The Writer: Mac Attram
Date first published:05 FEBRUARY 2019
As an entrepreneur, do you find yourself putting off tasks more often than you should? Do you know what you should be doing but can’t seem to get it done? Finding excuses to put off tasks is a very common habit for many entrepreneurs, but procrastination can be a destructive force for your business endeavours. Continue reading to find out how you can overcome it.
Whether you’re a new entrepreneur or an experienced one, procrastination affects just about everyone in the business world; when you allow it to strongly grip you, it becomes extremely difficult to overcome. It is easy to imagine highly successful people of not being guilty of procrastination, but the simple trick is that they use a smart and calculated approach to overcome it.
Procrastination really is the thief of time and it can have severe consequences on your business endeavours such as damaged professional reputation, missed opportunities and accumulated tasks. The worst part is that long periods of procrastination can ultimately affect the productivity of your business. So, if you are suffering from procrastination, here are eight great tips that help you beat it.
This is a very simple but effective method of handling procrastination, and it is also a long term solution to the problem. A schedule is simply the list of planned activities that you need to carry out to achieve a specific task, goal or priority in the time available. When a schedule is efficiently done, it allows you to recognize the tasks you can accomplish within a specific time and to create enough time for that task.
A schedule is created by identifying the available time to work with and planning essential actions or high priority activities accordingly. Your personal time should also be a part of your schedule as this will help you effectively monitor your time and limit redundancies. It is important to follow your schedule as it reduces distractions and improves your productivity.
2. Create a Schedule and follow it
In business, it is not every task that is equally important. What this means is that there are some tasks that have to be done first as they are deemed to be significant. When you prioritise, it allows you to categorise tasks according to their level of importance and devote more time, energy and attention to the completion of such tasks. Prioritisation is a good way of overcoming procrastination as you can effectively carry out important tasks before their deadlines thereby increasing your output.
Prioritising works most efficiently when you follow a scheduled list of activities. Once the scheduled list is complete, assign priorities to each activity starting from the most urgent.
3. Break up Large Tasks
it is easy to lose concentration when you focus on a single project for several hours at a stretch. This can be better managed when you try to break the project into smaller and easily accomplished tasks. This will greatly reduce stress and procrastination.
There are different methods of breaking down complex projects into smaller tasks but this depends entirely on the nature of the project. A very simple method is by writing out the smaller but specific steps needed to finish the project. This allows you to easily finish it as every completed smaller activity brings you closer to the finish line.
4. Work in the Right Environment
Working in the wrong environment can make you prone to procrastination as you are inundated with distractions and obstacles that reduce your productivity. Your physical environment greatly influences your attitude and overall positivity towards your business. A quiet and comfortable environment can improve your attitude towards work which will, in turn, enhance your productivity and success. Procrastination thrives in the presence of distractors such as loud noises, electronics and mobile devices. It is imperative to exercise self-discipline and create an enabling work environment that works for you.
5. Understand your reasons for your procrastination
Understanding your reasons for procrastination might just be an effective way of finding a lasting solution to it. People procrastinate for varying reasons but you can help yourself by observing your feelings, thoughts and behaviours whenever you feel the need to procrastinate. Procrastination can take on different forms such as finding the task extremely difficult, tiredness or simply lack of motivation.
Most often, individuals who strive to be perfect procrastinate a lot as they would rather avoid doing a task than doing it imperfectly. Poor organisation can also lead to procrastination as your planned activities are lopsided making you overwhelmed. Whatever the underlying reason might be, it is important to take note of and understand it. When you can easily identify the reasons that apply to you, you can begin to find effective and lasting solutions
6. Get An Accountability Partner
When it comes to achieving laid down goals, you may need to have a motivational or accountability partner to get you over the line. Having the right partner is often important as they can be a constant source of inspiration and guidance which leads to an increase in your dedication and passion for work. As the name implies, an accountability partner makes you accountable for your personal and professional actions and they help get you back on track when procrastination creeps in.
7. Don’t wait for the perfect moment
Most times, people who tag themselves as perfectionists are not driven by the pursuit of perfection but by the fear of failure. This makes them to avoid doing vital activities that they feel they can’t perfect. Perfectionists struggle a lot with procrastination as the fear of failure stops them from engaging in a task they may feel not good enough to accomplish. Waiting for the perfect moment to accomplish any task also reduces your efficiency and effectiveness as your desire to perfect a task overcomplicates it to the extent that the task becomes intimidating. In business, there is no perfect moment and as the popular saying goes, it is good to strike while the iron is hot.
8. Reward Yourself
There is nothing quite exhilarating than checking something off on your list of priorities. Rewarding yourself for tasks completed is an interesting way of avoiding procrastination, as it not only makes tasks less overwhelming, it elevates your sense of accomplishment which in turn boosts your confidence and morale to tackle future challenges.