Procrastination is the thief of time. So many of us sit down at our desks with the best of intentions, then put off doing the important jobs that will drive our businesses forward.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. We can beat procrastination and spend our working time productively. For this blog, we’ve gathered together some of our favourite tips for beating procrastination.
- Eat the frog!
No, not literally. “Eat the frog” means doing the thing you dread. If you have a tough phone call to make, or some complicated calculation to do, or any other task that’s holding you up, it’s a good idea to do it first. These “frog” tasks are what we are most likely to procrastinate about, causing a blockage that can ruin a whole working day. But knowing you’ve “eaten the frog” will free you up for all the things you love about running your own business.
- Go for the quick win
If there’s nothing heavy on your to-do list, or you’re an afternoon person and like to work up to the tough tasks, start with a quick win. You could do something easy you enjoy, or something important but not very challenging. Ticking something off your list within two minutes of writing it is a great feeling that can boost your productivity. And if that only took two minutes, who knows what else you’ll be able to cram in? Here’s to a good day!
- Write a smart to-do list
Don’t put too many things on your list. If you have more jobs on your list than you can do in a day, it can be hard to find the motivation to get started. Instead, decide what you are going to do today and write that down. You can always use a bring-forward system and take on other tasks tomorrow.
- Manage distractions and reward yourself
Working on a computer comes with a lot of distractions. Social media, YouTube, fact-checking, games and more are all available to us via the computers we work on. The Get Ahead team like to keep distractions to a minimum by closing tabs that don’t relate to work, and turning off notifications.
But we’re not complete killjoys either. It can be a good idea to use those distractions as a reward. Get that task ticked off then watch that video or hang out on social media.
Of course, your rewards don’t have to be internet based! A dance round the kitchen or a chapter of your new book are healthy, screen-free treats if you work from home. If you work in an office, treat yourself to a walk with your favourite podcast, or a little something extra at lunchtime.
When we reward ourselves, we consciously acknowledge what we’ve achieved. That gives us the impetus to keep going and not procrastinate about the other tasks on the list.
- Make healthy choices
Sluggishness and sugar spikes make us feel tired and demotivated. However, hydration helps us stay alert, so remember to drink your water. Eat fruit to benefit from slow-releasing sugar, instead of the highs and lows of eating chocolate. Try and fit exercise into your weekly pattern – regular exercise can help us sleep better at night and feel more focused during the day.
Let our virtual experts help you beat procrastination
Of course, another reason for procrastination is that you’re so overwhelmed by what you have to do that you can’t even start. If that sounds like you, why not get in touch with your local Get Ahead regional director? They can help you identify what to outsource and regain control of your working life.