4 Tricks to Overcoming Procrastination
You’ve got a big project looming…and yet you’re wasting time on Facebook. You sit down to write a sales proposal and end up chatting with your mother for an hour.
We’ve all been there: the tricky land of procrastination.
Procrastination keeps us from putting our focus on what needs doing in our business and can seriously hinder our success if we don’t keep it in check. While there’s no cure for procrastination, there are at least a few tricks you can use to mitigate it.
- Set Goals for the Day
When you have an endless list of things that need doing, it can be hard to zero in on a single one. Rather than be frozen by analysis paralysis, choose three to five things that need to be done today. One should be fairly large, while the others smaller and easier to work through. Having a manageable list will keep you on task. Don’t leave for the day until you’ve achieved those goals.
- Start with the Big One First
Now that you have your goals, do what author Brian Tracy suggests: eat the ugliest frog first. That’s your big, daunting goal. If you opt for the easier goals, that more challenging one will loom in front of you all day and stress you out.
Tackle the big one first and it’s out of the way, giving you a sense of accomplishment.
- Set Time for Breaks
If you have difficulty focusing on a task for longer than 15 minutes, acknowledge that. Most people can’t dedicate themselves to a task for much longer than that, so you’re far from alone.
Set a timer. When it goes off, get to a stopping place in whatever you’re working on (this is better than simply stopping mid-sentence as you may have more difficulty picking up your train of thought when it was interrupted). Get up. Stretch. Watch funny cat videos on Facebook. Then get back to what you were working on.
- Build a Buffer
If you have difficulty meeting deadlines because of your procrastination, give yourself an extra day or two to get things done…but trick your mind into thinking it’s due sooner. So if you need to turn in an assignment on Friday, put Wednesday as your deadline on your calendar. Things come up that may prevent you from meeting that earlier deadline, but with a buffer, you are sure to be safe in meeting the original one.
Don’t use procrastination as a crutch. Set up your workflow in a way that fits your needs, and you’ll tackle tasks more easily.