We’ve all done it… put off making that phone call, or said: “I’ll get to it tomorrow.” Procrastination isn’t a great trait when you’re up against that big deadline. Getting it under control will help your productivity improve by leaps and bounds.
Here are some tips to get you started!
Have a complex task you’ve been putting off? Instead of thinking about everything you need to accomplish and getting overwhelmed, shift your focus. Ask, what’s the smallest task I can do to get the project moving? Breaking a project down into small pieces and focusing on each one individually will get your project back on track. Take small bites, complete a task, take a break, then come back and do another.
Create a Trigger
Sometimes you just don’t feel like working on that project. Creating a trigger can help. For example, to cultivate mindfulness many experts suggest keeping a small pebble or shell on your desk. Seeing it can act as a trigger reminding us to stop and take a breath during the day.
What can you use to create a trigger for your project? Try keeping a book of writing prompts, or a list of steps for your project nearby to inspire you.
Go Rogue – Go Analog!
While digital tools have enabled us to collaborate easily, they can also sometimes become a distraction. You can spend an afternoon tweaking the settings on your tools and get nothing done. If your digital devices have become a distraction, shut them off and walk away!
Grab a pen and pad, find somewhere comfortable to work – like your favorite coffee shop, and put pen to paper. Sometimes just getting into a new environment will spur clear thinking.
Sometimes it can get overwhelming thinking about the time a task may take. Here’s a great tip – get a kitchen timer. Set it for 25 minutes and work continuously until it goes off. Then get up, reward yourself; get a coffee or take a quick walk. Repeat. Using this method will discipline you to focus intensely for a short time. Put enough small bursts together and, voila! Project completed.
Procrastination is a natural human characteristic, especially if the task ahead is difficult. The trick is to manage the urge when it arises. Try these tips next time you’re the feeling urge to put that project aside and see if they help improve your focus and productivity.