Procrastination is incredibly destructive. Putting things off until tomorrow or next week will ruin your relationships, your career, and your ability to achieve your goals.
Imagine this: it’s 4 pm and you have work that must be completed by 5 pm but you haven’t done any part of the work so now you’re stuck trying to a 4-hour project in 1 hour.
A few things could happen:
• If you’re working outside of the home, you end up staying late at the office and miss out on time with your family.
• You don’t finish the work and lose a customer.
• You don’t finish the work, which results in you having to go into the office early the next morning and start the day stressed and overwhelmed.
• You bring the work home, taking time away from your family and your relaxation time.
The stress and overwhelm is bad for your mental state and for your body and often the work you do isn’t the quality of work you expect from yourself.
This is a serious problem that can spiral out of control quickly.
What can you do about it?
Here are a few ideas that can help.
Start With the Most Enjoyable Task First
If you’re procrastinating because you dislike this type of work, then doing something you enjoy and can give you some momentum to work from. It can be difficult to motivate ourselves to do work we truly dread but if we add it to the end of a project or task that we enjoy doing, we can approach it with a more positive attitude.
Make The Work Interesting
One reason you may be procrastinating is the work is boring. You would rather be doing something else. A simple solution is to make the work more interesting.
You could make it a game. Set a timer and see how much can be finished before the timer goes off.
You could reward yourself along the way. For every 5 phone calls made you get a snack. For every month of records entered in the database, you get to play one level of a video game. Just don’t make the reward so good that it distracts you from actually doing the work.
Improve Your Energy Level
In general, we are more prone to procrastinate when we’re tired. Willpower and attempts to motivate ourselves demand that we use energy. So when we start with a low energy level we’re setting ourselves up to be distracted and to have a handy excuse to not do the work that needs to be done.
Improve your energy level with better sleep, eating foods that are nutrient-rich and high in energy, and maybe add a supplement or two to your diet.
And don’t forget to exercise and be active! This will add a great deal of energy to your life.