Do you ever find yourself in a state where you’re avoiding the completion of a list of relatively simple tasks? It doesn’t help given we live in a highly digital environment where we have so many distractions they tend to create an environment that makes it easy to procrastinate on important tasks.
In order to raise your level of productivity and rid yourself of the habit of procrastination there are seven strategies I have found helpful that if practiced will become habits that can create a path to a more productive, fulfilling life.
First, Set goals. Those who know me know that everything I teach begins with a goal – it’s a Map, a target to aim for. A goal clarifies what you want to accomplish and when you write it activates the brain which answers the question of why and how you can accomplish the goal. Break the goal down into doable steps, doing this makes the task simpler. Clarity is power.
Second, Focus & prioritise. What are the 3 – 5 projects that you must work on today and what are the things you need to do to enable these projects to move forward? Focus on key result areas. I always begin with the most challenging project first. There is an old saying that if the first thing you do in the morning is eat a live frog, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that its probably the worst thing you’ll do all day. Eat that frog first!
Third, Apply the “Pareto Principle 80/20 rule to everything” The rule states that 20% of your activity will account for 80% of your results, before you begin any work ask yourself is this task in my top 20% of activities or in the bottom 80%. The human mind thrives on working on significant tasks that will make a difference we are all driven to achieve.
Fourth, Create an ideal workspace. We all have different environments we thrive and produce better results in, set your space up so it is as close to your ideal environment. You know when you produce your best work, find out what produces your most productive states and immerse yourself into work at these times and get inspired!
Fifth, Eliminate all time robbers. This will take some discipline to create a new habit…turn off social media, turn off your email, turn the phone off and divert it to your message bank or turn it onto silent, do whatever it takes so you can spend your time concentrating and focusing on the task at hand.
Sixth, Take regular breaks. To avoid overload, schedule a break every sixty to ninety minutes – get up and walk, have a drink of water or a bite to eat and stretch.
Seventh, Assess your progress and critique your system. Only when you evaluate your day and the time spent on various tasks will you will discover ways to streamline your productivity, its only when we measure and evaluate that we see what areas we can improve and then implement the necessary changes to enable us to become more productive. If you are cut of the same cloth as me, don’t chase perfection, Stop doing it! it’s a form of procrastination and as the Nike ad states ” Just Do It” strive for excellence!
Ridding yourself of procrastination isn’t easy… nothing worthwhile is, but following these steps will pay huge dividends. Start today and reap the benefits of having more control and achieving more in less time.