You may delay, but time will not, and lost time is never found again. — Benjamin Franklin
The irony wasn’t lost on me when I procrastinated while trying to figure out a fresh way to cover this topic.
Even the most time-conscious people are guilty of procrastinating. Sometimes, it’s your mind’s (or perhaps your soul’s) way of getting rest when you’re running around like a maniac from task to task. If you’re procrastinating, perhaps it’s a signal to take a step back and reevaluate your priorities.
This article, though, is more about practical advice on how not to procrastinate when you’re doing so for no greater purpose. Here are some tips to avoid it:
Surround yourself with no-nonsense people.
Surrounding yourself with people who are focused on their goals will influence your work ethic in a positive way.
Do you hang out with people who spend a lot of time talking about the work they need to get finished or with people who actually work?
Plus, colleagues and friends with a good worth ethic understand and respect the importance of not having distractions; they are less likely to disturb you unless necessary when you’re trying to get something accomplished.
Break the job down into little tasks.
If the task you’re working on feels overwhelming, try breaking it into smaller tasks and work on one at a time. Of course, this doesn’t always work as you may not have the luxury of extra time. But if you have time to spare, try it.
Do the most difficult task first.
Doing your hardest task first works for several reasons: You have the relief of putting it behind you, you boost your confidence for everything else you must do, and you get a greater sense of accomplishment to help propel you forward. You can use the difficulty of the first few tasks to set your momentum for the rest of what you must do.
Get rid of distractions
Social media is not your friend, nor are text messages, the TV, or the co-worker stopping by your desk to see how your weekend went.
Focus on your end goal.
Remind yourself of your goal – your destination – and that you are not prepared to achieve anything less. If you do get sidetracked, look at it as a stopping at an exit on a road trip: Just get back on the freeway and keep on going.
For more information about dealing with procrastination, you may want to check out:
What do you do to avoid procrastination?