3 Steps to Overcoming Procrastination.
Procrastination (noun). “A mystical land where 99% of all human productivity, motivation and achievement is stored.”
Procrastination is the thief of time.”- Edward Young.
We’ve all been culprits to procrastination at one point or another. Perhaps it was putting off a university assignment, completing a project at work or making a simple phone call. Procrastination is something which rears its ugly head and affects us in our personal and professional lives.
You may be thinking that you’ve gotten by in life just fine by procrastinating. Sure, you may have been susceptible to added stress as you were running through the university gates with 30 seconds to spare before the 5pm deadline. But the important thing is that you still made it on time, right?
We regularly make these types of justifications to ourselves but we may spend the time asking ourselves why. All those hours procrastinating and getting sucked into YouTube videos (from watching hair tutorials to Justin Bieber riding an electric scooter) is time we will never get back.
TIME IS OUR MOST VALUABLE ASSET
It’s important to note that time is our most valuable asset, because unlike money, we can never get our time back. Learning to overcome procrastination can unlock a whole new world full of potential and productivity.
So, how can one overcome procrastination and become their most productive self? You can start by:
1. STARTING WITH THE MOST DIFFICULT TASKS FIRST
Our Circadian Rhythm (more commonly referred to as our daily biological clock), suggests that we are our most alert at 10am, prior to suffering from a ‘mid-afternoon slump.’ Whilst it is easy to allow yourself to become distracted by email and default to working on the ‘quick wins,’ this approach is counter-productive and will cause you undue stress. Utilise prime time (AM) to tackle the most difficult tasks whilst your mind is fresh and free of distractions.
Leaving difficult tasks to the afternoon is a fatal mistake. Chances are you will run out of time, resulting in you feeling stressed and overwhelmed. Once you have accomplished the biggest task of the day, you will feel a sense of accomplishment and will then be free to attend to meetings, emails and phone calls.
Batching is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. The Pomodoro technique is a specific form of batching which requires a timer to break work down into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks. Batching requires the grouping of similar tasks to streamline their completion. This in turn allows you to maximise concentration and increase productivity, creativity and mental sharpness whilst decreasing fatigue, stress and procrastination.
Consider adopting a batching method to your work and set the timer on your phone. Bring your full concentration to the task on hand and concentrate for the full 25 minutes- without looking at emails or other distractions. You will be surprised at how much you can accomplish when you put your mind to it.
3. MANAGING YOUR ENVIRONMENT
Environment plays a big part when it comes to productivity and managing procrastination. When you are surrounded by temptations, you are more likely to be distracted by them and procrastinate. Research indicates that the mere presence of a smart phone can be distracting and result in diminished attention and task performance.
Consider your working environment- are you limiting temptations, or is your environment a procrastinator’s paradise? Ensure you create a clear distinction in your environment between work and play.
What are some of the methods or practices you have adopted to help manage procrastination? I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions- please leave your comments below!