It’s no secret that human beings – though there are many who would not care to admit it – are some of the laziest creatures on the planet. We spend countless hours of every day simply avoiding the things that we know we should be doing. To see all these hours tallied up at the end of the year would not make for pretty reading.
Yet this isn’t entirely our fault. The manner in which human beings mentally process the world is almost directly at odds with the true nature of reality. Our sensation is interior, our experiences internal; we live in a world of ideas and concepts. However in reality, all that counts are our actions within the physical world. It is because of this that procrastination is so dangerous.
Here are eleven tips from the LB Business team to help you stop procrastinating:
- Break the task down into smaller, more achievable chunks.
By compounding your work into a number of more easily handled tasks you increase the likelihood of completion. Tackle each part step by step, going through it methodically, and you will reap the rewards.
- Get rid of your distractions.
In 2016 this couldn’t be more relevant. We are the most easily distracted human beings to ever walked the face of the planet. To make matters worse, there’s never been such a high number of quality distractions. Whether it’s your phone or just the internet, make sure you deal with these distractions.
- Focus on the end goal.
Ultimately work is about the end product. No matter how you get there, you need to ensure that you get your work done in the time it needs to be finished. Visualise the end, imagine yourself doing it, and follow on that instinct.
- Bargain with yourself.
Want to go out with your friends later? Then you need to get your work done, now. This notion is simple in theory and difficult in practice. It takes self-discipline and requires the drive to actually do the work. You decide what you want to be. Find a compromise that works and follow it through.
- Create a realistic to-do list.
This is all about setting do-able expectations. A to-do list with too many tasks will not get done. In fact, setting unachievable goals will only make you procrastinate more. Remember that you’re only human – you can only get so much done at any one time – and make a to-do list that you can actually get through.
- Do the hardest stuff first.
Some people eat the foods they don’t like first. They do this to make the rest of the meal more enjoyable and comfortable. Get the trickiest tasks done before the rest. Do it at the beginning of the day. Then you can glide through the other stuff and get ready for the following day.
- Get the easiest tasks done during a break.
We all have these tasks. They’re tiny, easy little things that can get done quickly. But if they’re left, and you let them pile up, they can seem like a much larger prospect. Do these small tasks when you’re eating a sandwich and are taking a break. Just tick them off the list and feel the weight lifted from your shoulders.
- Set strict time parameters.
Create targets. Use these points (certain hours of the day/days of the week) as markers for what you should have finished and when. This serves to break up tasks that can otherwise feel overwhelming. Tell yourself to finish that account report by lunch and contend with the easier stuff for the rest of the day.
- The two-minute rule.
How many tasks are on your list that will only take a couple of minutes? These things will build up if you leave them. This one is simple: If it only takes two minutes, then do it now. This is one to live by. It has revolutionised the lives of many.
- Don’t be a perfectionist.
Of course, we’re not telling you to not do the best work that you can. Doing your best and aiming high is absolutely fundamental. But just as important is the need to be realistic. Remember that nothing is ever exactly as we want it. Any endeavour is about doing something to the best of your ability, but that also means knowing when the work is done. Nothing is perfect.
- PS. Procrastination might just be the best thing you do!
Though productivity may seem like the most important thing, it’s a fact that the majority of the world’s most creative people are also the world’s biggest procrastinators. If you are going to procrastinate, then don’t just stare at your phone or browse the internet. Use your brain and think about life, contemplate. It might just be the greatest thing you do.