In last week’s blog entry, we introduced our audience to a common theme that almost everyone can relate to at one point or another. Procrastination! It’s what prevents us from ultimately being successful in our everyday endeavors. We covered the “signs” of procrastination but now we’d like to briefly discuss the ways to avoid procrastination. Let’s start…
1. Identify the tasks you put off most often and then do them (as often as necessary) for 21 days. Then, you’ll be able to work them into your routine, rather than skipping them.
• Once you’ve established a routine and have a good thing going your mind won’t let you do anything else. This will be a hard routine to develop, but once you challenge yourself, everything seems a bit more manageable.
2. Address your most dreaded tasks first thing in the morning before you do anything else. Get it done and enjoy the fact you’ve completed it for the rest of the day.
• The saying goes, “the early bird, gets the worm.” And this is entirely true. If you wait until mid-afternoon to begin a dreadful task, your essentially putting it aside until the following day. Make up your mind, that you plan to be aggressive and assertive early on. This prevents failure.
3. Another option is to make a plan to complete this task (schedule the time to do it) during the time in your day when your energy is highest. If you typically hit a mid-afternoon slump, you’re not likely to tackle a much-dreaded project then.
• This one always helps me. Schedule your day, time your task and give yourself the best possible chance to complete your work.
4. Start the task. Mark Twain once said, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” Once you get going, the momentum will help you keep it going until it’s completed.
• This tip is simple enough and couldn’t be any more true. Usually, tasks are hard to get started, but once you find a rhythm and get on the ball it’s a breeze. This may NOT always be the case, but you won’t find out until you begin.
5. Sometimes you may need to break a very large project into smaller steps. As you complete each step, you’ll be closer to achieving your goal. Set realistic deadlines (always make sure to get deadlines from others when they’re assigning you a task).
• Break your task down into steps. This will give you a breather, yet keep you on a consistent pace to reach achievement. We’re not asking you to do it all in one breath, but we are asking you to DO IT!
6. Always reward yourself for completing a dreaded to-do list item. Treat yourself to lunch, walk, and celebrate with others if it was an especially large project.
• Make things more interesting. When we know that we’ll be rewarded for an accomplishment, we normally act accordingly. Who doesn’t like receiving “gifts?”
We hope these help you to procrastinate less and less. For more career tips, please visit our blog. Enjoy!