Picture it (in Sophia voice)… you just found out that your favorite show is now on Netflix and you can binge watch it all day.
You just stocked up on popcorn and wine (thanks to Olivia Pope) and you can spend the day on Netflix and chill.
But you just remembered you have a list of things that need to be done that you haven’t started. Your schedule is pretty clear so you have the option to make it happen, or mellow out.
I’m sure it’s safe to say that we all, yep Im guilty too, have made the choice to mellow out. Not just on this one particular day, but many days.
Especially, if you have a full-time day job and come home to a side hustle. Your life may already be chaotic and adding on another task would be entirely too much. Your productivity might not be at level that it should be.
Not sure if you're really a procrastinator? See if you relate to any of the following:
SIGNS THAT YOU ARE A PROCRASTINATOR
- Filling your day with low priority tasks from your To Do List.
- Reading e-mails several times without starting to work on them or deciding what you’re going to do with them.
- Sitting down to start a high-priority task, and almost immediately going off to make a cup of coffee or check your phone.
- Leaving an item on your To Do list for a long time, even though you know it's important.
- Regularly saying "Yes" to unimportant tasks that others ask you to do, and filling your time with these, instead of getting on with the important tasks that are already on your list.
- Waiting for the “right mood” or the “right time” to tackle the important task at hand.
If you said "yes, that's me", then you may have some procrastination tendencies. It nothing to worry about because it can be fixed in no time.
First, let's figure our why your procrastinating.
CAUSES OF PROCRASTINATION
Procrastination can stem from a variety of reasons but there are usually three procrastination triggers.
- This task it too large and you don’t know where to start
- Fear that you won’t do a good job
- Fear of what comes next.
Once you figure out which one is the reason for your procrastination, you will be better able to address it.
Here are some productivity tips to help you stop procrastinating, be more productive, and get it together.
HOW TO BE MORE PRODUCTIVE
Write it down
I know, I know it's so cliché, but it’s so true, yo! Writing down what you need to do will help you stay focused on the big goal. Plus, it will help you stay organized which is the key to all success.
It took me awhile to grasp on to this because I was the queen of remembering. I just kept a little notepad in my head that helped me remember everything that I needed to do. I’m not ashamed to say that it was the biggest lie I ever told myself. Out of sight, out of mind, right?! If I didn’t see it, it didn’t exist. Which is why I HAD to implement #2.
Make it visible
In my opinion, this is the single most overlooked productivity tool that anyone can use and don’t. I believe that people don’t value what a visual cue can help them accomplish.
A recent study by Harvard Kennedy School, recommends an approach called reminders by association. Reminders by association is said to help you remember things on your to-do list, for example, seeing Fed-Ex on the frig will remind you to mail that package. Find ways to use visual cues throughout your home and office to help you stay focused on your goals.
Give it a deadline
I talk about the steps to do all this in my book, and this is one of the topics I discuss. Isn’t it ironic that we are willing to go out our way for other people but not for ourselves?
For example, if your manager gives you a deadline to complete a task, you will do everything in your powers to meet or beat that deadline. Or if a friend or family member asks you to do something for them by a certain time (return a movie, exchange a gift, make cookies for a party), you make sure that you do just that.
However, you give yourself a task and somehow never get it done. Are you telling yourself, you aren’t as important as everyone else? Of course, not. You are your #1 priority, so treat yourself as such. Give your task a deadline and stick to it, my friend!
Eat the frog
Not literally, eat the frog but metaphorically, eat the frog. Eating the frog is a term coined by Brian Tracy in his book 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating. This metaphor refers to simply doing the things that you don’t want to do, but need to do, first to get it out the way, which are the "frogs".
They're ugly and probably taste bad but once you eat it, it's over. By eating the frog first, you allow yourself to do the other pleasurable things for the remainder of the day.
Research has shown that your brain is more productive in the morning, empowering you with strength to just get it done, instead of waiting until mid-day when you tend to slow down. Set a schedule to get things done in the morning and reward yourself with doing other things you enjoy doing in the afternoon.
EXAMPLES OF THINGS YOU CAN GET DONE IN THE MORNING:
Meetings, Important Calls, Writing Your Blog, Scheduling Services or Accounting for your business.
Make yourself accountable
I also discuss this in my book about making yourself accountable. Yes, you might tell yourself that you have to complete a task by a certain time but if you don’t do it, it’s no big deal amiright?!
Well, that’s why you have to make yourself accountable by telling someone else what you have planned to do. That tends to light a fire under you to get going if someone else knows what you’re suppose to be doing and actually ask you if you completed it.
Don’t have anyone that will hold you accountable or rather not tell anyone what you’re working on. No prob! Join the Facebook tribe of Entrepreneur Masterminds and get held accountable for what you need to do. Each week as a tribe, we will list what we are working on and hold each other accountable.
Now that you know what you need to do to stop procrastinating and be more productive, get to it.