I have been a coaching a client recently and we soon realised after two sessions that she wasn’t making any progress with the tasks we were agreeing she would do between our sessions. After a little gentle questioning from me she admitted that she is a fully-fledged procrastinator.
She had so many jobs on her “to-do” list that she ended up doing anything but. She told me she would only get the job done when the pressure and time limit was at an all time high. This left her feeling stressed, frustrated and annoyed with herself for putting herself under this unnecessary extra pressure.
So I have been working with her going through various mindsets, approaches, techniques and ultimately, behaviour re-routing to help her to go forward as opposed to round in circles.
I put a few of these tit-bits on social media recently and they obviously struck a chord as I had so many requests for more- hence the blog post….so here is a collection of pointers to make you think and focus so that you can be more efficient in getting through the to-do list and stop self-sabotaging.
- Determine why you are procrastinating: You might be bored, lacking a challenge overworked or seeking perfection.
- Know that you cannot do it all: You simply cannot do everything and in reality, you would never want to. Focus on quality, not quantity. Remind yourself that there is always more to be done than you can possibly do. Then, make sure that you are doing the important things as that is where the real results come from.
- Ask for help: Before something makes it onto your task list, you should ask yourself if you are the right person to do it. Where you are not; ask the right person to do it.
- Visualise the benefits: Visualize the benefits of taking action. For every job that you undertake there should be some real benefits to be achieved upon completion.
- Eliminate all distractions – phone, food, TV etc
- Schedule the distractions you enjoy – so you can reward yourself with them after you have completed the task.
- Don’t multitask; single task
- Make a public declaration – if you tell enough people what you are planning to do- it holds you to account that you’ve got to do it!
- Time Yourself: With the Pomordoro Technique you work flat out for 25 minutes without distraction or interruption. You then take a 5 minute break before you focus for another 25 minute spell. You can repeat this 4 times before you take a longer break e.g. 30 minutes.
This is not an exhaustive list on how to deal with procrastination- other techniques I use delve much more into visualisation, modelling, and working with the client to trace back why they think they procrastinate…but I felt these ideas were a great starting point. I hope they help- let me know if you have any questions.
If you feel you or the company you work for would like more information about the services I offer; whether its for personality profiling, coaching, training or team support- do get in touch.