If you’re anything like the rest of us, you procrastinate. With so much going on all of the time, it can be tricky to stay focused. Bills pile up, meetings get rescheduled and don’t even get us started on missing those dental appointments.
It may not even be laziness, but fear of the unknown, or a crippling sense of self-doubt. There are many reasons people put things off. What’s more important, isn’t the lack of doing things, but getting past the roadblocks that could prevent us from taking that leap of faith, or finishing a project.
Take it slow
Start small, and do something like pay the electric bill today, and pay the house note on Friday – before both are due. Break big tasks down and allocate some time to get them done. Instead of freaking out about the size of the mission, divide your work into chunks spread out over time.
Make a checklist
Start the day by making a checklist of everything you need to do. Or maybe make a list before you go to bed, whatever works for you. As you accomplish each task, cross them off the list. Don’t make it just the big stuff, either. Add in some little tasks, too. It’ll all add up.
If you’re not a pen and paper kind of person, a lot of apps exist that you can use. Or, you can just use your iPhone notepad.
Work on your clock
If you’re not a morning person, work in the middle of the night. If you’re an early riser, get everything done before the rest of the house is getting up for breakfast. No one said you have to complete all your tasks during working hours. That’s why some grocery stores are 24 hours.
Accept your flaws
That painting you wanted to finish is sitting there. Just finish it. If you’re not perfect, you’re at least trying. The only way to get to “perfection” is to continually work. No one is born amazing at something. Getting good takes work, and a lot of failures, too.
Are you staring at your phone when you should be moving boxes or working? Put the phone down, or better yet, install an app like SelfControl and block the ability to login in the first place.
Get a routine
Some people thrive on routine. Put some best practices in place, and go from there. You could see a significant transformation of what you accomplish if you get to bed on time, and get a good night’s rest; if you start eating three healthier meals per day, that will affect your routine, too. There are small things you can tweak to see real outcomes.
Outsource the boring stuff
Don’t like paying bills? Set up automatic bill pay. Get software that manages your books. There are apps for just about everything, and probably every little job you hate. The same thing goes for mowing the lawn, cleaning the house, fixing things – some seasoned professionals would love your business.
Lay off the coffee
If you’re working, you probably love coffee. We guzzle it down every single day. The result of so many cups? While you get the energy, sometimes, your focus suffers. Excessive coffee drinking can lead to not being able to sit down and get stuff done. Instead, we’re wandering around, nibbling at our tasks instead of completing them.
Do one thing right now
Remember that list? Find one easy thing, or at least the easiest thing, and do it right now. Then keep going. Fight through writer’s block – you’ve never heard of a plumber getting plumber’s block, have you? Stop putting off the job. Hunker down, and get to work.
By trying a new routine or making a few small changes to your lifestyle, you can make a huge difference in your productivity. You just have to have the self-discipline to start.
What do you do to prevent procrastination? We’d love to hear! Drop us a line and let’s talk. We love learning about what the ScaleFactor community is up to. And as always, for everything else, check out the ScaleFactor blog.
Director of People