Procrastination comes with a STOP sign
As promised, practical tips so that procrastination doesn’t stop you. Because you’ve got something important to do this weekend (or on Monday) and you’ve been putting it off. It could be tidying up the look of your WordPress blog (and figuring out your personal brand – there’s a thought). Alternatively it could saying what you really need to your boss (OK, perhaps a little translation may be required there).
Where do you start?
To help you select which technique is most likely to work for you, figure out when you procrastinate. When does procrastination set in, is it
- At the start: Do you find it hard to get started?
- When you’re mid-way: Perhaps you are someone who’s enthusiastic at the beginning but struggles to keep going? Or do you get so absorbed in stage one that stage two gets put off?
- At the finishing stage: Maybe you’ve done 95% of the work but spend ages revising what you’ve done to the extent that it gets emailed late or rarely gets finished?
Working out when you procrastinate like this only takes a few minutes to do. I know it’s not the most fun thing to do so try it on your commute home and get it over and done with.
Getting the important things done
Let’s get straight to it. Here are 3 tips:
Procrastinate: You did read it right. I’m recommending that for some of you who have difficulty starting: procrastinate. The chances are that you have so many pulls on your time that you’ll have to procrastinate sometime. Of course, it’s what you decide to procrastinate on that makes the difference. Start practising on low-value activities e.g. instead of watching a TV programme tonight, stick it on record for watching later, and use that time for something you’ve been putting off. Look at your work to-do list and select at least one activity to delay until a more important goal is achieved. Brian Tracy’s “Eat that frog” book includes a very similar tip. It’s called “practice creative procrastination” and it’s “one of the most effective of all personal performance techniques”.
Enlist some supporters: Change is hard due to the very fact that we’re surrounded by others. If the people close to you don’t know what you’re trying to do, they can inadvertently derail your efforts by distracting you when you’re mid-way. So get the buy-in of family, friends and colleagues. Go one step further and enlist some of them as your “cheerleaders”. So if you get half-way through a project and grind to a stop, your supporters can cheer you on. And yes, there are apps in case you want someone – that someone being someone who doesn’t know you – to motivate you or make you pay a small financial penalty if you miss your target.
Change how you look at things: If you’re stuck at the almost finished stage, then experiment with how you look at things. Take a different perspective. When it comes to a piece of work that you’re procrastinating on, how do you view it? Is that work you’ve produced good enough or is it far from perfect? Experiment with how you look at things. Ask a different question: could this be someone’s perfect? Find out. If (and if said with emphasis) someone says it needs some more work, you now know what they’re looking for and can fine tune any revisions as opposed to assuming. And who knows, they may even like it first time round.
Take down that stop sign. Get unstuck. Allocate time to your career next steps. Tidy up your social media profiles (and perhaps read my WordPress posts “Personal Brand: Don’t get blind-sided” or “Building your online presence“). Do whatever it is you need to do.
If you’d like to know why we do the things we do. Or in this case, why we don’t do them. Then read my earlier post – “Why is procrastination stopping you?”. I know, I missed April’s post so here are two in May!
And let me know your thoughts on this post by clicking “like”. Feel free to share this post too. Thanks and have a grand evening!
(c) inspiration365 Ltd. May 2015. www.inspiration365.org.uk