Imagine a bank that gives you £86,400 a day. But at the end of the day all the money you haven’t used gets taken away. What would you do? Yes, you’d take it all out in the morning and put it somewhere safe. You wouldn’t want to waste any of it would you?
Why £86,400? How many seconds are there in a day? Yes, 86, 400 and each one has the potential to earn you money and get you further up the ladder.
Time is money and chances are you’re wasting it away! Procrastination is the enemy of any business, professional and freelance worker – it literally kills your chance of making more money or getting your dream job.
Consider any successful person – do you think they spent hours a day looking at funny cats on YouTube? No! They worked every second. Here’s how to stop procrastination.
1) Take the first step
Starting your task is usually the hardest part. Subconsciously, you fear the scale or difficulty of the task and you’ll start to shut down – this is a natural reaction to avoid failure.
The way to really beat this negativity is to just get stuck in. Soon, you’ll be wondering why you put it off for so long.
2) Break down your tasks
If you have a large number of tasks, break them down into smaller steps. If after this, they still seem too large, break them down again.
Make a step by step plan on a rough piece of paper with deadlines for each part of each task. This is a great way to stop procrastination, as having just a single deadline is like calling procrastination up and inviting it in, permanently.
3) Start with the hardest task
A great way to beat procrastination is by starting the day with your hardest or most unpleasant tasks. Once you’ve done them, give yourself a reward.
If you leave these feared tasks to later, you’ll find them difficult. Remember, after lunch is a hard part of the day – your body is working really hard to digest your food and you’ll be tired – you really won’t want to do hard work then, would you? No, you’ll just put it off, again.
4) Make up your mind
Indecision and procrastination are great friends. And they could ruin your life! Set a time of the day for decision making, and create a standard procedure to work out how to come to a decision, then stick to the system and the choices you make using the system.
5) Share your deadlines
Give yourself deadlines to all of your tasks and let other people know – your colleagues or family can act as great motivators. Then, whenever they see you they will ask your progress. Another great way to stop procrastination is by having a close friend, colleague or business partner as a ‘buddy’ with whom you will work together to motivate each other. They should be someone who has their own goals – even better if they are similar in nature as you can learn from each other.
The best way to stop procrastination is by having a routine and sticking to it. This means a daily routine and a routine for specific tasks. Follow each task with a reward and follow each successful procrastination free day with a reward.
How perfect does your work actually need to be? Why spend time creating a masterpiece when only a rough impression is actually needed. By all means, keep your standards high but know when you need to be perfect and when you can ease off on the perfectionism.