Stop Procrastinating and Start Delivering Results Today in Your Career
Productivity is key in all you do at work! I often work with clients who feel so overwhelmed with their assignments. We all have to do more with less these days. Well, what are the solutions to an overburdened schedule and To Do list?
One of them is definitely learning to say NO!
Another productivity technique is to learn to build a support team around you. Whatever level you are at, delegation is a key tool toward getting more done effectively and efficiently.
As you consider tools, also consider the barriers. What gets in your way?
For myself, and many of my clients, perfectionism is a huge barrier. One of the natural outcomes of being a perfectionist is to fall into the trap of procrastination.
Although the two seem in contrast, there are a lot of causal factors stemming from a strong sense of having to do things perfectly, that can paralyze your efforts.
If you procrastinate based on standards for yourself (perfection) that are too high or unrealistic, resolve that you can take steps now to overcome. Whether based on perfection or other reasons, procrastination can be overcome using a few simple techniques.
Often, I’ll have clients come to me with a tremendous sense of guilt over their procrastination. But procrastination is not always “laziness” as many clients believe. When we procrastinate, it shows us where we’re at emotionally in relation to the given task or project.
And so off we go to Facebook or maybe it’s running that errand we just need to do or watching a program on Netflix that we really need to see. We can find many excuses to keep putting off the uncomfortable. It’s always good to understand what’s underneath the hood.
So let’s find some ways to attack this beast of Procrastination.
- It starts with identification and acceptance. What are you procrastinating about? Take some time to analyze what you’ve been putting off and list that out. Maybe it’s a strategic project at work that takes extra time, or maybe it’s updating your resume and LinkedIn (important to do especially when you’re not job searching). It could also be challenges in your daily routine that you can’t find the time to complete. What are you putting off?
- Once you have a list, look at the root causes of what is making you put that off. Write a list with two sides of the paper…what you are procrastinating about, and what the root cause of that is. Really start to examine what is keeping you from executing. If there are fears, list them out. Start to challenge the perfectionist within by analyzing what gets left behind on a regular basis.
- Take a look at your list and decide what you do NOT need to do or can delegate. This applies to anything that makes your work life easier. And circle the items you can say No to.
- Analyze your habits. Are they serving you? What habits are getting in the way of completion? What would you need to do to change those?
- Eliminate distractions. Easy to say, hard to do, I know. This goes in line with analyzing habits. Are habits part of your distraction? Do you spend too much time doing something that brings no value while you could use that time to do something more valuable? It’s always good to get a break, and many of us enjoy playing video games or social media, but corral your time by setting a time limit, for example. A time limit on distractions allows you to return to your core work sooner.
- For those items that are left, ask yourself what is the next step you can take? Sometimes it’s engaging a professional or it can be simple actions like start to work one hour earlier in the day or plan your day the day before. If the next step is complex, break that down into fewer and fewer actions until there’s just one first step. Anymore than that would be overwhelming and lead to procrastination.
- Find ways to hold yourself accountable. Make a commitment to your boss or project leader, engage a trusted friend, mentor, or coach. You can also find an accountability partner who wants to work with you as they work through some of their own procrastination.
- Recognize that there are some problems, assignments, projects that aren’t easy to handle. For the last eight months, I have been involved in putting my late mother’s estate into Probate. Talk about a big project! Spend some time investigating what is stressful about the task. Is it the unknown? Try to get to know more about the subject and then break it out into as small steps as possible.
- Put a time limit on the task/project. So often when I talk to clients about updating LinkedIn or resume proactively, they give me so many reasons why that can’t happen now. But you can make significant strides from as little as 10 minutes a day. Put it to the test! Consistency is key.
These are just a few ideas to think about as you strive to move forward and choose not to let procrastination or perfection get in the way.
Try focusing on tactics and strategies to reduce procrastination in your life. Is there a specific project or task that you can “experiment” on using some of the techniques here, or others? What would help you to really transform your ways of delivering results?
- A Season of Change and Transformation for Your Career and Life - October 23, 2022
- Bad Bosses Part 3 of 4: Take Action to Pivot to a New Career - July 16, 2022
- Five Ways to Deal With a Bad Boss in Your Career: Part 2 of 3 - May 28, 2022