We all know what we should be doing; we just don’t want to do it. It’s easy to put off undesirable deadlines and assignments until the very last minute, but then we’re forced to pull a stress-induced all-nighter. Seven cups of coffee later, we’re exhausted, frustrated, and turning in a project that hardly showcases our best work. Here are the top 10 tips to crush procrastination and actually get some work done!
- Get organized
You can’t do any work if you don’t know what projects and items need to be completed. Invest in a planner or start using the calendar app on your phone. This makes it much easier to keep track of individual projects and important due dates. Need help getting started? Reach out.
- Set simple, achievable goals
Part of the reason we procrastinate is because the task at hand seems too daunting. It’s much easier to start a project when you establish simple, reachable goals rather than to have just a big, vague plan. Instead of telling yourself, “I’ll complete the inventory tonight,” say, “I’ll complete inventorying sections 2 & 3 this evening.” This makes your goals less intimidating and more attainable by breaking them into smaller, more easily achievable tasks. It will help you feel more accomplished and driven to keep going if you’re checking off more tasks as you go.
- Create a timeline/schedule
After you set your goals, create a timeline to complete them. This could be a schedule for your big sales event coming up (“Monday – Create the draft marketing plan. Tuesday – find out the pricing for the proposed marketing,” etc.), or it could be mapping out the inventory ordering training process (“I’ll write out steps 1-10 today from 1-2:30 p.m.”). Breaking an assignment into small chunks over time makes it much more manageable.
- Set a deadline
So many people get trapped in the cycle of “Someday, I’ll organize my training manual” or “I’ll get to that communication later this week.” The truth is that “someday,” and “eventually” never come. It’s important to set a specific date for when you want your goals to be accomplished. If you have to meet a deadline, aim to have it completed one or two days in advance. Then, if something unexpected happens, you still have extra time to complete it.
- Get rid of distractions
It’s important to rid yourself of all potential disruptions before you begin working so you don’t get needlessly sidetracked halfway through your task. If you tend to spend too much time on social media when you should be making cold calls, then set a timer on your phone to go off when you’ve spent 20 minutes scrolling so you can get to work. Distractions could also be external sources, like annoying employees. Try listening to music or white noise to drown out their constant chatter. Alternatively, you could change environments altogether and head down to the local coffee shop or to a private office, where you can clear your mind and study distraction-free.
Next time 6-10.