Working Without Procrastinating: Can It Be Done?

Procrastination is the pinnacle of unproductivity.
It starts simple. That one work task that isn’t of immediate importance can be put off till tomorrow, you tell yourself. If you’ve found that your workday has become a series of “that task can wait” and “it’s not
as important as this task”, you may be procrastinating without even realising it. People may procrastinate for many reasons, be it burnout, perfectionism, mental challenges, or poor time management. It can become a vicious cycle and impact how you perform during a workday.
 
Consider these three tips when managing procrastination:
 
Reduce Distractions & Up Your Focus
If you work in an office environment, you are bound to come across plenty of distractions. Whether it is noisy co-workers or the temptation to check your phone or social media, it can be challenging to stay focused. With many people also now working from home, those potential distractions may have also multiplied. Work out what is distracting you the most, and then develop a plan to avoid those distractions. This may be using noise-cancelling headphones, setting aside time to check your emails or hiding your phone from your desk. If working from home (and with the potential distraction of family), try to create your own workspace and a set time to work. Structure your schedule to align with keeping yourself on track and focused without being interrupted by extraneous distractions.
 
Your Self-Talk Needs To Change
Negative thought patterns can stop you from starting a task; you may feel overwhelmed, stressed or even bored by a task. Try to change your thoughts by shifting your attention to the positive aspects of completing the task. Remind yourself of the reasons why you are doing the task and what benefits it will bring.
 
Create False Deadlines To Stay On Track
A deadline requires you to act and creating a false deadline grants you a sense of urgency around the task. Deadlines can help those who procrastinate due to perfectionism, as it forces them to start regardless
of the quality of the work. For a chronic procrastinator, starting is usually one of the most challenging tasks to commence. Once it has started, it is much easier to get into a rhythm and continue onwards.

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