We all procrastinate from time to time. Procrastination occurs when we avoid tasks that we find unpleasant. Even if we perform other work-related tasks instead of the ones we dislike, we are guilty of procrastination. Unfortunately, procrastination will hinder our long-term success. With the proper skills, you can overcome procrastination.
Procrastination is like putting a frog into a pot of cold water and turning the heat on low. The frog will slowly cook to death and never even realize it. Are you slowly cooking to death?
I was a procrastinator until a few years back and it made tasks harder and created an immense amount of stress. Here are nine ways to get moving on those tasks.
1. Delegate it. If the task is important, ask yourself if it’s really something that you are responsible for doing in the first place. Know your job description and ask if the task is part of your responsibilities. Can the task be given to someone else?
2. Do it now. Postponing an important task that needs to be done only creates feelings of anxiety and stress. Do it as early in the day as you can.
3. Ask for advice. Asking for help from a trusted mentor, supervisor, coach, or expert can give you some great insight on where to start and the steps for completing a project.
4. Chop it up. Break large projects into milestones, and then into actionable steps. Huge things don’t look as big when you break it down as small as you can.
5. Obey the 15-minute rule. To reduce the temptation of procrastination, each actionable step on a project should take no more than 15 minutes to complete.
6. Have clear deadlines. Assign yourself a deadline for projects and milestones and write it down in your day planner or calendar. Make your deadlines known to other people who will hold you accountable.
7. Give yourself a reward. Celebrate the completion of project milestones and reward yourself for getting projects done on time. It will provide positive reinforcement and motivate you toward your goals.
8. Remove distractions. You need to establish a positive working environment that is conducive to getting your work done. Remove any distractions.
9. Delete it. What are the consequences of not doing the task at all? Consider the 80/20 rule; maybe it doesn’t need to be done in the first place.
“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.” (Colossians 3:23-24)
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This article is written by Nathan Tabor who is a husband, father, life coach, business consultant, entrepreneur, speaker and author. Nathan’s Work-Life Balance Programs help spouses communicate better, connect with their children and help to restore broken relationships.