How to defeat the dreaded P word
Procrastination is one of the biggest saboteurs of business growth. Fearing failure, feeling overwhelmed or lacking focus can mean delaying important tasks and have a serious knock on effect on your business.
But fear not. You can beat the dreaded P word with these simple hacks that all business owners should know.
Top 10 tips to avoid procrastination
1. Have a clear purpose
Get clear on your purpose and goals. Understanding the big picture and the ‘why’ behind your day-to-day tasks makes sticking to them much easier. Take note of when you feel blocked or unmotivated by bringing yourself back to the purpose.
2. Establish the priorities
Get out of your head and put pen to paper. Start with a simple to do list and then work out your high-to-low priorities. By segmenting tasks into a traffic light system of high, medium and low, you can focus on your most important tasks each day. You can even plan this the night before to make your morning stress-free.
3. Make tasks and goals more manageable
A big barrier to getting started is the dread of the huge task ahead. Reduce the pressure by breaking down big tasks down into smaller, more manageable chunks. Make a list of 3-5 smaller tasks within a bigger task and enjoy the satisfaction of ticking them off.
Project management tools such as Trello or Asana can also help you organise your tasks more efficiently.
4. Time block your calendar
After you’ve segmented your priorities, schedule blocks of time in your calendar to focus on each task. By organising your tasks in your calendar you have a clear plan for completion which limits procrastination during the task itself. Sync your calendar to your phone so you can schedule reminders for tasks too.
5. Know your energy peaks and troughs
Are you a morning person or a night owl? Understand when you feel the most productive in your day and tackle the important tasks then. Designing your day around your energy levels will make completing tasks more engaging and enjoyable.
6. Turn off tech & socials to focus
Minimise distractions by switching off emails, whatsapp and social media when you’re immersed in a project or task. Luckily our devices now have ‘focus’ modes so you can schedule blocks of time with no disruptions. Take responsibility and disconnect.
7. Outsource tasks or processes
Delegate activities and day-to-day tasks to business support services (like us at ESVA). Reduce stress and focus on bigger projects that get you closer to your vision and goals.
8. Assign yourself an accountability buddy
As a business owner it’s easy to procrastinate and lose a sense of urgency, especially when you don’t have a big team around you. Find a friend, partner, mentor or former colleague who you can check in with certain milestones so you have clear deadlines and accountability.
9. Create a comfortable environment
When focusing on a task, the environment is everything. Creating a calm, comfortable and distraction-free space can boost productivity. Find your optimal working space (ideally separate to your leisure space) so you can focus and then enjoy some well deserved down-time.
10. Reward yourself for hard work
Finally, don’t forget to reinforce good behaviour with a reward. When you’ve completed a difficult task, do something nice for yourself. You’ve earned it!
Now you know our top ten tips, the first step in procrastination is noting it. So spot it and then understand what works for you to overcome it and stick with your plan of action!