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Some days you’re raring to go. Other times, you can barely complete a single task. It’s normal to feel out of sorts sometimes because we’re only human; our moods change at a drop of a hat. But if procrastinating keeps you from taking your business to the next level, you have to do something about it before it worsens.
The thing with procrastination is that it's never simple. It's often a product of many things, bad habits, patterns, and sudden mood changes that come together to wreak havoc on one's work schedule. If you’re prone to procrastination or you’re a recovering procrastinator who’s fallen off the wagon, here are ways to snap out of it and be more productive:
Being in the right headspace is the most compelling motivation to be more productive at work. You see, negative thinking and procrastination are connected. When your mind is filled with negativity, you're not in the mood to get things done. You don't have the motivation!
Instead of dwelling on negativity, think about ways to make work easier and faster for you. Think about the things that keep you inspired, take a breather, practice mindful thinking, and change how you perceive certain things about your business.
For example, if you’ve got zero motivation to handle prospect inquiries because it’s taking too long for them to seal the deal, put yourself in their shoes and find ways to make them see that they are making the right choice.
A little introspection does a lot of wonders to one's state of mind. If you're feeling out of sorts at work for some time, it's worth sitting yourself down and finding out what’s going on. Why are you procrastinating? What tasks are you avoiding or assignments that are taking too long to finish? Ask yourself why you are resisting these tasks, why you don't feel motivated to take them off your list.
We often put off specific tasks because we have strong negative feelings about them — self-doubt, fear of failure, being overwhelmed, feeling like we're not good enough, etc. Unfortunately, these negative feelings lead to self-sabotage.
Do yourself a favour and free yourself from whatever negative feelings that are holding you back from being your best self!
Because of the health crisis, most of us are now working from home. And home can be full of distractions! If you've been binging on Netflix instead of getting things done, it's time to list down all of the distractions that are keeping you from completing your assignments and clearing these off your workspace.
No social media until all of the items on your to-do list has been ticked off, no TV until you're done with the meeting. No snacking until you've presented the deliverables and absolutely no mid-morning nap until your project's done. It’s a good idea to create a workstation in a room with no TV, game console, etc., to make sure that you are spending your time doing actual work.
If you’re the kind who’ll only complete a task when everything goes exactly the way you think it should, your perfectionism is getting in the way of your productivity, and you might not even know it. Most perfectionists tend to put things off because of little things that could be overlooked — the vibe is off, something is off, unmet expectations, fear of failure, fear of not being good enough, being overwhelmed, etc.
Here’s the deal: you don’t have to do your tasks perfectly. You don’t have to wait for the right timing or the right mood to get simple tasks done. And don’t beat yourself up if things don’t go according to your plan. Prioritize what’s important. Focus on the tasks so you don’t end up being behind and missing a deadline.
If the “anything goes” approach leaves you with incomplete tasks and pending projects, it’s time to step up your game: create a work schedule and stick to it. Start your work hours at times of the day when you’re at your most productive. If you’re at your best in the mornings, set your work schedule in the AM. Start with the essential tasks and work your way to small assignments.
Another effective strategy is to arrange similar tasks by groups. Then, complete these tasks per group. If you have to check and respond to emails, consolidate all tasks related to emails at a specific time of the day. If your task involves writing blogs, schedule the writing at the best time for you. This way, you can focus on the tasks and never break the momentum.
If you have one giant task that you’ve been putting off because you think it’s too hard and feeling overwhelmed, break this task into small tasks. Work on each task one by one. Split your time between working on the task and giving yourself a break not to end up feeling drained or burned out after completing it.
Procrastinating is inevitable if you’re not prioritizing essential tasks. And the thing with tasks is that these DO NOT complete themselves! Focus on what’s important and find ways to motivate yourself to avoid procrastinating. With these tips, you won’t fall off the productivity wagon ever again!
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