We are often experts at getting in our own way, and we find ourselves cleaning out the fridge to put off a task we don’t want to do.
Whether it is phoning to renew the car insurance or dealing with the ever growing email inbox, there’s always a reason to delay it.
But that weighs us down as it niggles away all day and can drag on for weeks if you’re not careful.
Joking aside it can be huge issue when it comes to your business. Putting off outbound calls, reconciling the accounts, chasing invoices or writing this month’s blog post. They can all stand in the way of your business growing.
So, here are my top tips of how to get out of your own way and quit procrastinating!
- Make a list and make it realistic - planning 40 things to do in 2 hours will overwhelm you and you’ll end up doing none. Prioritize what actually needs to be done and if you have tasks playing on your mind which can actually wait, plan them for another day. Rewriting them on the to do list every day is just disheartening. Planning your week on a Sunday can really help with this. Look ahead see what needs to be done.
- Eat the frog – do the worst task first! There’s always one thing we are putting off the most, and it is usually not nearly as bad once you face it. So, pick up that phone and book your dentist appointment, or whatever it might be.
- Time block – allocate time slots for each task you have (realistic ones). This is a powerful tool when used correctly. There are plenty of calendar apps or planners that can help. I still like a written planner.
- Break down big tasks into smaller, manageable chunks. Again, this helps reduce overwhelm and also helps with time blocking as it is easier to estimate the time the smaller tasks will take.
- Remember to have breaks, you can’t get things done if you are hungry and you can only concentrate for short periods anyway. Remember to allow for breaks when time blocking. Having food and drink breaks is important for productivity. Perhaps even a walk round the block to get you moving and away from your desk.
- Get rid of distractions – turn notifications off on your mobile. Social media is the biggest time sink ever! Getting that notification that Auntie Maureen liked your latest cat meme isn’t important. And even work messages can wait 30 minutes. Emails and messages should be dealt with at set times ideally, otherwise they suck time away from tasks that really need to be finished.
- Finish things!! Personally, I am a sucker for shiny object syndrome, and I get distracted by new ideas and tasks all the time. Writing what I have to do on a black and white list in front of me is needed to keep me on task. And when I get new ideas or try and start things, I try and write that down to do another time. Having a regular brain storming time will help with this, maybe when you got for your walk round the block!
- If it’s something you don’t HAVE to do then outsource it! Don’t forget people like VAs are brilliant to use when you are struggling to find time for all the everyday work tasks. Freeing you up to work on your business not just in it!
Are you prone to procrastination?