How to Break the Procrastination Habit

Date: Monday, 12 August 2019
Posted by: Marie Posa

What are your key stumbling blocks when it comes to time management? Is it your habits, staff habits or unrealistic expectations by the company?

How you respond to ongoing “distractions” and the choices you make, will determine how much you achieve by the end of each day.

Procrastination is a common avoidance system, a self-sabotage pattern which often leads to poor quality of work, missed deadlines, high stress levels and team tension.

procrastination
Image courtesy asturian-dreams

Procrastination causes important tasks to become unnecessary crises!

1. Analyse the reason why you’re postponing a task

Behavioural psychologists say the underlying cause for procrastination is fear or boredom.  Fear of doing it wrong or fear of how the person may react. The task may be boring or monotonous but it’s still part of your role.  Ask yourself, “Why am I mucking around here when I know this task needs to be done?” Then take action!

2. Commit yourself to a start time for each task - practise ‘front-end loading’.

Don’t think about the deadline/due date. Instead diary in when you will start on the task and then do it!

3. Prioritise your tasks and then discipline yourself to stick to the priorities.

If you don’t prioritise your tasks human-nature will kick in, you will be distracted and go for the easy tasks you enjoy rather than the important one you’re avoiding.

4. Eliminate the distractions around you.

Clear the desk and the surrounding workspace of things which will distract you or you can use as an excuse to shift focus when the task is boring or challenging.

5. Break “elephant” projects into bite size pieces.

Get started!  Even half an hour a day will have you making inroads into that large project.

6. Enlist the help of a colleague or team member to make you accountable.  

Tell others what you’re working on and commit to deadlines they can monitor. Try it, it works!

There is no magic formula for overcoming procrastination habits. But you can start to break the pattern by being more aware of when you procrastinate and then take positive action.

See our short courses for more information.