The Accountability Coach: Business Acceleration|Productivity

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9 Tips to Help You Stop Procrastinating

Updated 3 months ago.

We’ve all had an action item on our to-do list that has been there all week or even all month, and we avoid it like the plague. You know you should be working on it, but you’ve refilled your water bottle 5 times, done your client service work, checked all your social media, completed some online business training, and are reading any blog you can find. And then the activity you have been dreading is now due and the deadline has been missed. For some, this procrastination cycle just keeps repeating. It’s normal to procrastinate, most times because a task is overwhelming or you don’t like doing it even though you are the only one who can do it, but it is probably affecting your business more than you realize.

Why Do You Procrastinate?
Understanding why you are not working on something can help you to manage it. Piers Steel, who wrote The Procrastination Equation states that procrastination occurs for three distinct reasons:
1. Lack of self-confidence to achieve a goal.
2. Not interested in the task.
3. Distracted by impulsive behavior.

According to Steel, if you do not value or expect that you will achieve your goal, you are more likely to procrastinate in some aspect of it. If you are influenced by short-term gratifications, you can also be distracted from reaching your goal. These distractions steal time away from what you should be working on and cause you to lose productivity and motivation.

How Can I Reduce or Stop Procrastinating (you might be wondering)?

Let’s explore 9 tips that will help you.
1. Announce Your Goals. Telling people about what you want to achieve holds you more accountable to it. I strongly suggest you also want to write about it or write it down for your own purposes. Revisit or talk about it often, so that it does not stray too far from you mind. Tracking your goals also helps you to not procrastinate because you know where you are at against your annual goals at any given moment in time. You can easily measure the progress you are making.

2. Break it Down. Cut your task into smaller pieces that are more manageable to handle. You’ll find that you feel like your workload is not quite as overwhelming and you will be able to knock off a couple of tasks in no time. It is easier to make progress on tasks when you have them broken down into smaller pieces.

3. Make a Timeline. Having one deadline for a project is pure procrastination. When you break your project into milestones, set a deadline for each one, and sit back and feel a sense of accomplishment as you check them off. You should do this daily, so you know what you have to get done every day or every week.

4. Anticipate Challenges. No goal is without challenges, so expect that you will run into some roadblocks, but don’t let them slow you down. Think about solutions ahead of time, so that when issues do come up, you are prepared to conquer them.

5. Eliminate Time Wasters. Know you are susceptible to getting sucked in by the number of things that happen in an office each day. Put a time limit on how often you check your email, for example, only at before lunch and at the end of the day. Time block your calendar and work hard to follow what it says to do, when it says to do it. Whatever your major temptations are, find ways to eliminate or limit the time you spend on them. We all waste at least two hours a day on things that are not moving our business forward. You don’t have to be part of that group, if you choose to reduce or eliminate time wasters.

6. Be Choosy. People can be huge time wasters too. Maybe your chatty clients want to tell you about what’s new in their life during a business meeting. It’s okay to take a raincheck on that conversation, as you haven’t allocated the time for a lot of personal conversations time in the scheduled business meeting. You want to work by appointment only, face-to-face or on the phone, as much as possible. Your time is valuable, and you have to choose how you spend every second of every day – so be smart about how you use your valuable time. Your team members can schedule time to speak with you just like clients and prospects do.

7. Start with the Best. What part of your activity list do you need to do the most for you to bring in revenue? For example, if you need to make calls to prospects but you may not like this part of your job, do it first thing in the morning and move on to the other activities that you may enjoy more. You have to do only what you can do and nobody else can do, whether you like it or not. It will create momentum for you to continue other parts of the job and will make you feel good about getting something very important done.

8. One Activity at a Time. When you really must get a job done, just concentrate on that task. Don’t try to get other things done at the same time because it will distract you. Get one thing done well and completely before you move onto the next activity. If you need to log-off of email or put your phone on silent to help you focus on what you need to and reduce distractions, then do it for crying out loud.

9. Just Do It. Sometimes you have to bite the bullet and just get it done. You can discuss, strategize, and write lists all day, but without any action, you won’t be any better off. Force yourself to sit down and knock off one of your high payoff items on your list before you take lunch, for example. Then get to another one before your afternoon meeting.

Procrastinating some of your work tasks can mean that it will negatively affect your business. As soon as you start to fall behind on a project, reset, and use some of these tactics to motivate yourself to work hard. You’ll find that you can accelerate your results if you cut down on the amount of procrastination you do. We all can benefit from reducing procrastination in some area of our life.

If you would like to reduce your procrastination so you can make more money and work less, reach out to me today to schedule your complimentary consultation.

Aim for what you want each and every day!
Anne Bachrach
The Accountability Coach™
The Results Accelerator™

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As an experienced accountability coach and author of 5 books, I help business professionals make more money, work less, and enjoy even better work life balance.

Author of Excuses Don’t Count; Results Rule, Live Life with No Regrets, No Excuses, and the Work Life Balance Emergency Kit, The Roadmap To Success with Stephen Covey and Ken Blanchard, and more.

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