Running a business requires discipline and hard work, and sometimes it’s tempting to procrastinate, even when each day seems really busy. Procrastination has become easier with social media, email, on-demand entertainment, and TV interrupting our every action. Even sitting around doing nothing is tempting when there are overwhelming tasks ahead. Luckily, there are many ways to overcome it, and each person can discover what’s effective.
Decide which time of the day is best to get work done for you. Some people are more energetic and motivated early in the morning, while others can work late at night. Another way to overcome procrastination is to do the least enjoyable task first, which will make the rest of the day seem easy, and there won’t be anything hanging over your head that has to get done. If night is your most productive time, finish something that is due the next day before you go to bed, so it will be out of the way when the new day begins. I’ve suggested before that starting the day with a ritual can help businesspeople focus and prepare to seriously work. What’s important is creating a schedule that will motivate you to be productive, and sticking to it.
Set specific goals. Breaking down tasks into detailed lists and schedules will establish a plan that can be accomplished, which will prevent procrastination. Once those items are completed, it’s easier to move on to what Allison Graham in Fast Company calls the “next step” (she learned that from David Allen’s book Getting Things Done).
Graham also suggests having a “low-energy list” and staying in motion by ignoring distractions and starting projects to maintain productivity. Another helpful tip she shares is first recognizing, then changing procrastination habits by limiting time on social media and websites or doing something more productive, such as reading instead of watching TV.
How do you beat procrastination? Let me know in the comments below.