Today we will talk about what for many is the archenemy of productivity and it’s the cause of why people go home at the end of the work day without having finished all that is pending … it’s called “procrastination”.
But what is procrastinating?
The most direct definition tells us it’s “the action of delaying the most important tasks and replacing them with others that give us more satisfaction”. Let’s admit it, at a time when entrepreneurs and freelancers can choose when and from where to work, this has become a real headache for many people all over the world.
Let’s understand something, procrastination in particular, is a problem that stems from self-regulation and time management, or lack of them to be precise. Its solution would consist, among others, of organizing time management appropriately, concentrating on doing the most important tasks that have the soonest due date.
Normally, whoever delays or postpones a decision or a task, does so because they don’t feel prepared, inspired, or ready to accomplish it, they hope that things will resolve themselves, so they allude to doing things “when I have the time”, carrying out all actions in an evasive manner.
There are three types of procrastination:
1. By evasion, when you avoid starting a task for fear of failure. It’s a problem of self-esteem.
2. By activation, when you delay a task until you absolutely have to do it. It’s the opposite problem as the first one, it’s a problem of motivation.
3. By indecision, typical of people who, as they try to do the task, get lost in thinking about the best way to do it without making a decision. It’s also called the Penelope Complex, and although it has its basis on a more complex psychological disorder (ADD), you could say it’s a problem of insecurity.
For now we will focus on the people who procrastinate in types 1 and 2, although we must acknowledge that at one time or another, to a greater or lesser degree, we all tend to delay some activities on our To Do lists.
There are a series of techniques that can help you put aside postponing and turn into the person that meets their daily goals. We will talk about 6 tips to stop procrastinating and achieve productivity.
#1 EAT THE FROG
This is a concept introduced by Brian Tracy, author of the book “Eat that Frog” and he talks about that the first thing you have to do during the day is what overwhelms you the most, that which worries you and doesn’t let you sleep, when you have done it already it will free up most of your thinking you will, you have that feeling of success from early on during your day, and your mind will be 100% to finish the remaining tasks on your list.
#2 WRITE DOWN YOUR GOALS FOR THE DAY
It is recommended that this activity be done before going to sleep, since it will help you get clarity and rest not only when sleeping but also when waking up it will be a great motivation to start, you have to classify them into small and big and give them the priority and importance they deserve.
For this to be more effective, we recommend you write them down by hand in an agenda or planner, but if technology is your thing, use some of the apps we recommend like asana and Trello. (don’t forget to add the verification box so that you can confirm them throughout the day.)
#3 THE ONE MINUTE RULE
This rule talks about dedicating a definite period of time (one minute) to ALL your simple tasks that are just filling up your list needlessly and overwhelming your mind, it involves setting one minute to your stopwatch and perform each task in that minute or less. This you can do at the start or during a mental block moment, as a good solution to get clarity in your mind.
#4 DIVIDE AND CONQUER
Most of these procrastinated tasks tend to be long and painstaking overall, dividing them into small actions will help you have greater clarity on how to achieve them and will give you the feeling of success in multiple short goals as part of the great final goal.
#5 AVOID DISTRACTIONS
We have mentioned it 3 million times, the world is full of distractions, but to avoid the unavoidable, designate times to be distracted, set limits to them and seek out those distractions that will create benefits for you, 5 minutes for Facebook between one task and another will help you release stress, a 10 minute walk will give you clarity of mind and activate your body, 15 minutes talking with your co-workers will help keep you connected and find alternative solutions to things.
#6 GIVE YOURSELF FREE TIME
Respect your 8-hour work days and your lunch hour, the people who are most productive are those who work better not those who work more, your lunch hour must be spent eating and enjoying your meal and your companions, never take work outside your assigned work space. Thus, you will be able to release what’s necessary, increase your motivation and never procrastinate any task again, no matter how tedious or hard it seems.
Remember; how many times have you left work late, tired, and feeling that you did very little in your job or dissatisfied because you didn’t finish your tasks? With these 6 tips you will be able to stop procrastinating and turn into a productivity hero.
© 2020, All rights reserved, Aldin Consulting Group, LLC.