It is so easy to procrastinate. Distractions such as: engaging with social media websites; checking email; texting; playing games on your smart phone; and watching television are all culprits. Then before you know it, hours have gone by and time has been wasted. Day after day we put off things that don’t need to be done immediately and then that due date sneaks up on us too quickly. So, how can we stop procrastinating and start making the most of our time?
Turn off notifications and mute all electronics. Minimizing distractions will help us to focus. Designate a time to check email and phone notifications throughout your day so that you are not continually stopping what you are doing to respond to a request.
Stop Over-Thinking. Sometimes when there are too many things on our minds, we become overwhelmed. That’s when things get swept under the rug and forgotten. Start writing down everything on your mind and then prioritize that list. Once it’s all on paper it becomes easier to tackle each task.
If a task is too big, break it up. Make each piece a task by itself and tackle them separately.
Set deadlines for yourself. Setting your own deadlines (aside from ones that may already be set for each task) will help just in case other things get in the way. You never know when another task will end up taking precedence over what you are currently working on.
Stop multi-tasking and focus on the end goal. Do one task at a time, check them off your list and focus on the feeling of accomplishment.
Focus on progress, not perfection. Consider quantity over quality until you are caught up with your current list. Or, if you feel that the task that you are stuck on does require perfection, put it on hold and complete another task that does not require perfection, then come back and refocus.
Continually update your list. Keeping notes is a great way to keep your head from becoming cluttered again.
Reward yourself. Make sure that you take the time to reward yourself for completing the tasks on your list. Whether it is a walk around the block to gain some fresh air and a new perspective or eating that special candy bar, recognize that you have accomplished the tasks at hand and reward yourself accordingly. Rewards help motivate us to get back to what is next on our list.
Written by: Kristen Deutsch, M.B.A., CCP