“I will do it later..”, “I don’t have time…,” “I’ll do it for sure tomorrow..”, “I’ll do it later, one day…,” You all said these once. You are actually thinking about all the things you are procrastinating each week. This paper lying on your desk for a month, this subscription you need to unsubscribe from since 6 months, this survey you want to do since almost a year… It is time to start planning, listing, and organising.
There are many reasons why we procrastinate. Why we always delay everything until tomorrow, and why tomorrow delay it until never. The first reason why you could procrastinate is that you minimise the importance and emergency of things. You only do something when your boss tells you that if it is not done by tonight, then you will be fired. The second reason is that you are afraid of change or failure. What if achieving this task changes everything in your everyday life? For example, you might delay a meeting with your boss. What if he is mad at you? What if he is not happy with your work? You will never know until you go. The third reason might be because of perfectionism. Are you this kind of person saying if you don’t go to the gym 2 hours every day, better not going at all? Stop thinking this way. Everything can be built step by step. It is now time to change so here are ten pieces of advice to stop procrastination.
First, list all the tasks you never do. All these tasks you delay all the time. Do not be scared or discouraged by the length of this list.
Secondly, schedule what you need to do in one day, one week. Do not make unrealistic plans. Better doing less rather than planning a lot but not doing anything. Think to add tasks from your first list. Organise your day. Make a calendar.
Thirdly, evaluate what you have done at the end of the day. If there is a gap in between what you expected to do and what you did, evaluate the reasons why. Re-write your plan with fewer tasks. If you don’t, you will think you don’t have enough time, and you will fall into procrastination again.
Decompose your task or objective into simple steps. Only focus on the following step. You need to create a survey, but you don’t have time on your schedule? (Try Brew Survey, the new innovative tool to create and publish surveys in less than 5 minutes) The first step is defining why you want to do to a survey, what are your objectives and your expectations. That’s all you need to do today, it won’t take you more than 5 minutes, but take the time to write it down. The second step is your audience. Who are you talking to? Once again, it should not take you long, plan it for tomorrow. Continue like this for the others steps. In few days your survey will be done, and you will start receiving responses.
Give yourself 3 hours to write a blog. Give yourself until 4 pm to call this customer. Defining deadlines for each task will help you consider the importance of each one of them.
In your everyday work time, you might have no time for extra projects. The truth is you will never have time if you don’t make time. There will always be emails, phone calls, meetings, etc. Take one hour each week to start your new project. One hour is nothing, you may think it is useless to start something for one hour only, but after one month your project will already be started and have a frame. Better than nothing. If you have time to go on social media, to browser internet for hours, or even to read this blog, then you have time for your new project.
The main reason you procrastinate is that you have too much to do. You say yes to each and every project thinking you will manage some time; you just need organisation, etc. But when you look at your To Do List it is just too scary. First, finish your projects before accepting new ones. Go step by step, one by one. Having too many projects to do will bring you stress and discourage.
If will help you know how long do you need to write a blog? And as a consequence how many blogs can you plan on writing every week. You will be able to organise your time more efficiently.
We lose a lot of time on our mobile devices because we continuously check our emails throughout the day and we always end-up doing something else than what is on your To Do List. If you check your emails only three times a day, you will reduce the time wasted on your mobile devices or on the Internet.
Forget the limits that you impose yourself such as “I don’t have time,” “I never did it,” “It is going to take me too much time,” etc. If you don’t try, you will never know if you can. You will see that you overestimate the time needed for each task. The more you procrastinate, the bigger the task seems to be. Do not get discouraged!
If you allow yourself 1 hour to write a blog when you actually need 3 hours - you will fail, be disappointed in your work, and start procrastination again. Instead of this, plan a blog in 3 or 4 hours. You won’t be stressed by the time, and you might finish early. It will allow you to start the following task earlier, or go home early to come back rested tomorrow.
Offer yourself a joker, but one only. If you didn't call this customer yesterday, you have to do it today, no more delay.
Do not tell yourself “tomorrow I’ll stop procrastination” but “Now, I am starting.” If you are procrastinating to create a survey for several weeks, start now and create a quick survey with Brew Survey.