You can get more accomplished than you ever dreamed possible.
It happens to us all. We badly want to get something done. We tell ourselves that we will definitely do something or finish something, but we take our time in getting started. We tell ourselves, “I’ll do it in a few minutes,” and then that few minutes’ turns into an hour, and then that hour turn into never.
We end up completely balking and then completely forgetting, or ignoring, or putting off indefinitely, if not infinitely. Procrastination takes control of our lives yet again and flexes its unyielding muscle!
As a small business owner, and entrepreneur, I have a lot of precious time and freedom in my life. I can choose what I want to do, and for the most part, when I want to do it. This is one of the best reasons why I love my job so much. I love having this freedom!
However, I must admit, I do struggle with this independence from time to time. It takes much discipline and self-control to keep working, even when nobody is telling me to.
At times, it can be rather easy to procrastinate and put off doing work that I know must get done because I don’t have any co-workers or bosses who rely on me. Sometimes, when I’m researching a topic, working on my site, or writing a blog post, I get a little…umm…distracted.
I might see some bizarre video that just can’t help but get clicked on. Or I may be on Facebook, and the next thing I know, I’m reading 300 different statuses from a long lost high-school friend. Or the worst is when I’m looking up something, I remember something else I wanted to search for, and then end up researching 20 different things before realizing that I forgot to even delve into my initial topic!
And I know I am not alone here. In fact, according to Dr. Piers Steel, a psychologist from the University of Calgary, 95% of people procrastinate.
So what can we do to put an end to procrastination, or at least cope with it so that it doesn’t have a stronghold over our lives?
Well, I want to share four tips you can use right away that will help tremendously in your procrastination battle. (I use these techniques quite frequently to keep myself in check!) Armed with these weapons, procrastination stands little chance of wreaking havoc over your life.
1. Write out a Schedule
Writing out a schedule for your next day is very important. If you put on your schedule exactly what you plan to get done, the chances are much greater that you will get them done. Only put on the schedule what you realistically can do however; do not try to fit in a week’s worth of labor, otherwise it will be a letdown when you fail. Also, make sure you stick to whatever you put on that schedule! Make it extremely important to complete everything on that list and think of it as the “Holy Grail” of what needs to get done.
2. Put Aside Time
Give yourself time to work and time to relax. When it’s time to work, focus on working, and working only. When it’s time to relax, focus only on enjoying yourself and relaxing. Don’t try to combine the two as this leads to rampant procrastination.
3. Avoid Social Media When You Work
Similar to the previous example, trying to mix work and pleasure is not a recipe for success. Instead, set aside some Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or other social media means time. Enjoy it only during that period. I know it’s tough, but when you work, you must avoid social media; it’s perhaps the biggest distraction of all!
4. No Cell Phone Usage
This is another very tough thing to do, but one that must be done. If you really plan on getting work done—I mean uninterrupted and unbothered work—I suggest putting your phone on silent, and leaving it in another room.
We constantly check our phone. We check to see if someone is texting us, emailing us, or calling us, and this gets in the way of serious productivity. By putting it on silent and far away from us, we won’t have to think about it and be sidetracked by it. It’s “out of sight and out of mind” and this gives us the peace of mind to perform at our best!
I know it’s tough—I battle with it all the time—but overcoming procrastination can be achieved. Try using these four tips the next time you want to get more work done, and see how much more you can actually do!
Also, if you have any other tips to beating procrastination, please leave me a comment and share your thoughts.