Unless you’re a robot, procrastination is a normal part of your work life. Almost all of us have delayed or said “I’ll do it tomorrow,” at some point. That said, procrastination is an indulgence you must learn to temper, particularly if you’re up against a big deadline or want to impress a colleague, boss or customer.
Go easier on yourself. Several studies show regulating your emotions will help you manage moments of procrastination. These seven strategies can also help.
1. Keep A Procrastination Pad
Do you sometimes sit down at your desk to work on an important project, like creating a sales funnel, for 30 or 60 minutes only to find yourself clicking on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram? Or perhaps you use Google like a slot machine, typing in random search queries because you’re bored.
Consider keeping a procrastination pad next to your keyboard. Whenever you think of something to look up, write this thought on the procrastination pad and return to the task.
After focusing on your work for at least an hour or ticking an item off your to do list, look up something from your procrastination pad guilt-free. Think of it like chocolate after the gym.
2. Start Small
Let’s say you want to create a ten minute video for your landing page. If you haven’t recorded much video before, this new activity might feel off-putting. Instead of considering all that goes into writing the script, recording, editing and publishing the video, ask yourself what’s the smallest action you can take to progress.
Perhaps you can open up the Word document and write out the few bullet points for your script. Or you could simply write one paragraph for the introduction. Starting small is usually enough to gain momentum on a difficult project. From there, chip away at your video, project or sales funnel.
3. Create A Prompt Or A Trigger
When I was training for a marathon, I put off some training runs, because I didn’t feel like running in the cold. A more experienced runner recommended leaving my trainers and gear by the front door each morning so I’d see them before leaving the house for work.
This practice works in all sorts of areas. A while ago I wanted to cultivate mindfulness during stressful moments at work. I listened to a lecture on the meditation app HeadSpace. Andy Puddicombe recommended leaving a small pebble on the desk. This pebble served as a trigger for me to pause during a normal work day.
What trigger could you create related to a key business project? Leave it somewhere visible so it reminds you to act. As an example, I keep a book of writing prompts on my desk.
4. Impose A Constraint
A constraint is a limitation placed on a project, typically involving time, money or people. It should encourage focusing on the essentials and mitigate scope creep. For example, Jeff Bezos is known for his constraint of holding meetings in which two pizzas will feed all attendees.
Rather than giving yourself an unlimited budget, put a cap on what you’ll spend. As an example, you might decide to only spend $500 on generating paid traffic towards your landing page each month.
Instead of allocating your entire team to creating an online course, assign only those you need. Rather than giving yourself until the end of the year, ask what you can get done this month, or even this week?
5. Go Analog
Productivity tools enable us to collaborate in ways that weren’t possible years ago, but they’re also a massive distraction. You can spend an entire day tweaking the settings of your tool of choice while trying to get it to connect to everything else you depend on. If you find yourself getting distracted by digital tools, switch them off, disconnect the internet and work away from the screen.
Take a pen and notepad and go for a walk. Or map out your sales funnel using a whiteboard and markers. Getting up from the desk will unlock fresh, clear thinking.
Consider the humorist David Sedaris who spends an hour or two each morning writing his journal entries before spending the afternoon picking up road-side trash in West-Sussex England.
6. Keep A List Of Mini-Achievements
Keep a list at your computer of everything you finished today, this week or this month. These might include simple achievements like writing 500 words for your next lead magnet, selling three coaching packages to your students or completing a SWOT analysis. When you’re unmotivated, read your list. Progress in your business might feel slow, but you might be surprised by how far you’ve come.
7. Focus On What You Enjoy
If you work on challenging tasks for an extended period, you’ll become more stressed and eventually dread work.
Pick one task you like working on or feel confident about and focus on that for a little while. When you feel more motivated and fresh, return to those other, slightly more unpleasant tasks and work through them as quick as you can. Or ask another team member who enjoys them for help. It’s fine to procrastinate once you know how to manage these moments and then refocus on your work.
It’s natural to procrastinate about hard and difficult business tasks. The trick is to manage these moments when they arise, know when to push forwards and when to stop.
Left Coast Kratom is here to help you experience the freshest highest quality kratom powders and extracts at competitive prices.