Let’s face it - everyone struggles with procrastination, from high school students to top-level executives. Some procrastinate simply out of a lack of desire to work or a deep resentment towards deadlines. For others, putting things off until the last minute helps them work harder because they are motivated by the short amount of time left they have to accomplish a task. There are many reasons why people procrastinate but, whatever your reason is, it is important to work past the urge to put things off until the last minute in order to keep your business running efficiently. Here are a few tips to overcoming procrastination.
A procrastinator will be set up for failure if they do not have set deadlines. In some situations, people may simply ask for something in “one to two weeks” or not even give a deadline, saying “whenever you get around to it.” This is bound to lead to procrastination. It is easy to push back a task when there is no set deadline. If you are in one of these positions, create your own hard deadline. Pick a day, mark it as a due date in your calendar and set a reminder to have it done by then. If someone already gave you a hard deadline, consider it a matter of proving your accountability to stick the due date.
Break the Goal Down into Smaller, More Achievable Goals
It is significantly harder to be motivated and start a project when it seems massive and daunting. Break down the task into smaller steps. This will help you feel productive and successful as you accomplish the smaller tasks that lead to the overall completion to the larger goal that you’ve set for yourself. If you feel positive about each small step that you are able to accomplish through a project, you are more likely to feel motivated to continue achieving your goal. Additionally, the goal will seem more possible. Getting overwhelmed with a task will make your procrastination worse. Create smaller goals within the end goal so you can envision the process and turn it into a reality.
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Reward Your Progress
When you reach your smaller goals, make sure to reward yourself. Take small break to enjoy a coffee or get in touch with a friend. Or, keep track of your goals on pen and paper to use the visual aid of crossing out the goal once it is accomplished to be able to literally acknowledge your successes. Reward your progress with positive reinforcement and you will feel more excited and motivated to continue working on the project.
Use the Pomodoro Technique
Try using the Pomodoro Technique next time you are working on a big project. The Pomodoro Technique centers around working intensely for short intervals and taking breaks in between. The logic is that you will work harder and more efficiently for the small period of time. Instead of sitting around staring at a blank screen, you can spend half an hour working avidly and then go take a short walk outside. It will reduce the chances of you feeling burnt out on the task and ultimately increase the amount that you get done over a period of time.
Hire a Business Coach to Keep You Accountable
If you have a hard time holding yourself accountable, hire a business coach. Sometimes having another person working with you is the only way to prevent yourself from pushing back deadlines. With a business coach, they will ensure you are not falling behind on tasks by helping you to overcome your tendency to procrastinate. You can outline your objectives and collaborate with your coach to create a step-by-step plan to complete the task at hand. Your coach will help keep you motivated and accountable so you can continue to see your business grow and thrive.