If procrastination is your friend, then you know sometimes the struggle with productivity is real. One common misconception about procrastination is that stems from laziness. The reality is not that simple; in fact, the true nature of procrastination for most people lies in feeling overwhelmed.
Luckily, there are ways to help you manage these feelings so that they do not control your life. The following tips will not only help you stop procrastinating, but will also eliminate feelings of being overwhelmed, making you feel more in control of both your professional and personal life. Prepare to cross those items off of your to-do list for good!
1. Clarify your goals.
It is so easy to become overwhelmed and start procrastinating when we aren’t clear on our goals. Whether it be personal, professional, or business goals, being unclear about the desired outcome often leads us to haphazard decision making without any long-term vision. When we set clear goals, we are able to hone in on a clear plan of action to achieve them. This minimizes procrastination by clarifying priorities, enabling you to get things done.
2. Break down big projects into bite size pieces.
When starting a big project, breaking it down into smaller increments helps us get started without allowing the bigger picture to overwhelm us. For example, if you build websites and you just dive into a project without a plan, you’re going to have a hot mess on your hands. You can solve this problem by first designing the layout of the website, then having photos taken, creating graphics, writing the copy, and so on. The key is to work on each of these tasks separately, allowing you to focus on one thing at a time.
3. Automate and Create Systems
Systems and automation should be a way of life for all of us. You can get twice as much done in half the time. Yes, really! For me this means, automating my grocery delivery so it shows up at the same time each week and having automatic bill pay. These are things I don’t have to think about or spend time on–they just get taken care of. If you’re working with clients, you can use a system such as dubsado to automate the onboarding process. This frees up more of your time and decreases the chances that you’ll procrastinate getting the job done.
4. Try out a productivity method.
These are different than system automations or project plans. You need a system that you can follow that will allow you to be more productive while you’re sitting at your computer working. These methods range from calendar blocking, the pomodoro technique, and a new one I’ve been working with is the 5-3-1 method. This is where you choose 1 big, 3 medium, and 5 small tasks or goals for your day. In my case, the big one may be to edit a youtube video; the medium ones may be to wash my car, create a new client form, and write a youtube script; and the 5 small ones might be to make 3 phone calls and return 2 emails.
This method has been working well for me. I will sometimes combine it with the pomodor technique which is where you set a timer for 25 minutes and then take a 5 minute breaks. You repeat this cycle a few times and then give yourself a 10-15 minute break. Using a productivity method really holds you accountable for the time spent on each task, so you will be motivated to accomplish more.
5. Have an established routine.
“Successful people are simply those with successful habits.” –Brian Tracy
Morning routines are huge in the online space right now because they help you start your day off on the right foot. However, I do not think that a morning routine is the only answer. The key to this method is to develop certain behaviors and habits that signal that it’s time to buckle down and get to work. So for some people that means establishing a routine for right when you to the office. Or, maybe it’s a routine after work that prepares you to work on your side hustle. Regardless of when you need it, what’s important is to have an established routine that signals it’s time to get into productivity mode.
6. Take a day off and practice self care.
There are many entrepreneurs that preach work hard, 7 days a week. Then there are others that tell you that you can work 4 hours a week. The truth is often somewhere in the middle. I can tell you from personal experience that not taking a day off will come back to bite you. You don’t necessarily need a day off each week, but I do recommend at least one day every couple of weeks where you can unplug an do something nice for yourself. This is especially important if you own your own business, work a stressful job, or even if you’re in college. Finding the right work-life balance is essential for preventing burnout.
We would love to hear from you! Comment below and tell me when you have been overwhelmed with a big project. For even more content like this, check out my YouTube channel where I create videos to help you achieve a life you love and a business that thrives!