If it feels like you don’t have enough time to get your work done, getting to the root of the problem is your first step. For many people, they not only feel overwhelmed, they are plagued by procrastination. This is one of the most common problems we face, and it’s relevant in multiple aspects of our lives. Perhaps you procrastinated as a child and waited until the last minute to finish your science project or now you wait until the day before to get ready for a birthday party that you’re hosting. Procrastinating at work has bigger consequences, not just to your time, but also to your bottom line. This NYC Professional Office Organizer is sharing strategies with you today to help you overcome procrastination.
Start by identifying when you are procrastinating. Sometimes it’s obvious that we are procrastinating, but sometimes it’s not as clear. If you can answer the following questions affirmatively, then procrastinating is a problem for you: Do you tackle low priority tasks first and put off the pressing items until later (if at all)? When you do work on those high priority tasks, do you frequently stop working to answer emails or make phone calls unrelated to the task? Do you find yourself frequently checking social media or grabbing your phone throughout the day? These are all signs of procrastination, and each one can affect your productivity during the work day.
Create new habits. It’s not as easy as just saying, “Today is the day I will stop procrastinating.” That declaration is certainly important, but you can’t just snap your fingers and fix the problem. It can take 21 days for a new behavior to become a habit, so being committed to making a change is essential. Make the tasks that you generally avoid as part of your daily routine a priority each day. Tackle the tasks you dread first or schedule them for the time of the day where you have the most energy. Try this with one task at a time and watch as new habits are formed.
Break down the bigger tasks. Sometimes we procrastinate because we have a large project and we are overwhelmed. It’s either too hard or too complicated or we just don’t know where to start. Try breaking these types of projects into smaller steps. Four tasks that will take 15 minutes each is a lot easier to approach than a task that will take you an hour. Make sure that you are setting realistic deadlines as well, and then schedule time to work on the project in your calendar. If you can see the project broken down into small steps with deadlines, it’s easier to work on it one piece at a time.
Reward yourself. Another way to battle procrastination is to create a reward system. It can be series of small acknowledgements of tasks completed. For example, if I complete these next four items on my to-do list, then I can take 15-minutes to go to the coffee bar. For more complicated projects, reward yourself when it’s completed. Celebrate with a new pair of shoes, a special meal, or trip to the movies. When you know there is a reward at the end of a project, it can be motivating and you’ll dig in to get it done.
By implementing these strategies, you’ll be able to beat procrastination and improve your productivity at work. For more time management strategies and office organizing, reach out to your NYC Professional Office Organizer today.