It happens to all of us. We have a project that needs to be finished, a deadline we have to meet, or a goal that we’ve set for ourselves. However we keep putting it off until tomorrow, next week, or even next month until we realize that 6 months have gone by and we’ve accomplished nothing.
Why does this happen? What makes a person procrastinate their life away when there is so much they want to get done?
Procrastination is something most people have in common, however, there are some that are chronic procrastinators and truly need some guidance and help in this area. When it starts to disrupt the success of our business, our career, or our life at home that is when it becomes a real issue.
There are some steps you can take to solve this issue and start working more productive habits into your daily routine.
Recognizing that there is an issue is the first step in beating procrastination and gaining back some of the time you’ve lost. Not only do you need to recognize it, but you need to understand why you’ve been putting things off. Procrastination can be caused by many things including fear of failure, perfectionism, and pure laziness. Only you can decide what is truly the cause. Is it because the work you’re doing isn’t enjoyable? Is it because you are simply disorganized and don’t know what step to take next?
Sometimes the work we do is just a necessary evil in our business. That doesn’t mean we enjoy it. In fact it can be downright unpleasant if you think about it. For someone who hates numbers and details would be completely bored AND frustrated doing the bookkeeping for their own business. Someone who isn’t very creative wouldn’t enjoy graphic design or building websites on a daily basis.
Take stock of the work you do and figure out if the services you offer are a good fit for your personality type. Once you determine the type of work you truly want to do, you can outsource the rest to a Virtual Assistant or another employee who can help get the job done.
Figuring out the reasons behind your inaction will greatly improve your chances at beating procrastination and taking charge of your schedule and goals.
This may or may not be one of the reasons that you are procrastinating but it sure does help to know where everything is at in your workspace.
If you have piles of papers on your desk, put everything away that doesn’t pertain to the specific job(s) that you are currently working on. Project Management software like Basecamp or Asana is helpful if you have a bunch of projects going at one time. This eliminates the need for paper as well as being able to easily communicate with others on the project.
If you haven’t gone completely digital a good file cabinet is the next best thing to keeping important papers handy. You can pull everything out at a moments notice and not waste any time searching for what you need.
Google Calendar is a great way to keep track of schedules both for you and the whole family. It will eliminate any scheduling issues and give you a much better idea of what you’ve got going on in the upcoming weeks.
Being organized is one way you can truly feel at peace both in life and business. If your life at home isn’t organized that can affect what you think about during the hours you should be working. Your mind is reeling thinking about the clutter in the kitchen, the dishes that are piled up in the sink, and the mountain of laundry that needs to be done.
This is not to say you must have an immaculate home at all times. However knowing that you don’t have to worry about those pesky issues will help you focus on the things that truly matter that will take your business to a new level of success.
Think about the routine that you have created for yourself. Is it one that makes you feel most productive?
If you find yourself procrastinating too much it may be time to change it up and start incorporating better habits into your daily routine.
Try making a to-do list the evening before and recognize what truly needs to be accomplished the next day. When you wake up with a clear focus it’s much easier not to push things off until later.
Better eating habits and regular exercise are very important when it comes to establishing a well rounded, healthy, productive routine for yourself. Try taking a 30 minute walk throughout the day to clear your head and give you a refreshed start on old projects and ideas. Giving yourself periodic breaks during the day is a must.
If you have a big project to finish and you’ve been putting it off because it’s just too overwhelming, start by breaking it up into smaller pieces. The smaller tasks will look much more appealing and much easier to accomplish than the big task as a whole.
Lists are a great way to get and stay organized as well. A checklist will remind you of all the things you want to get done in case you have a tendency to forget some of the more “boring” tasks throughout the day.
If there is something you’ve been putting off because it’s outside your comfort zone or you really don’t enjoy doing it, remind yourself why you are doing the task in the first place. Is it getting you closer to your goal? Either outsource it, or just do it. Then you can reward yourself afterward.
Better habits are a great way to ensure that you are making the most of your time and feeling great while doing so.
Procrastination is nothing more than a bad habit we’ve picked up over time. It can be changed just like anything else but it will take some commitment and determination on your end. You can change your habits, become more organized, and form a plan of action but you first have to recognize that there is an issue. Once you do this you will be well on your way to a much more productive day.