• Alyssa Poteet

Five Ways to Overcome Procrastination

You’re an extraordinary planner.

You can sit at your computer for days on end researching business tips, playing with your website, making to-do lists, etc. But when it comes to actually doing the work, you feel as if there isn’t enough time in the day.

It may feel that way, but you could be busying yourself to keep from doing hard work, without even realizing.

You tell yourself you’re going to have a productive day as you’re drinking your morning coffee. But when you take it to the sink, you realize you still need to do the dishes. Then you might as well clean the rest of the kitchen while you’re at it. Before you know it, it’s almost evening and no work is done — but the whole house is spotless.

Procrastination is the act of purposely avoiding daunting tasks, by busying yourself with other, less significant tasks.

People tend to procrastinate when they feel overwhelmed with big tasks — or feel anxious about the outcome.

Starting and running a business can bring on a lot of stress and anxiety, which leads to you wanting to procrastinate from time to time. Don’t let this keep you from progressing towards your goals though, there are many things to do to help you push through!

Give yourself time limits

When you have a long to-do list, it’s easy to idle on the things you want to do, to put off the more tedious work. At the end of the day though, tedious work is still work that needs to be done.

To make sure you’re spending your time efficiently, you can try giving yourself time limits for each task. This way, even if you are dreading a task, the clock ticking down might give you the motivation you need to push through it.

You can even go as far as timing your breaks, so you avoid getting distracted for too long.

Stay organized

If you write out everything you wish to accomplish for the day, you’re more likely to hold yourself accountable. It’s easy to forget, or brush off the things you don’t want to do, if you don’t plan ahead.

Some people don't like having to keep up with a planner or calendar, but with today's technology, it's become easier than ever to have your whole day at your fingertips.

Most smartphone calendars have the option to set up multiple reminders throughout the day — take advantage of that!

Set small, achievable goals

It can be overwhelming to have a big task weighing you down. But remember:

Every big task is a number of small tasks combined.

It would be easy to put something off if you’re just looking at the big picture, not even knowing where to begin. But if you break that project down into small steps you need to complete to reach your goal, it might feel a little easier to approach.

Celebrate small accomplishments, they’re the stepping stones to your vision!

Tell a friend

How many times have you told yourself you were going to finish something, only to put it on the back burner while you do other things?

When you are the only one holding yourself accountable, you can do this without even noticing. But if you voice what you’re doing to someone else, it might be easier to follow through.

You can have them check on your progress if you want, or maybe simply knowing someone else knows your plan will be enough motivation for you to do it.

Have a lazy day

Your brain can’t always be in productive mode. When you have a lot to get done for your business, it may feel like you need to always be going. But that is a short path leading towards feeling burnt out.

It’s okay to have days where you mindlessly scroll your phone — or not even touch your phone at all.

It’s healthy to take breaks.

You want the best version of yourself showing up for your business, so make time to clear your head. Take the weekend off. Take care of yourself.

Slowing down for a day or two just might spark some new ideas you wouldn’t think of otherwise!

What are you putting off this week? How do you get yourself back on track?

Check out our blog for more business tips, and don't forget to listen to the ExecuTalks podcast to hear inspirational stories from successful executives!

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