5 Ways You Can Successfully Stop Procrastinating
Let’s be honest with ourselves and admit that we all have a habit of procrastinating. It’s just a nature way to deal with multiple tasks and while we’re focusing on something that’s “important” something else gets neglected. We have this tendency of leaving things for the last minute or till it’s closer to the deadline. That’s when we put in the late hours at work, burn the candle at both ends, compromise on quality and focus on just getting the work done. Even though we know that we should stop procrastinating, yet we continue to fall down that trap. It’s no doubt an inefficient, ineffective and unproductive way of working, but unfortunately, sometimes we’re all guilty of this!
We’re quite aware that procrastinating will get us in trouble, yet we still do it. Sure, we can have tons of excuses for delaying a report or a simple task, and I’m sure all of them are (to some extent) valid, but nonetheless how long can we put them off for? In the end we’ll still have to attend to them and get the job done.
So how can you help yourself and stop procrastinating? Here are a few techniques you can apply to benefit from.
1. Start Your Day Early
I’m sure you’re all too familiar with how random tasks arise during the day and you’re unable to check off anything from your to-do list. It’s frustrating, particularly when there are just a few hours left till the end of the day and you haven’t achieved much, in terms of what you had planned to do. And that’s why starting your day early is particularly important. You’ll get a head start on your list of things to accomplish and probably be more receptive to the random requests and tasks people throw your way when they arrive to work later. You’ll also be able to lay out a daily game plan for your team because you’ll already have planned your day by arriving early.
2. Delegate and Share
I’m sure you often feel that to really get the job done right you have to do it yourself. Sure, you may be the most skilled at a particular task, based on your experience in dealing with the situation, but then if you do it all you’re spreading yourself too thin. Delegation and sharing the workload will help you offload some of your responsibilities to allow you time to attend to other priorities. Plus it’ll also enable team members to learn a new skills.
3. Prioritize Right
One of the fundamental challenges you may face is deciding what to tackle first. That’s mainly because you have a hard time classifying these tasks as either “important” or “urgent”. There’s a good chance that most tasks, if not all, that you’re supposed to do will be important (why else do you have to do them, right?) Though there are certain things that aren’t so important for us to do, which is where the above point about delegation comes into play. The rest should be prioritized based on their level of urgency. This way you’ll be able to push out immediate tasks. However, be careful that even if you’re putting on hold the not-so-urgent tasks you do make time to come back to them!
4. Close the Day with a To-Do List
It’s probably a good idea not to try and accomplish everything that’s on your list of things to do in one day. After all, there’s a possibility that you’ll burn yourself out! When you’ve achieved your goals for the day take some time out to jot down a to-do list for tomorrow. This way you’ll plan out your daily goals and be mentally ready to tackle the challenges that lie ahead. With a clear mindset and eye on the goal you’ll be more productive.
5. The 3 Minute Solution
In his book Time Warrior, Steve Chandler outlines a technique that he guarantees will help you shake off your procrastination habits. Start by thinking of all the things you should be doing. List them down. Now consider a situation where you only have 3 minutes. Ask yourself which of these tasks would you do in those 3 minutes. And just like that you’ll be checking off tasks from your procrastination list. It’s as simple as that!
When you take a bird’s eye view of it all, procrastination, staying back late at the office and the inability to prioritize spell out one main concern – time management. If you’re able to get a handle on how you manage your time you’ll transform yourself to be more productive, less stressed and achieve better balance in your life. You’ll definitely be less worked up about things not getting done on time because you’ll stop procrastinating!
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