In honor of National Procrastination Week (March 1-7) - yes, there is such a thing - this blog is dedicated to recognizing and overcoming procrastination.
Procrastination by definition is the action of delaying or postponing something. When it comes to being more productive, procrastination is a devious culprit that can thwart even the most earnest efforts. The first step is to recognize it, and then work towards stopping this type of behavior.
Distractions or interruptions are so embedded into our culture that many folks don’t even realize they are a hindrance to their productivity. Some of these distractions include checking email, texting, phone calls, social media, and Internet surfing. A knee-jerk response when you hear a notification sound to answer a text, email, or social media notification draws you away from your current task. It may only take a minute to respond, but it can take as long as 10-20 minutes to get back into a productive workflow again.
Take some action steps to minimize these distractions. One strategy I suggest and use myself is to set a timer and work in 30-minute time blocks. During this time, turn off all notification sounds, close web browsers, and get busy with your project or task. This is also a very effective strategy for students while doing homework, as they typically do not want to be without their phone for long periods of time.
After 30 minutes, give yourself a short break to check messages and then restart the timer again. Doing focused work for 30 minutes without interruptions will accomplish more than trying to work for hours while entertaining distractions.
A large project can be intimidating and daunting, consequently, people tend to put it off rather than get started.
Take that huge project and break it down into small chunks. Be mindful of any deadlines and create a list of each small task that will carry your large project to completion. Each day you can work on one or two of the tasks from the project list and before you know it you’ve reached the finish line.
Perfectionism can create unrealistic goals and foster procrastination. The fear of failure or falling short can be the reason someone will put off a project or task.
Create a detailed plan and timeline for the project. Recognizing that extra time spent on making something perfect is time that could be spent doing something else for the project. And finally, embrace the idea that done is better than none.