6 Ways To Beat Procrastination
Procrastination – we all do it, some of us more than others, but almost no-one is immune. First, let’s take a closer look at what it means.
Although it sounds like a rude word related to ‘masturbation’ it actually means ‘putting something off’ or ‘manana’ as the Spanish would say.
Whether you’re putting it off because you know it’s going to take a lot of time, or you’re not interested enough in the topic to research it, or there’s something far more interesting to do – we’re all guilty.
But, wait! Just by making a few simple alterations you might actually get something done. Here’s our 6 top tips to beating procrastination.
(6 top tips on beating masturbation will be included in a different article).
1. Be honest about your distractions
First, you need to figure out what the main culprits actually are. Maybe you can’t get through the day without chatting to Bob or Mary about football/office gossip/the latest celebrity romance/another woman’s shoes etc, or you always manage to find a series of other ‘important’ jobs to do to (e.g. making tea, desk feng shui, the toilet, facebook, etc.)
Once you’ve figured out what distracts you most, you literally need to go ‘cold turkey’ on them which will inevitably mean some sort of mental and physical fall-out like the shakes or the shits.
But it’s not all bad news. Former Heroin addict, Moe Lester, says: “Acupuncture, Hypnosis, Cutting out Carbs and getting a new hair-style can all help deal with Cold Turkey trauma. But nothing is more effective than sitting in a dark room in your underwear and just sweating it out even if you have to self-harm a bit to beat the boredom.“
Ok, that might not work in the average office environment so why not try listening to classical music with headphones or maybe wearing blinkers like a horse?
2. Identify your productivity triggers
Let’s face it, all of us have been given a task we’re just not in the mood for (pretty much all the time for me. Did you think I wanted to do this bloody article?)
To tackle your potentially fickle moods, try to use them to your advantage. Because if you get into the right frame of mind, you might find your work gets done quicker as a result.
For example, if you’re not feeling particularly creative and looking at colleague’s bottom would kick-start your productivity then do that for 10 minutes. Or go outside for a fag and a chat (preferably about a colleague’s bottom).
Or maybe a sneaky shot of whisky from a hip-flask you keep under the desk would do the trick?
That way, you’re avoiding wasting time and effort on something you don’t like – and your work could be done to a better standard as a result.
3. Make a deadline diary
Having too many deadlines looming over you at the same time just makes you want to phone in sick. To avoid confusion or stress-induced procrastination, always organise your tasks and deadlines into a doable list.
Depending on your working style, you might find it easier to do certain tasks before others. 1) Toilet Business. 2) Tea/Coffee/Shot of Whisky. 3) Expenses form. 4) Some Work.
Leaving the more time-consuming tasks (or your actual job) till last could ensure they get your full concentration.
So streamlining and adopting your own personal shit into the working day won’t make it seem like procrastination at all.
4. Give yourself consequences – and rewards!
Giving yourself something to work towards could be exactly what you need to boost your motivation and actually get things done.
Tess Tickles, of Wartshire City Council, says: “Work on a reward and consequence basis after every job-based task gets completed, such as having a biscuit or a packet of crisps. Or maybe a wine or two at lunchtime. Or find the most attractive colleague you have and stand behind them for a minute.”
Allowing yourself to have a quick fix after finishing a task is a realistic and achievable incentive. If it was a particularly big task reward yourself with the afternoon off in the pub. You’ve earned it!
The same goes for consequences. However, they’re less important than rewards so we’ll just ignore them for now.
5. Don’t beat yourself up
For reasons out of your control (and sometimes under your control), you just won’t be able to get everything done.
I mean no one is a robot. Ambition is good but no-one likes a yes (wo)man.
So pushing yourself too hard or stressing too much over deadlines will only make you less likely to achieve them.
After all, procrastination is often caused by being too overwhelmed to tackle a task, or from fear that you won’t be able to do it – causing you to give up all together.
So, instead of simply powering through with no end, give yourself a break roughly every 30 minutes – even if it’s just a walk to the kitchen to see what cakes are left.
This will avoid burnouts, and what’s the worst that can happen, other than getting the sack?
6. Who cares?
There was going to be a 6 th tip but I didn’t get around to it. Life’s just too short to worry. I’m off for a drink and to look at a colleague’s arse – after all, tomorrow is another day!
* The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of Accolade Recruitment only and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other Recruitment agency or the Department of Employment. Any examples of analysis or case-studies discussed within this article should only be utilized in real-world situations at the candidate’s risk as they are based on often limited and debatable source information.