ right before a big event or when a project just has to get done or there will be negative consequences.
Procrastination demoralizes us, it can stop us cold in our tracks, make us lose sleep and up-set our stomachs and hurt our jobs/businesses/and relationships. Since procrastination is actually a state of mind, it is something that we can do something about. Here are 7 procrastination busters for you to try.
1. Make a list
each night of what needs to be done the next day. Try to keep the list for each day to only 3 tasks. You can have another longer list of all the items that you feel need to be done but you only focus on the top three ‘musts’ for each day. If you can get more than three done, go for more but at least you start with something manageable to focus on and complete.
2. Schedule your day.
Break down your day into different scheduled times that you will work on a task. Examples: time for social media, time with a loved one, time for shopping, time for yourself, time for writing, time for paperwork, time for marketing, time for networking, time for calls, etc. Scheduling helps keep you focused and productive since you know you need to finish something within a certain time frame. If you are having problems doing a task, switch time slots but don’t get into a habit of this. Multi-tasking is not productive but if you are working in a schedule, you will be.
3. Break it down and take action.
Every project is just many small actions strung together. What is the next small step that you can do to achieve your goal. Break your list into only 3 items for the day, and then break each item down into specific steps. Then put the actions you need to do for each step. Cross off each step as you complete it. By breaking things down into smaller steps and knowing exactly what step by step you should be doing keeps you focused and productive. By crossing off each step done, you have visually reinforced what you’ve done.
4. Take a break and re-boot.
By making even a very small amount of progress on your dreaded task, you have done what once seemed impossible-you got started. Tackle the worst tasks during the day when you are at your best for those types of tasks.
Other ideas, include taking a break totally away from the task – do something fun, go outside, take a quick nap, meditate, etc. Getting ‘away’ from a dreaded task helps break its cycle and power in your mind. Re-boot your mind and get back on track.
5. Reach Out.
Have a coach to call, a friend that can really help you, find a peer who understands what your pain is, look at your network list and find some peers. Getting outside input is critical and is usually effective on even the worst case of procrastination. Try having a deal with a peer on what you each will accomplish – peer pressure can be a wonderful thing.
6. Plan for it.
What gets scheduled gets done. Planning can be in the form of templates, forms, using colored folders and notes that keep you organized but also in a planning and execution mode. Action is the key here, follow your plan with action steps you’ve written down and you won’t be so able to procrastinate.
7. Develop a list
Compile a list of Procrastination Busters that work for you. Example; when I start avoiding tasks that need to be done, I go do something creative – like write an article or create something new for the website. Doing something creative, for me, gets me back on track because I did something I enjoy so much. Discover and write down what your Busters are and actually keep them handy so when you’re in a funk, you just pull it out and will be on your way, quickly, towards being productive again.
Take stock of where or what you are procrastinating on, write them down and then go to your procrastination buster list of ways that usually work for you. You may find that some busters work best for specific situations for you and other busters will help overall. As soon as you notice you are procrastinating, pull out your procrastination busters and implement.
To prevent procrastination, see which busters you can employ into your daily habits!
About the author: Tonia Boterf -The Practical Expert® is the Boomers best resource for starting a business or growing a business that’s stalled. Tonia’s no non-sense style of coaching (25+yrs) achieves results. Come explore hundreds of resources at http://www.coachingbusinessstartup.com and start achieving your goals