“Putting off an easy thing makes it hard, and putting off a hard one makes it impossible.”
– George Claude Lorimer.
While it is true that procrastination can be approached in a positive way, the truth is that, in general, procrastination is an enemy of your productivity and prevents you from taking advantage of your full potential.
For this, I have compiled a list of multiple strategies that, independently or combined, can help you reduce your level of procrastination:
1. Use the two-minute rule: this rule is about “if a task takes you two minutes or less, don’t delay it; do it.” You can extend that time to 5 or 10 minutes. If you make this rule a habit, there will be a multitude of tasks that you won’t have a chance to postpone.
2. Take a small first step if you fear a task for whatever reason, plan to work only 5 minutes and leave it: when you start working the fear vanishes and you take inertia to continue and finish the work. By taking the first step, you overcome that resistance and begin to see things in a different way that previously seemed impossible. Stop thinking and do it.
3.Routines Help: if you turn boring and repetitive tasks into routines, you will end up doing them with little effort. Routines are habits or customs that you do almost unconsciously and simplify your life.
4. Make decisions: it happens many times that you are putting off a task unconsciously, simply because you do not stop to think about it. Take a couple of minutes to clarify what that task really means and make up your mind about it. You may decide to delay it in a rational way, in which case you are not procrastinating and you will not feel bad about it.
5. Keep track of your time: write down somewhere what tasks you do each day and how much time you have spent on each one. By recording your time, you create an internal commitment that makes you more responsible for how you use it.
6. Learn to say no: since many of the tasks that you postpone are commitments that you have sought for not knowing how to say no. Change yes to NO a couple of times.
7. Don’t be afraid to quit – it may not be the time to do something. Sometimes we think we have to do something simply because we started it. If time makes that project no longer make as much sense or not important enough, just drop it and do other things. Waiting does not mean procrastinating.
8. Manage your energy, not your time: it is important that you work at your best moments. If you are exhausted or in a bad mood, your chances of procrastinating are greatly increased. For a better attitude, get plenty of rest, control your nutrition, and exercise.
9. Use the Seinfeld strategy: Jerry Seinfeld, actor and comedian, uses this strategy to keep writing jokes every day. If you have a task to do every day, take a calendar and mark each day you do it with an X. The goal is not to break the chain of Xs on the calendar.
10. Break your work down into small, concrete tasks – a large, complex project can be overwhelming. By dividing it into small tasks, you can see the path clearly and the resistance to face it decreases.
11. Set a reward for when you finish that resistant task: motivate yourself by thinking about what you will do after doing it — something that really appeals to you, relaxes you, and is effortless. Define your own incentives.
12. Make it public: if it’s a big challenge, make it public. Talk about it with your family and your friends, post it on your social networks, on your blog. You will feel responsible and committed, and it will be difficult for you to put off work.
13. Use the right words: express actions clearly, concise and motivating. Words matter when faced with a new task.
14. Use a short to-do list: A long to-do list can ruin your feeling of regularly checking your goals. If a task is complicated, uncertain or boring, but it is important to achieve a goal, always keeping that goal in mind should help you not to procrastinate.
15. Work on your habits: if you know yourself and find out why you constantly put off certain types of tasks, you can change your habits and move them towards less procrastination and greater productivity.
16. Avoid distractions: the more temptations you have to do something else instead of what you have to do, the easier it will be to procrastinate. Keep your mobile, notifications and internet access disconnected when you are about to face complicated tasks.
Do you have a system that works for you? If you have a personal productivity system, it will be easier for you to be clear about what you have to do and why you should not postpone it.
By Maria Hernandez For jobbinghood.com