Do you often ignore the elephant in the room? Pushing complex tasks to the bottom of the pile hoping that they will go away? It’s easy to push tasks like this aside.
If you find yourself doing this on a regular basis then it might be worth establishing the reasons behind putting more difficult tasks to one side.
Is it because:
- of missing information? Maybe you need to have a conversation with your client/manager to clarify certain aspects?
- you have lack of concentration
- you’re too busy and can’t find the time to dedicate to one task?
- you procrastinate and struggle to make decisions?
- you’re a perfectionist?
- you feel unmotivated
- you fear the unknown and are worried about delivering the outcome incase it’s not good news
Whatever the reason may be, set your goal to complete those tasks you keep putting off!
Lack of concentration
Let’s face it with the kids at home whilst you’re trying to work, lack of concentration is to be expected. It’s difficult to concentrate with so many distractions going on around you. Set time aside when you know the kids are preoccupied, or even sleeping to dedicate that time to the more complex tasks that need your full attention. If you have a partner, have a rota between you to ensure you both get the time you need to concentrate and have peace and quiet for the tasks that keep getting put on the back burner.
Maybe you’re not home schooling, or working from home, perhaps your distractions are actually work related. Something as simple as switching your phone on to do not disturb so that you can dedicate time to difficult tasks, putting your out of office on for your emails, so people know that you’re unreachable for a certain time period or putting your phone on mute so that the constant notifications don’t distract you. All these things are really easy to do.
Lack of concentration isn’t necessarily just down to distractions. Maybe you struggle to concentrate as you aren’t getting enough sleep. Sleep deprivation can have a major impact on your concentration levels. If you are struggling, try to get an early night, studies show that an adequate night’s sleep can have such a positive effect on your mind and body the following day. Of course there are other factors which can affect your concentration such as stress and anxiety. Creating to do lists and prioritising your workload can help you to improve your concentration. Read our blog, How do I manage stress at work? for further tips.
The best thing to do to address larger tasks is to break them down into chunks. No task has to be done in one hit, all tasks can be broken down into manageable steps. Having steps mapped out in front of you that you need to achieve to complete the full job will give you a different perspective. Write down the steps in priority order on a ‘to do’ list and check them off when you complete each one. This will give you a real sense of achievement knowing your progress and seeing your success.
Maybe you can delegate smaller tasks to someone else in order to complete the more complex jobs, freeing up time in order to combat the areas which need your attention.
Are you the type of person who just can’t make a decision?!
Procrastination can take up so much time. Worrying about the inevitable or the unknown won’t get the job done. A clear mind will assist you to make a decision. Taking a walk in the fresh air and away from your desk can help to change your mindset and see things differently.
Leaving everything until the last minute will just cause you stress and then mistakes are likely. Plan out your time effectively and give yourself realistic deadlines.
If self-confidence is an issue for you then consider reading self development books, join an online group such as our Facebook Community Support Groups – the groups are great for advice and building relationships, you will be surprised at how many people are just like you!
Staying positive and thinking about the sense of achievement and relief once your complex tasks are completed will keep you motivated.
Don’t get me wrong perfectionism can have great advantages, but it can also be a downfall to your personality. It may sound harsh but perfectionism can take so much time and effort and nothing can ever be ‘perfect’. Once you tackle the issue of perfectionism you will stop procrastinating, two birds one stone! We should always try and aim for high levels of attention to detail but perfectionism can mean that you see things differently, your perfect reality is not necessarily what your client or manager is trying to achieve, and it may not even be possible. Try to focus on getting the task in hand completed.
Feeling unmotivated can definitely have an impact on your concentration. There are many steps you can take in order to get your motivation back, read our blog about how to stay motivated here .Once you get the motivation bug, everything will fall into place and you will be able to take on any challenges, even those that you have been putting off!
Fearing the unknown
Don’t put things off based on the unknown. If you’re worried your work won’t be good enough, you’re procrastinating again! If you feel that the outcome of the task is going to be disappointing news for your manager or client, don’t be afraid to communicate it to them. Afterall, they may be expecting less than favourable news. People would rather know the truth than be lied to or issues be covered up, as they will only re-emerge worse in the end. Being honest is the best policy so that you can work together in order to resolve any problems which may arise.
So today, your task is to stop burying your head in the sand and address the elephant in the room! We want to hear your stories, have we motivated you to get the job done which you keep putting off? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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