We all have days where we complete our to-do-list and then some. They make you feel on top of the world. Then there are others, where you’re trapped in the jaws of procrastination as they munch away at significant portions of your day. Today we’re focusing on overcoming procrastination to instead become productive.
The procrastination trap – small distractions that turn into habits
Procrastination is cunning, at first we don’t realise we are procrastinating. ‘I’ll just check Facebook’ or ‘I’ll just get a snack, surely it’s break time’, we tell ourselves. BOOM! It’s got us lured into its time wasting trap. Unconsciously, we’re looking to find satisfaction in something other than the job at hand. Perhaps the first time it provided that satisfaction. There was a funny video on Facebook or a nice snack in the fridge. It made you feel good. You get back to work. Ten minutes passes and you find yourself scrolling back through the Facebook newsfeed or swinging on the fridge doors again. It isn’t until you notice that your Facebook feed hasn’t changed much, nor has any delicious food miraculously appeared in the fridge, that suddenly it dawns on you how much time you’ve wasted procrastinating.
How to stop the procrastination cycle
Commit to taking steps to stop the procrastination.
Like any habit, it will require you to make an intentional change in your actions and thought processes. It is also important to acknowledge that this change won’t happen over night. So don’t beat yourself up if you still procrastinate sometimes. Instead, remind yourself of the positive commitment you’ve made to intentionally realign your actions to help you be more productive with your time.
Be aware and mindful of how you spend your time.
The best way I’ve found to do this is make a flexible timeframe for your day (over estimate the time to be spend on each task). Include breaks and during this time reflect on your last few hours of progress or note how you can make the next few hours better. If you need to change your actions, remember not to feel guilty about it, change takes time!
Give yourself daily and weekly rewards and reflect
It is important to break down goals into small steps, so you are not overwhelmed. Give yourself daily rewards in the form of breaks for food, exercise or some other enjoyable activity like reading a book or painting your nails. Also include weekly rewards like a nice dinner out; a gathering with friends or a special purchase! Take a moment to be joyful that you are one step closer to your goal.
Remind yourself you are competent.
You wouldn’t be doing the work if you were incompetent. You’ve most likely done this before. Embrace your imperfection and run with it! My favourite quote is ‘if I waited for perfection I would never write a word’ – Margaret Atwood.
Productivity commitment poster
If you want to commit to being productive, click here to download the pdf poster below to print and put above your desk.
How do you overcome procrastination? Scroll down and tell me in the comment box below!