If you're reading this article, chances are you're procrastinating tackling a bigger project or task. I can relate--with cat videos, funny memes and constant connectivity, it can be easy to procrastinate. But it can also hurt your business.
It can be easy to shove work into a corner to do later but by completing it now, you open your day to more opportunities. Here are three ways you can train your brain to make your procrastination a thing of the past.
1. Let yourself be lazy.
I know what you are thinking. Being lazy is completely contradictory to what you've been taught--but hear me out. There are often times we procrastinate because we feel overwhelmed. If I have too many pending tasks to accomplish, I start to feel very stressed out. When I have a huge task list, I tackle two to three small items then go take a long break. Sometimes I'll even take a full day off if I'm feeling very overwhelmed.
The next time you're feeling guilty because you're procrastinating, tell yourself it's down time and a well needed break. Then promise yourself you'll accomplish everything on your list tomorrow as you're rewarding yourself now When I take time off from work, I also come back more productive than before the break.
2. Start your day with your hardest task.
This year, I put off doing my taxes because they felt hard and difficult. But as soon as they were done I felt a huge sense of relief--and they were easier than expected. Tell yourself that you can't start anything else until you've worked on or completed the task you dread the most. Once you've begun, it will seem less overwhelming and will give you the confidence to move forward. It's also important to remember that sometimes, aiming for finished is better than aiming for perfection.
In addition to starting your day with the hardest task, give yourself a reasonable amount of time to complete it by setting a timer. This forces you to work for 30 minutes to an hour with no interruptions, and you may be surprised by how much you can accomplish when you sit down and just do it.
3. Shift your mindset.
This tip requires a lot more work mentally than physically. It's important to understand that procrastination is just another word for fear. You might be less motivated to perform a task because you feel underqualified or insecure.
Once you confront these feelings, you will be able to better understand why you are dreading the work and how you need to combat these feelings that are most likely untrue. Fear stems from being put in uncomfortable situations, but on the contrary, breaking out of your comfort zone and trying new things builds confidence. When you feel confident in your abilities, you are more motivated to work hard.
For most people, the root of procrastination comes from hoping that, if you wait long enough, the task or project might just solve itself or disappear. Speaking from personal experience, this almost never happens.
There aren't many feelings worse than work looming over your head like a dark cloud on a sunny day, so think small, start your day off right, and remind yourself that anything is possible.