How to avoid procrastination

Procrastination can be a really frustrating personality trait that can hold you back in life and business, restricting your true potential. To be able to take action and do something about it, first you must recognise you’re doing it.

What is procrastination?

Some might say that procrastination is laziness, but this simply isn’t the case. Laziness is when you choose to not do something at all, whereas procrastination is when you avoid certain tasks and choose to prioritise other things because you either find something too difficult, it needs another level of concentration or you just cannot make a decision so you put it on the backburner. 

By procrastinating you’re simply putting things off which means you are no longer productive and this can lead to feelings of guilt and it can make you anxious. 

Am I a procrastinator?

Procrastination is not just about not being able to make decisions, you may be procrastinating without even realising it. Here’s what to look out for;

  • Choosing to do lots of easy tasks and avoiding larger tasks
  • You keep moving the deadline – you may keep putting something on your to-do list and then keep pushing it back to another day despite it being important
  • Read through documents over and over before making a decision on what action to take
  • Debate your response to emails or messages for a long time before responding
  • Become easily distracted – start the task in hand and then get distracted by something else
  • Tell yourself you need to be in the right headspace in order to complete the task

Do you put off doing your credit cards as it’s a difficult task? I hear this a lot! It’s best to face these things head on as they only fester and get more complicated to deal with.

If you find yourself doing any of the above, you are a Procrastinator and you must take action before it starts preventing you from achieving your goals and affecting your health. 

Define the reason

You’ve now realised and acknowledged that yes, you’re a procrastinator. So what do you do about it?

Firstly you need to establish the reason behind your procrastination. Ask yourself, what’s the reason why I keep putting off this task? Is it because you find it boring? If so then tackle it head on, just get it out of the way so you can focus on the jobs you do enjoy doing and then you’re not worrying about having to tackle it later. Defining the reason for your procrastination will help you to overcome it.

Change your strategy

Now that you recognise your procrastination it’s now time to alter your mindset, recognise when  you are procrastinating, acknowledge the reason behind it and think of a way to overcome it.

Focus on the future

Procrastination is a habit which can be overcome with time and consistency. Don’t dwell on your procrastination history, don’t let the guilt eat away at you, it’s now time to focus on the future, just like the task in hand. Focus on how it will feel once the task has been completed. Give yourself a reward for avoiding procrastination. 

Positivity

Evidence suggests that the more negative your outlook the more you are likely to procrastinate. Think positive thoughts and smile. The happier your mood the more determined and motivated you will be to stay focused in order to complete the task. 

Reduce distractions

Keep all distractions to a minimum so your concentration is dedicated to the task in hand.

Stay organised

If you are disorganised you are more likely to become a procrastinator. Keep your workflow streamlined and organised. Introduce to-do lists so that you can monitor your progress. 

Do you need to get more organised? Why not consider Trello as task management software? It has visual boards or lists that you can use to organise your daily tasks and put them into priority order. 

Would you like to manage deadlines and track progress?

Introducing our pre-built Sage 50 Accounts Checklists in Trello!

Don’t let procrastination hold back the growth of your business. Growing your business will mean plenty of decision making and lots of hard work. Set yourself the challenge today to ask yourself, “am I a procrastinator?” If you are, follow these steps to release your true potential. Good luck!

01/03/2022

“Any advice relating to accounts or tax should be sought from your tax accountant. Sage Accounts Solutions Limited will not be held responsible for any loss or damage caused as a result of the information contained herein.”

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