The procrastination phenomenon leads to squandering time in wrong things and putting off important tasks until it is too late. Unfortunately, the most chronic procrastinators spend years in this cycle. In some cases, procrastination can help improve a situation if the benefits of delaying an action outweigh the risks of moving forward fast. In most cases though, procrastination and work are a deadly combination.
According to The New Yorker, procrastination is a costly quintessential modern problem. Waiting until the last minute puts the workload on others as the burden may have to be shared to achieve the end goal or meet deadlines. Procrastination also creates anxiety as the time elapses and deadlines draw near. It fails to get things done which makes it necessary to push timelines forward. It not only wastes time but causes loss of revenue in a company too. In a nutshell, procrastination yields lowered morale and inefficiency at work. To avoid procrastination in the workplace, try the techniques discussed below.
1. Plan Ahead
When you plan how to spend your time at work, you remain focused throughout the day. Find out, beforehand, what tasks need to be done and allocate time for them. This can be done by segmenting hours on a day or days in a week and setting the segments aside to accomplish specific tasks. Focusing on particular tasks at a given time ensures that no aspect of your business lags behind. You set goals within set timelines and without concentrating too much on some tasks while neglecting others. Prioritizing helps to remain focused on specific tasks as you cut out everything else.
2. Make a to-do List
Having a to-do-list may appear old-fashioned, but it helps you index tasks in order of importance. Make one with detailed timelines and deadline. Ticking off tasks from your list gives you a feeling of accomplishment. This way you have an easier time focusing on tasks that need more of your attention.
If you are in the habit of avoiding or neglecting specific tasks on the to-do list, target them on purpose and ensure you don’t move on to anything else before they are accomplished and stricken off the list.
To avoid getting overwhelmed by work and maximize your productivity, prioritize your work and avoid distractions. Aaron Minc admits that this is the one strategy that helped him learn to say no to people and concentrate on work. “Since I had a schedule to follow and strictly adhere to, I stopped wasting time doing tasks that were not meant for me and reduced time I used in exchanging non-official emails with colleagues.”
Prioritizing also helps you work on the most important tasks first and avoid putting them off. Plan your week on Sundays or the following day the previous evening and kick out procrastination. Where you can, delegate some tasks to concentrate on things that require your full attention.
4. Change your Work Environment
Revamping your workspace and environment can help increase productivity. At times, a place that used to inspire us could lose its effect with time. When this happens, changing things around can help.
5. Eliminate Distractions
At times, procrastination occurs because it is too easy for us. Digital distractions are especially great time wasters. Try to analyze your web browser and identify sites you spend the most time on. It is possible that social media sites and emails keep you away from work while sitting right at your desk. Disable automatic notifications on these. You could also get rid of distractions
6. Share your Goals with Others
Telling your colleagues, friends, and family about targeted goals can help you eliminate procrastination at your workplace. Since they are bound to keep asking about the status of your project, they will make you accountable and ensure you stick to your plans.
Beating procrastination is mostly about getting a grip on yourself, being accountable and just doing it. Keep taking the necessary actions until you kick the habit out of your workplace. Rewire your brain to minimize distractions, get external support and focus on gradual increment on accomplishments will help you go a long way.