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We all have one of ‘those’ days or moments. You just do not feel like working, or perhaps it’s just one particular job that, sometimes for no reason at all, you just are procrastinating like crazy about getting done. It’s crazy isn’t it? The things we do sometimes to avoid having to do something else:
Making a cup of tea, nipping to the toilet, making a phone call… even tidying the office to avoid one job. You know I’m procrastinating if I start tidying mid-morning for no reason!
What’s the solution?
I don’t believe that there is a one fix that works for everyone. Certainly for me I’ve found that I just have to have a list and then force myself to work through it one by one. If I’m really struggling then I’ll allow myself to do something in between each, like make a cuppa or check Facebook. When the going gets tough sometimes you just gotta grit your teeth and work through it and try to remember that tomorrow is a new day.
But that’s just me and I wanted to see what others do so I asked on social media:
What are your top tips and techniques to pile-drive your procrastination into the ground and get productive? How do you get stuff done when you just don’t want to?
And here are the great responses I got:
“GET OFF FB LOL” Nicola
“Make a list, then prioritise it and then smash it one by one. This really simple procedure will turn you into a production machine.” Stuart
“Write down the three things you have to get done today and “reward” yourself with an easy task (e.g. replying to emails) or a cup of tea after you tick each one off. As you get into the swing of being more productive it gets addictive and you don’t need as many rewards.” Liz
“Do the hardest toughest thing first and reward yourself.” Martin
“Procrastination is the inability to tolerate minor discomfort and/or mis-applied motivation! If it’s the former then it’s a matter of learning about and noticing the sense of discomfort as you approach a task, and learning to live with it until it goes away – or discovering the motivation you are using or could use to get the task done. On the other hand your creativity will be enhanced if you include meaningful breaks into your work schedule. Focussing on deadlines can work because it identifies a set of tasks and gives a time limit. If you were to give yourself a 45 minute time limit to whatever it is you are procrastinating about you’d probably do a perfectly reasonable job!” Andrew
“I have a vision board behind my computer monitor. Looking at that helps when I’m feeling a bit lazy! I also have emotional stuff on there which gives it more power. Like one of my things is taking my kids to Disney – I have emotional stuff on there like quotes “Just picture their faces” …helps to get emotionally invested in it rather than just pretty pictures.” Giles
“Sounds a bit crazy, but I book myself some time off! I was never much of a procrastinator, but I find the busier I get and the bigger business becomes I find my motivation slipping and some days I can’t even get going on the jobs I really love doing. When I’m feeling really lazy I arrange to see my goddaughter and put her to bed, because it means I have to get all my jobs done and be out of the office at a reasonable time, or else I’ll miss bedtime! Or I book an afternoon off work, which forces me to get stuff done before I go! I usually find an afternoon off and a bit of me time is all I need to come back raring to go again the next day anyway.” Stephanie
“I gave in to procrastination and had a nap!!!” Wendy
“Sophie, I suffer from procrastination but once I acknowledged and admitted this my life came much easier. I surround myself with people who don’t suffer and that’s been a great help. One tip that really works … If I get to the end of a day and I haven’t done a job I was meant to, I write it on my white board in my office and it’s the first thing I tackle in the morning (I allow my staff to take me task on it too so added discipline). Hope that helps, don’t beat yourself up about either.” Tracy
“If I’m procrastinating, because I’m stuck or not feeling creative, I go for a walk to allow my mind to clear and great stuff pops into the space. I get loads more done when I get back. Better than staring at the computer or a blank sheet of paper for hours!” Andrea
“If I’m feeling like procrastinating I read this from Proverbs: ‘A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of hands for a rest and poverty is on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man!’ Ha ha ha. Does it for me.” Linda
“Close off FB and whatever distractions and bully myself with some JFDI attitude.” Jamie
“Get out just for a while to clear and refocus my brain. Works wonders.” Deborah
“I go for a run with either a business audio book on my iPod or read something before I go that I want to think about. That way I get away from my desk, get some fresh air and at the same time don’t waste the time. I normally come back full ideas that I can’t wait to get on with (and I can have some chocolate because I’ve burnt off some calories!)” Danielle
“Being able to get out and clear your head is so important. The thing is though, if it matters enough you’ll do it. Full stop. If it’s not, you’ll push back and find excuses not to. Eliminate or delegate the crap and focus on what’s making you towards your goal or gives you energy. If the boring stuff leads to one of those things you’ll do it. Share what you’re going to achieve each day with someone who’ll give you a (caring) hard time if you don’t. You’re less likely to let someone else down than yourself.” Ash
“I take the dogs for a short walk, it clears my brain and tires them out so I can start again without distractions.” David
“I quite literally give myself a ‘good talking to’ often whilst looking in the mirror. I am quite tough with that woman in the mirror … Sometimes she just needs to get on with it! (Polite version).” Fiona
“I find doing some EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), exercising and then asking myself; ‘will this take me away from my goal or closer to it?’ helps.” Kerri
“I make a list and try to tick off at least a couple of things on the list so at least something gets done! Another thing I do is set myself one task and set my timer. So I will go into my sewing room shortly and set my timer for 1 hour to sew. No social media or emailing or anything else for that one hour.” Stacey
So, what do you do when procrastination strikes? Please comment below and let me know…