Part 2 – How to Beat Procrastination

In part one we discovered what procrastination really is, typical procrastination characteristics and signs of when you might be procrastinating. This week we’re going to look at how you can beat it!

Find your motivation

“Properly motivated you can achieve anything, and that power is in your hands.”

The third step to beating procrastination is to get motivated and find a compelling reason as to why.

You need a reason, and not just any reason, a real reason that says if you complete this task you are one step to closer to meeting your objective.

With the right motivation you can take on almost any project and you can lead it to success.

Take a moment to reflect on these monumental achievements and ask yourself how they were motivated:

Egyptian Pyramids… they didn’t have pneumatic drills during this period of mankind’s history!

Great wall of China… That’s 5,400 miles of stone wall created over centuries!

British Empire… At its pinnacle, the sun never set on the British Empire yet it all started on an Island called Britain.

Christopher Columbus… Ventures into the unknown blue seas to discover America.

Jason Lewis… On human power alone Jason Lewis circumnavigated the globe on a 13 year expedition!

Mount Everest… At 73 years old Tamae Watanabe became the oldest lady to climb Mount Everest in 2012!

What do all these have in common? The motivation to achieve…

“The key to beating procrastination is to identify your motivation for doing something and drawing on this for strength to ‘crack on’” – Chris Reeves

You need to establish the real reason for completing your current project; this could be project specific, job specific or something personal to you:

  • Perhaps it’s for increased job stability.
  • Perhaps it’s to provide for you and your family.
  • Perhaps it’s to earn more money through a pay rise or promotion.
  • Perhaps it’s to prove to everyone you can do it and are more than capable of doing so!
  • Perhaps it’s to help your day go faster.
  • Perhaps it’s to continue to advance your personal skills and ability.
  • Perhaps you want to go on holiday to the Maldives and getting this job done will get you one step closer!

Once you’ve confirmed your motivation, take a moment to write it down on a piece of paper and ensure you place it somewhere visible for you to see, I’m doing this project because… [and cue motivation paper].

Become focussed

The fourth step is to become focussed. While an art in itself, if you increase your ability to focus you can instantly increase your work output.

Procrastination hot list:

Create a list!
Start by making a list of everything you need to do and be sure to tick off each item as you complete it – this will not only feel good but motivate you as each tick gets you one step closer to completion.

Prioritise your list
Organise your list by prioritising what needs to be done first, then stick to it!

Set specific times for each item
If you allocate and dedicate a set amount of time to each task at hand you will not only benefit from better time management but also remove personal distractions to a time when it’s convenient and appropriate i.e. remaining logged out of Facebook until the end of the day.

Set working time blocks
You can check your emails, phone and Facebook when you take a break.

Focus on starting and not just finishing
Starting a project can feel daunting, but once you’ve started it’s like lifting a damn and letting the creative thoughts flow.

Make yourself accountable
When your work reflects on you, your work output and quality improve.

Remove distractions
We live in an information technology world where information is provided quicker and faster than ever before, this is a procrastinators nightmare.

Remove all distractions from around you:

Put your car keys and phone in your desk drawer.
Remember, out of sight, out of mind. Put anything that associates to finishing work or checking what others are up to in your top drawer.

– Turn off your second screen.
If you use two computer screens – turn off the one you are not using.

– Don’t check emails.
Consider turning off email alerts and closing your mailbox until you’ve finished the task at hand.

– Remove access to social networks.

– Turn off your mobile.

– Put distracting thoughts out of your mind.
This happens to the best of us, if something distracting pops into your mind write it down on a ‘prompting list’ to remove it from your current thoughts and check the list after you’ve finished work.

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