We’ve all said it; I’ll start that tomorrow…..Monday…when this/that happens…
You procrastinate and you delay these tasks and do something else instead. Unfortunately that can lead to bigger problems.
When it comes to business, if you are having trouble completing tasks you are not alone!
Beating procrastination is possible, but you’ll need to take sensible steps to achieve it.
Here’s 4 Steps to beating procrastination;
- Essential To Do List
To do lists are great but sometimes they can make people feel overwhelmed with the amount they have ‘to do’. Cut down the list by highlighting the most important tasks.
“The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” written by Stephen Covey discusses putting your ‘To Do’s’ into a Matrix as below;
At the start of every week, write a two-by-two matrix on a blank sheet of paper where one side of the matrix says “urgent” and “not urgent” and the other side of the matrix says “important” and “not important.” Then, write all the things you want to do that week.
- Break it down
It can be hard to concentrate on something effectively for long periods of time and can be daunting if you know you have a big job to do. Breaking them down into smaller jobs and giving them a set time can stop procrastination and also make you work more effectively.
One example is the Pomodoro Technique of doing 25-minute sprints.
- Decide on the task to be done.
- Set the pomodoro timer (traditionally to 25 minutes).
- Work on the task until the timer rings. If a distraction pops into your head, write it down, but immediately get back on task.
- After the timer rings, put a checkmark on a piece of paper.
- If you have fewer than four checkmarks, take a short break (3–5 minutes), then go to step 1.
- Else (i.e. after four pomodoros) take a longer break (15–30 minutes), reset your checkmark count to zero, then go to step 1.
This can help with good time management for small business owners and help them avoid procrastination.
- Disconnect Yourself
A phone and an internet connection can be the enemy of productive work and can be an excuse to procrastinate. Research has shown that we are five times more likely to procrastinate today than we were in the 1970s. The internet and mobile devices have had a lot to do with that.
When you really have to concentrate, set aside some time – an hour or a whole day – then go offline to work without distraction.
Eric Thomas motivational speaker put it best;
Some of you, you focus until the phone ring. And then you like,
“If I don’t answer the phone I’m gonna die.”
“Your cell phone is more important to you than your success. Some of you need to give up your cell phone! The cell phone is not bringing you nothing but a bill!”
4. Eat the Frog
Eat the Frog is a book by Brian Tracy that provides the 21 most effective methods for conquering procrastination and accomplishing more.
The book tells us;
“Mark Twain once said that if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worse things that is going to happen to you all day long. Your “frog” is your biggest, most important task, the one you are most likely to procrastinate on if you don’t do something about it.”
Do the things you don’t want to do first and do them now! Making a start on a task is often the biggest step. It’ll be easier to come back and continue it, rather than starting from scratch later. It will help put you in the right frame of mind, too.
According to a study by Dianne Tice and Roy Baumeister of Florida University; Procrastinators sometimes believe that they perform better under pressure. But in fact they tend to perform worse than their peers. They’re also more likely to suffer from stress.
So beating procrastination is vital not only for a successful business but if you want to perform to the best of your abilities, and also stay happy and healthy. So what are you waiting for? Get started – right now.
Click here for a tool to help you stop procrastinating when it comes to your accounts!