Whether it’s fear of failing or a simple lack of motivation, procrastination can be a serious problem for many people. But putting things off can have a real negative effect on both you and your workforce. According to a study, people who procrastinate, actually suffer a delay in self development and personal maintenance (Kanus 1993). The main causes of procrastination are anxiety, low frustration levels and ideas of ‘tolerance and rebellion’. But no matter why you are experiencing issues with procrastination, there are always ways to combat the problem. I’ve accumulated a list of my top 6 ways to stop procrastinating:
1) Hang out with people who inspire you:
This is my number one way to get rid of feelings of procrastination. Have you ever left a conversation feeling so inspired and invigorated by the people you were conversing with? Then these are the kind of people you should be spending your time with. I always love meeting people who are passionate and excited about what they do, and it’s an almost contagious feeling – it reminds you of why you’re doing what you do.
2) Set achievable goals to hit along the way:
Procrastination can be brought on by feelings of anxiety and failure. It can be scary to embark on a new challenge for fear of failing, but the secret to achieving is to set small yet achievable goals. This way you’ll feel a sense of achievement each time you hit your target, which will egg you on to achieve even more – keeping you motivated.
3) To-do lists:
This point is similar the previous point, but it works alongside setting small yet achievable goals in order to limit your procrastination. This way you’ll be able to physically cross off tasks that you’ve completed.
4) Physically remove distractions:
Sometimes procrastination can be caused from distractions. Whether it’s a colleague or even a website (cough, Facebook, cough), it’s literally removing them from your view. If you have a task that needs to be completed, why not remove yourself from the bustling office and work in a quiet area or library? If it’s Facebook that’s distracting you why not turn off the internet on your device (if possible), or download a procrastination app. Physically removing these distractions can help reduce procrastination dramatically.
5) Do one task at a time and prioritise:
Sometimes it can feel like you’re juggling a million and one things at a time. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s worth separating up all your tasks, correctly prioritising each one and then resuming action. Doing this can clear things up in your mind and leave you feeling less overwhelmed.
6) Clean up your workplace:
Procrastination and disorganisation are integrally linked, so it can really make a difference if you decide to reorganise and have a bit of a spring clean. Clear up your files and desktop, have an e-mail spring clean, and clear up your desk. This can make you feel more organised and in turn, more motivated.