4 tricks to beating procrastination


Don’t we all do it? We seem to have this innate tendency to delay doing those things that we feel we really should be doing. Often they seem hard and are not really urgent for us now. There are so many other things that are pressing. It’s often just too easy to ignore this project or task and just do the stuff that’s in the here and now!

Procrastinating is draining: feeling guilty about what you should be doing can be pretty stressful. It can make you feel anxious and demotivate you. On the other hand, beating procrastination and boosting your productivity can feel fantastic. So there are clearly many reasons to try out our tricks.

You can tackle procrastination with a few time management strategies; which are part of the nine strategies you learn in our Time Management course:

1) Forget about it

Yes, that’s right; think about the consequences of not doing the task at all: how important are they? And is this one task or project really more important than the other 5 on the top of your list?

2) Chop it up

If you have a project on your to-do list and you haven’t thought through where to start and what the steps are to get to your objectives, it’s often just too overwhelming: no wonder it seems all too hard. Break the project down into small tasks.
Most importantly; define what your next action is and put that on your to-do list. Make this a concrete, physical action. For instance: the action ‘Organise meeting’ probably consists of a number of steps. If the first thing you need to do is to check with your colleague John who to invite for the meeting, then your next action is: ‘Call John to agree on meeting attendees’.

3) Delegate

You can get so much more done when you ‘leverage’ your skills and knowledge, and when you give other people a chance to ‘grow’ and make mistakes. If you want to develop this critical leadership skill, a management course can help you.

4) Ask for advice

In my early career I once procrastinated the development and launch of a new product range I was expected to develop. In a coaching conversation about my project management, my manager asked me why I thought I needed to figure it all out by myself: I was surrounded by brilliant and experienced people. I then organised a workshop with my colleagues and manager and got all the ideas I needed and more, and as a bonus we worked out my whole project plan. I was able to successfully launch the new range well before the agreed deadline!
If you feel time management is something you’d like to work on and get help with a few more strategies to help your productivity, check out our fun, intensive and interactive one-day Time Management training: Click here for more information. Our Project Management Courses might be useful as well.
I’d love to hear your own experiences: leave a comment and tell your story or your opinion. Have you tried any of these procrastination-beating strategies? Do you have a better one? If you want to ask a question: we’re here to help and answer.

Peter Munnik

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