It’s constantly in the back of your mind. It weighs you down with equally overwhelming feelings of guilt and dread. It’s your to-do list. Whether you’re in busy season, or really any time during the year, don’t fall victim to the monster of procrastination.
#1: Break it down
Half the battle of accomplishing those looming tasks is simply finding the motivation to get started. Instead of conquering Mount Everest, consider breaking down your tasks and tackling smaller hills. Compartmentalizing all of your tasks into smaller, more bite-sized bits and pieces makes them more manageable.
#2: It’s all about your mindset
Benjamin Franklin said, “You may delay, but time will not, and lost time is never found again.” Franklin’s advice to realize the importance of time and its impact upon our lives is incredibly relevant when battling procrastination. Looming unfinished deadlines have a way of creeping into our everyday lives, serving as a mental barrier in being able to invest in, and enjoy family or personal time. Shifting your mindset to realize these consequences can serve as motivation. If you accomplish your tasks ahead of time, you can spend the time and energy fully immersing yourself in outside time guilt free, rather than thinking about how much work lies ahead.
#3: Create incentives
Whether it’s treating yourself to a get-together after work or binge-watching that new Netflix series you’ve had your eye on, taking short, relaxing, and well-deserved breaks after accomplishing your tasks may be just the rejuvenation you need to move on to your next task.
#4: Ask for advice
It’s easy to feel alone in times of stress. If these feelings of isolation hit, remind yourself that you’re not the first, last, or only person to face cumbersome tasks at work. It’s all about perspective and surrounding yourself with community. Whether speaking with a trusted collogue, family member, or mentor, gaining insight into other peoples’ tips and tricks may give you the advice you need to move ahead.
You may be putting off that morning run or evening weight session even more than your procrastinated work. However, more and more scientists agree that getting moving may be just the cure to help achieve a day of productivity. Scientific American explains that the effects of exercising have “been correlated with a drop in stress hormones.” With less stress going into your day, you can put mind over matter and tackle the work you have in front of you. After finishing your tasks, you can also check that daily workout off of your list.
Everyone’s situation is different
Rest assured knowing there is no magic formula or cookie-cutter solution; we all procrastinate in different ways. Bottom line: You have to do what works for you and your firm. Be mindful, seek advice, and move forward. You’ll find yourself getting more done in less time.