How to overcome procrastination? There are many things that can stop us from getting on with the tasks that we know need to be completed. And these are quite varied…
From how we feel, to how much we have to do, to how important or urgent we consider the activities to be.
If you are a successful busy professional who feels that there is always too much to do and too little time, procrastination can be a very painful condition, both to you the individual as well as to the business. It is important therefore to get to the bottom of what causes procrastination and see how it can be overcome, preferably as soon as possible.
If you have so many tasks to do, on most days, that you regularly feel overwhelmed and overly challenged this is not a healthy position to be in. This will cause stress and downright unhappiness.
What can be done to prevent this? What is it that is stopping us from getting on with the most important tasks?
I regularly work with very busy people who face this situation and the answer isn’t a magic one however I do believe it is multi-faceted. Here are some of the issues that are faced:
- Other more ‘urgent’ issues ‘shouting at you’ such as emails, phone calls, other people being around and distracting you
- Feeling unhappy – what can you do to become happier?
- Feeling anxious – what are you worrying about?
- Feeling incapable – learn to trust in your abilities far more
- Being a perfectionist – feel you can’t do the job perfectly so won’t do it at all
- Feeling bored – extra reason to do the job you are putting off!
Small, easy to complete tasks are always an easier option than the larger, longer term ones whose completion will produce a meaningful and possibly life changing outcome. And these small tasks are the ones that many people turn their attention to at the start of the day.
The trouble is that lots of small tasks can eat up a large proportion of your time and result in there not being enough hours left in the day to start, let alone finish, the juicy ones.
Therefore if you have a project sized task that you are working on, aim to start the day with making progress on this potentially ‘elephant sized’ task so that you feel good (rather than feeling bad at the end of the day because you didn’t get around to it.)
Here are some further tips to overcome procrastination:
- Focus. This is a good place to start. If you have a jobs list that is too huge to contemplate, the temptation might be to do something completely different, not even on your jobs list – sound familiar?
- If however you apply focus and ask yourself a great question such as, “What are the most important tasks that I want and need to accomplish today?” then you will be well on the way to having a productive day. Listen for the answers that come to you whilst reading through your task list and the most important ones will make themselves known to you
- Visualise the jobs done. The ones that you really want completed and think how good you will be feeling as a result
- Look at your diary and work out when the other tasks will be able to be dealt with so that you stop thinking you must achieve SO much in just one 8 (or 10?) hour day
- Limit your access to emails and only reply to them in batches
- Screen your calls and only answer the ones that you know you want to receive. You can then call back the ones that you missed at a time to suit you
- Make some space – working in an uncluttered environment will be more inspiring for you
- Plan a reward for when you have completed the ‘elephant sized’ task
If you consistently take some or all of these actions you will find that your procrastination is dramatically reduced. If you would like to find out more about the ways that I help people to find more time, reduce their stress and increase their profit do call me on 01295 272263 / 07783 107 236 or email me [email protected] . I look forward to hearing from you soon. I LOVE seeing the changes that people make, as soon as we start working together.
P.S. If you are wondering what the financial investment might be to dramatically improve the profit of your business via business coaching, here is an example of the sums involved. Any questions, just contact me.
P.P.S. If you would like to find out about my Offer of the Month for April 2013 do go and visit this page http://www.clairefuller.com/offer-of-the-month-april-2013/ it will help you further still with how to overcome procrastination.