Procrastination is a successful career person’s enemy. Whether you’re a CEO of a company or an actor, trying to land the role of a lifetime – if you procrastinate your way through your day, you will get nothing done. So how do you overcome procrastination before it gets the best of you?
#1) Know Yourself
Know your habits and what distracts you. Know your schedule – and by schedule I mean both your body’s clock and your desk calendar. If you know that you get in a slump around 2PM, assign some tasks that are quick and easy to complete around that time. Checking things off will help motivate you to work harder and you don’t actually have to work harder to get it done.
If you know that you get distracted while on social media sites, don’t go there during the work day. There are apps that you can download onto your computer and plug-ins that you can put into your browser that will actively block certain websites during certain times of the day.
#2) Effective Time Management
Managing your time effectively will guarantee that you don’t have enough time to sit around and daydream – not that you should pack your day full. The difference is that you should have enough tasks (and a variety of them to keep you engaged) to be able to feel both productive and needed.
#3) Change Your Perspective
Keep focused on why you love your job and this particular career path. Even if you don’t actually love your current job – consider your motivations behind why you work there
Want to afford that dream car of yours? Get a picture of it and tack it up on your wall, so that when you start daydreaming, you can catch a glimpse of it out of the corner of your eye and remember why you do what you do.
Love and support for your family? Get your favorite picture of your family and set it on your desk. These little motivations will do worlds of good for your perspective. Identifying your personal goals will help improve your engagement and puts things into perspective.
#4) Task Lists
Devote small chunks of time to a large task. Save the small tasks for the early morning (it helps me stay motivated to work hard during the day) and during the times when you know you feel sluggish. Write down the important tasks and keep plenty of time on your schedule for extracurricular activities (to keep you from burning out).
However, you must remember to stay flexible. If you’re too rigid, you will be too hard on yourself if you don’t get all of your tasks done. Prioritize your list so that you can get the time sensitive projects done on time and not feel too stressed during your work day.
Don’t know how to be flexible? Try this activity on for size. List the possible obstacles for completing your assignments. When you’ve got them down, write down some countermeasures next to them. “When I find myself on Facebook, I know that I need a break, so I will go for a quick walk down to the water cooler.” This helps you mentally prepare for road blocks.
#5) Create a Productive Environment
A productive environment is clean and clear of clutter as well as inspirational (put up those motivational images or vision board), engaging (have interesting things around your office that inspire both creativity and innovation), and organized (so that you can spend less time searching for things and more time working).
Open offices are big right now also. The feeling of being stuck in a prison is often stifling. If you are actually put into just a small office with four walls, create a sense of openness by leaving your door open (if it isn’t too noisy), opening windows (let in that natural light), engaging with coworkers, and clearing away the clutter. A cluttered office can wall you up even more!
I also suggest getting some great air-purifying plants!
It may also help to give yourself a reward system to celebrate when you check off your tasks. This helps positively reinforce your effort and provides incentive. I try not to reward myself with food – it leads to bad habits (like a chocolate addiction). Instead, I reward myself with small breaks, another cup of coffee, a fun task after I get off of work, a new song to add to my work playlist, some down time during the weekend (when I have a productive workweek), etc.
If you want to learn more about what you can do to be successful, grab a FREE COPY of Thom’s book, ACTING FOR REAL, by clicking on that big, beautiful, green button below.
Well, until next time! B BOP!