What should you do when procrastination gets the best of you? Read on to learn about what procrastination means and tips to avoid it.
Do you want tips for increasing productivity? Read this post to help you maximize your working time!
What Procrastination Means
What Procrastination means for you
What does procrastination mean for you? It can mean different things to all of us.
Does it mean you have negative feelings about a certain task? Or maybe you dropped the ball on a client task because you incorrectly estimated the time it would take to complete it?
Whatever procrastination means to you, it can have many different consequences. To identify why you procrastinate, you first need awareness that you’re doing it.
Why We Procrastinate
Identify when you are procrastinating so you can take appropriate steps to avoid it.
Many common reasons most people procrastinate:
Difficulty making decisions
Decisions are harder to make at the moment than in advance. “Should I work on this or that?” becomes a mechanism for doing nothing (or nothing productive). Make a plan to decide what tasks you will work on and when. Make a list of “must dos” and “want to dos.” Schedule the must-dos first, then plan the want-to-dos in the time that is left.
Avoid procrastinating by getting motivated. Ask yourself why you need to want to accomplish the task. If I schedule a client call, what are the reasons I would do this? Is it because you could gain a new client from the call?
Also, consider the consequences of not completing that task. What happens if I take the client call but need to prepare for it?
The consequences of not meeting your goals or succeeding should help be motivation to get to work!
When you have a big project or task with lots of moving parts, it can seem daunting to take it on. Instead, try breaking up the big project or task into smaller, more manageable tasks. Once you cross a few of these off, you may feel more empowered to keep going.
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Also, creating an organizational system of desktop folders, both on your physical desk and on your computer, can help. Then, instead of wasting time and energy searching for something, find the information you need when you need it. This will help you get straight to the task and not allow as much time to put it off.
Having a deadline or a timeline for tasks will help you to complete them in a timely matter. Set your deadline a little before the due date. If you forgot anything, you can go back and add it.
Our time management skills can often cause procrastination because we can underestimate the time it takes to complete a task. Having a good intention of finishing it but not enough time can cause us to put it off. If it’s something new, time yourself to see how long it takes you to do it so you can accurately set enough time aside for it.
New experiences can be scary
It is easy to push off new experiences or fear the unknown. Thinking, “what if I fail or mess it up because I have never done it before?”
Once you’ve identified that you are procrastinating or tasks you are likely to procrastinate with, you can implement the following tips or strategies to help avoid putting them off.
Tips to Avoid Procrastination
Now that we know what procrastination means, here are 6 tips to avoid it.
1. Reduce the number of decisions
Having a plan can reduce the decisions you need to make and focus on the task at hand, rather than spending time and energy making multiple decisions a day and possibly putting them off.
2. Make a plan and schedule out tasks.
Make a plan and stick to it. Schedule when you’re going to complete tasks. Create networking time, current client work time, and personal time. Then use a must-do versus want-to-do system to prioritize tasks.
3. Prioritize by energy levels
It’s easy to put off doing the things we don’t want to do! New things we are afraid to start to get pushed to the end of the to-do list. Do the hardest or least favorite tasks when you are most productive.
Maybe you are more productive and motivated at 11 p.m. when everyone else is in bed. Or maybe it’s mid-morning after your second cup of coffee.
Whenever it might be, save the hardest or least favorite tasks for then and the mindless routine tasks for when you need less brain power and energy to complete them.
4. Set goals and deadlines
Set daily, weekly, and monthly goals for your business and personal life. Then create tasks and deadlines to help you achieve those goals.
One big goal can be broken into smaller tasks to make it easier and not so daunting.
5. Eliminate distractions
Easier said than done when you build your business with littles at home. But if you can, try to eliminate distractions. Work when kids are asleep or during quiet time.
Try silencing notifications on your phone while you work to help limit distractions.
If you spend too much time on your phone or in front of the television, designate daily time for it. Maybe you spend 1 hour before bed winding down and having free time on social media or watching a show.
6. Don’t be afraid to fail
It’s easy to push new tasks off when you are afraid to fail or afraid to start. Not sure how to begin a project can make you not even want to begin it. Many women are scared to start the Live Free Academy program because they are afraid they will fail.
You don’t know what you are capable of doing until you try! You can be a successful freelancer if you follow the Live Free Academy! This 8-step course breaks down each step into easy-to-complete tasks. If you follow the steps, trust the process, and put in the effort, freelancing will work for you!