The How to Series – ‘Nail it in 3’ – How to overcome procrastination ?
The challenges of a new way of working- Procrastination
Covid-19 has changed how we work, where to work, and, even, when we work. A lot of us are now working from home, but many are struggling with this new reality. One of the greatest challenges to working from home is procrastination.
The coach & the Collaborators next podcast will show you easy tricks and tips to overcome procrastination
Best selling Author
As the Coach and best-selling author Anthony Francis said
‘’I had procrastinated many times in life, but I can remember one that almost stopped me from living the life I desired. I had attended a friend’s book writing course because I had an idea of what I wanted to write, but I didn’t know how to so I had to learn the process of writing and publishing a book.
At the end of the introductory course, my friend asked if I will join the program and I told him yes with a BUT, but I will follow up tomorrow.
You see, the starting point of procrastination is you postponing what you can do now till tomorrow or some other time in the future.
However, my tomorrow never came and after 8 years of doing nothing on my book project, I came across my friend who told me how he had helped over 200 people published their books and became successful authors. This time I quickly joined his program and was able to write my book Think it, Plan it, Do it now !’’.
The first step to overcoming procrastination is to see it as it is. Many people think procrastination is a person. People often say I’m a procrastinator or he is a procrastinator. Procrastination is not what we are but what we do.
The good news is it’s a learned habit that we can unlearn.
Anthony’s story says it all. He procrastinated on his book project and later got it done. Did he procrastinate? Yes, he did. Is he a procrastinator? No, he is not.
Now, ask yourself why you want to do the task? What is the reward? And what is the likely consequence or setback for not completing the task? If we consider these questions they will help us bring into focus on the task at hand and its importance and relevance.
2 -Break down the task.
When a task seems overwhelming, procrastination often follows. So it’s important to break the task into smaller, more manageable parts. Doing that will help us feel less overwhelmed and more empowered. For instance, if you need to write a report or series of blogs you can break down the process into the following to help if feel less burdensome and put in dates or times when you will do it;
- Brainstorming on what you want to write about (Day 1 am)
- Research and gather information on the subject matter (Day 1 pm and day 2)
- Write your first draft (Day 3)
- Edit the draft (Day 3)
- (you can write further step since this is what you do)
The next step is to ‘START’ – take action immediately, but it is not easy. This is why several techniques are available to help with taking action. I will discuss one of these techniques.
3- The POMODORO Technique.
You see, sitting and thinking that you’ll be doing straight five hours on a task could demotivate and can often result in procrastinating, but using the Pomodoro technique you work in 25-minute blocks, each separated by a five-minute break.
During each block, you focus on just one small task until you complete the whole task. It’s key is helping keep you focused and keeping things manageable.
Often it’s the lack of accountability or consequence that lets procrastination have free rein. Hence look to have a partner/buddy.
It’s important to get an accountability partner. With them you will commit to complete the task by a certain date.
It sounds simple – but accountability creates urgency, which allows procrastination to not take hold.
Think about it, what are those things that you’d have achieved but you couldn’t? Is it writing a report? Learning a new skill? Setting up some meetings. One of the reasons why you couldn’t do this is procrastination and getting overcoming procrastination will help you achieve important but things we tend to avoid/delay.
It works- try it
I am sure many people who are being productive and not letting the procrastinator fiend take over will confirm the above 4 steps are very much in play. Indeed, think back to the last time you overcame procrastination -were they in play for you!
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