Are you a procrastinator? Do you have some items that just sit on your to-do list forever and you just never get around to them?
Yesterday I was doing a presentation on productivity and one of the attendees said to me, “What do I do when I have tasks that I procrastinate on because I have anxiety about them, I’m concerned that I won’t be able to do them well, or they’re just tasks that I hate doing or tasks that I find boring?”
I have a couple of strategies that might help you if you’re in any of these situations, and I’m sure all three of these are familiar probably to all of us. Scroll down to continue reading or watch the video below.
The first one is what I call the 15-minute timer and it’s a version of the Pomodoro technique which I spoke about in a previous video. Essentially, you set a timer for 15 minutes and force yourself to do that task that you’ve been procrastinating on – and nothing else – only for 15 minutes. A lot of times what you’ll find is that once you get going it’s easy to continue. But you’ve already given yourself permission if you really hate the task to stop after 15 minutes and come back to it later. This can also help if you have anxiety around the task because often what happens once you get going, again, is that you find out it’s really not as bad as you thought it was and it’s not as difficult as you thought. Plus, you can endure even the most boring task for 15 minutes.
Give Yourself a Reward
The second strategy is to give yourself a reward. So a task that you’re procrastinating on that you know you need to complete, find something that will motivate you – that you will only do if you get that task done. Whether that might be taking time for yourself, or some kind of a treat, chocolate, whatever it might be, but you only get that reward if you get the task done. If you have anxiety around the task, oftentimes it helps just to find a colleague to maybe talk that task over with or find some other way to get help.
Do The Worst First
And finally, the last strategy that I would employ is what I call do the worst first. Whatever that task is that you’re procrastinating on, do that the very first thing in the morning when you arrive at work.
I’d love to hear your strategies for beating procrastination. Please put them in the comments below.
See more on productivity:
- Are You a Procrastinator? [video]
- How Do Habits Affect Your Productivity? [video]
- Are You a Control Freak?
- Do You Have a Don’t Do List? [video]
- Three Ways to Sabotage Time-Blocking [Video]
- Break Down Projects to Get Things Done [video]
- Block Time to Get Work Done [video]
- Using Color to Manage Your Outlook Calendar and Email
- Are You a Good Multi-tasker?
- Secret Weapon for Marketing Content