Today we share a post from our guest bloggers at Organizing4u.com as part of our Small Business Best Practices series. SMB owners have a lot on their plates, to say the least. Procrastination can harm the success of your organization. Do you find yourself frequently procrastinating? Here are 10 strategies that may be helpful for you:
1. Have a lot of things on your to-do list so you can be productive while you procrastinate.
2. Have a sense of how long the things on your to-do list take.
3. Learn what helps you focus – lyricless music, a cafe away from your house, etc. Surround yourself with or put yourself wherever it is that makes you focus.
4. Don’t go app crazy. Collect all of your tasks in one place so that you can see them all and prioritize them.
5. Practice self-manipulation. Treat your future self like a teenager — set up the structure she needs to get things done.
6. Empathize with your future self. Distancing yourself from him makes you less invested in how things will go for him and will lead to poor decisions.
7. Recognize your emotions. “Priority is short term mood repair,” says Timothy Pychyl. Often intentions to complete a task are displaced by the desire to feel better and avoid an emotion such as anxiety.
8. Remember, you have power. You are making a choice. “This is all desire based,” said Joshua Zerkel. ‘I don’t want to do that task, I’m going to do this one instead.’ That, in of itself, is a choice.”
9. Recognize the type of delay you are participating in. Recent research identified six key types of delays including purposeful delay, inevitable delay, and hedonistic delay. “There are lots of different kinds of delay that we need to understand,” said Pychyl. “Then I think we can take some of the weight off of that one-word, ‘procrastination,’ which I want to keep for a really self-defeating form of delay.”
10. Know if you have something bigger going on, like depression. “If I know that someone is depressed, I don’t even talk about procrastination,” said Pychyl. “If you have some sort of mental disorder, choice is more ellusive. You’re not feeling the same sense of agency. Certainly, if you’re depressed, look into getting that treated first, and after that you can look at your work habits.”