Sometimes, procrastination can take over your entire day. You might be sat at your desk with a list of ‘things to do’ lay right next to you, but by the end of the day, you haven’t completed as much as you should have, and that’s because of procrastination. Don’t despair - procrastination is actually very normal. In fact, a study by Piers Steel found that 95% of people procrastinate!
In order for you to be the most productive person you possibly can and to stop procrastination taking over your life, Prestige Recruitment Group have compiled a list of our top tips to help you when procrastination comes calling.
1) Motivate Yourself Correctly
People often procrastinate because they’re not feeling motivated enough to actually get the work done. The best way to overcome this is to think about the end game and what you hope to receive in the future. For example, are you aiming for a promotion? Where do you want to be in a years time? When you think about your future and how you need to accomplish your tasks to get there, you are likely to feel more motivated when it comes to completing your work!
This tip also works with personal goals and other things you might be putting off. For example, if you’re wanting to lose weight but just can’t find the motivation to diet or start exercising – start thinking of the end game and how fabulous you will be feeling once you’ve lost the weight.
2) Break It Down
One of the main causes of procrastination is the idea (and fear) of starting a large task. However, all of these tasks can actually be broken down into smaller, more manageable tasks. If you concentrate on one small thing at a time, you will find that you can tick more tasks off your to-do-list, which increases motivation to continue with the task!
3) Set Strict Deadlines
It’s important that you set deadlines for everything you do in order to keep you motivated when it comes to finishing your work. Some people prefer working under pressure, other people believe it forces them into getting things done and they don’t enjoy them. Either way, deadlines are vital in getting productive and stopping procrastination in its tracks! As you start setting your own deadlines, make sure you set yourself up for success and schedule more time than necessary. Projects often take much longer than expected, so make sure to schedule the extra time to make it easier for yourself.
4) Take a Walk
If you’re finding it hard to stay motivated, you should take a quick walk round and clear your head. This may seem counter-intuitive, but it has been proven that stepping away from a task can be beneficial to completing it. There has been lots of studies that show people perform better mentally after light to medium exercise.
5) Stop Chasing Perfection
Some people start to procrastinate when they’re worried about their work and they want it to be perfect. Striving for perfection has been the death of many brilliant ideas, products and businesses. Therefore, it’s important that you let go of the idea of perfection. The longer you stare at a blank page, the more difficult the task becomes in our mind. Just remember, something is better than nothing. Therefore it’s vital that you just start working and let your ideas grow. You can edit and edit until you finally get the perfect piece – it’s just not going to happen first time round.
So it’s time to be productive! It’s important to remember that you should stop beating yourself up about the past. If you’re having thoughts like ‘I should have started earlier,’ it will only make matters worse. Research actually shows that forgiving yourself for past procrastination will help you stop putting off working on a task.