Procrastination. It’s something we’re all guilty of from time to time. It’s something I regularly hear when speaking with clients, particularly those who work from home. Washing, tidying, dusting, baking and food shopping are all easy things to get distracted by. My teenagers use it all the time and I am convinced procrastination is a modern day epidemic and all you need is to recognise it, and get a regular shot in the arm inoculation. Remember it’s not a thing – it is an excuse.
You may have been following my procrastination special this month – having got January out of the way, February is as good a time as ever to focus on what is holding you back. Now, many people say they “run out of time” or “don’t have enough time.” You know what? Everyone has the same amount of time in their day. We each have 24 hours in which to run our businesses, look after our homes and family and to take care of ourself. So, if you ‘run out of time’ then my answer to you, is that you didn’t spend your time wisely. And this is where procrastination comes in.
An article published by Psychology Today stated that research had shown that procrastination is actually heritable, by that we mean that you can inherit that gene. Here’s the article if you’d like to read the whole thing: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/dont-delay/201404/procrastination-blame-it-my-genes
Does that imply that you’re doomed and less likely to achieve your goals? No, of course not. And here’s why.
A gene doesn’t define you. It’s simply what makes you you. Your mind can override your underlying genes, for example, you may have a gene that may make you more likely to be overweight or a heavy drinker. That doesn’t necessarily mean you will be either of those things, if your mind is strong willed enough and you can control it, you’ll override those issues. The same applies with your working mind.
As with many issues, admitting you have a problem is the best way to get started! And if you’re reading this blog I assume you’ve already realised you procrastinate too much! The very best way to kick start your motivation and increase productivity is to plan. Each evening I make a list of what I’m doing the following day, and each Sunday night, I plan for the week. In physically writing everything down, it’s clear to see there’s too much to do to allow myself to be distracted. I know that if I don’t stick to my list, I will end up not completing all of my tasks and will instantly start the next day behind. I can’t afford, nor can I justify, to do that. It also focuses the mind exceptionally well.
Another way to improve your proactivity is to break tasks down. If you have a task that looks concerning or is causing you stress, break it into smaller pieces, so you can tackle smaller chunks without the fear of approaching one big piece of work.
Finally, set times for doing house work and the menial tasks that can easily distract you. If it makes you feel better, spend 2 hours on a Monday morning sorting your environment so you have a happy, healthy place in which to work for the week. If your procrastination is that you simply spend hours on social media instead of completing tasks, then switch your notifications off and only allow yourself three chances to check in each day – in the morning, at lunchtime and towards the end of the day – and never spend more than 20 minutes endlessly browsing.
Procrastination needn’t be the definition of you. We’re all guilty of it and sure, some days it does just creep up on us and without even realising we’ve wasted a whole afternoon. Life is getting busier and more hectic for all of us so we need to channel our minds and our energy for maximum business success. You can do it, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Science or not.
If you’ve missed any of my procrastination special supportive posts, Facebook lives and blogs, please do go back to my Facebook page where you’ll find everything – here’s the link >> The Master Fixer Facebook Page
The Master Fixer