This was something I needed to tackle to be consistently more productive in my life and my business. For me, if the task related to something extremely tedious or time consuming, it seemed easier to put it off to the end of the day. But you know how that story goes: It is near midnight. I am ready to go to bed, then the task gets shifted in my calendar to the next day. The one-day delay turns into two, three, four or even more days. I eventually sit down to complete it when I get frustrated with myself. Now, I have a feeling of relief and a great sense of accomplishment.
Is the vicious cycle of procrastination avoidable? Absolutely. Here's how I conquered my personal procrastination demon:
1. Acknowledge the problem.
2. Identify your triggers.
We all have triggers that make it that much easier to put off our work. It is easy to blame Netflix, Fortnite, or our hectic work schedule. But if we are honest with ourselves, there are deeper reasons to why we procrastinate. For instance, have you ever feared failing in school, so you delayed writing a paper because you really wanted to make sure you did it “right”? Letting fear, frustration, uncertainty, or insecurity support your procrastination habit is never okay. It is up to us to identify our triggers and conquer them.
3. Create a personal action plan.
How do you hold yourself accountable for completing goals? For me, I am an enormous fan of utilizing the following in my personal action plan:
Google Calendar: If you identify all the mini tasks needed to accomplish your goals and schedule them in your calendar, you are more likely to achieve them.
Reasonable Deadlines: I have learned it is easier to not procrastinate if you give yourself the appropriate time to accomplish each task.
My personal support team: I am grateful to be able to rely on select family members or my incredible husband to support me in the work I do with Dressing Room 8 or WokeNFree. Having key people to help you with your work is how you can keep moving forward.
4. Be kind to yourself.
When you have a bad day, week, or month while working on your goals, how do you respond? In the past, I would be the first one to beat myself up for falling off task, and I would get mad at myself because “I knew that I could be better.” However, is this helpful? Does shaming yourself get you closer to your goals? No, it doesn’t. The more kind and understanding you are to yourself, the more easily and efficiently you will move past the momentary challenge or obstacles.
5. Work in an environment conducive to productivity.
If you can’t work in an environment conducive for productivity, it is much easier to get distracted or procrastinate unnecessarily. Personally, I love to work with old movies in the background, bright lights, and a set schedule for what I am doing each hour of the day.
6. Celebrate your victories.
What do you do when you have a good day? Do you reflect on why it was such a good day? Probably. Yet, most people don’t take enough time to reflect on all the victories they are experiencing day after day. Waking up, getting a cup of tea, or getting through your emails for the day are all examples of victories in your life. Taking time to acknowledge these victories gives you the motivation and the momentum to achieve as many victories as possible.
Natasha Nurse started Dressing Room 8 to provide a web-based resource where women can gain personal and professional empowerment through her fashion and lifestyle focused blog. She is the Lifestyle Editor for Plus Model Magazine, a Program Coordinator for Long Island Girl Talk, and she co-hosts a podcast with her husband called WokeNFree. Follow Natasha on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and Google Plus.