Posted by: Anne | January 5, 2013

Resolutions: Tackle Procrastination

Tackling Procrastination – Six Ways to Overcome It

Do you find yourself procrastinating? Putting off tasks that truly need done? Here are some of the main reasons for procrastination and ways to overcome them.

1) You just don’t want to do it.

Sometimes there are tasks we just don’t want to do.

First, decide if it’s something that really has to be done. If it’s your monthly book-keeping, it’s essential. If it’s cold calling it may not be essential. Can you cross it off your list?

Next, if it does have to be done, can you hire it out? Get an intern or other helper to finish the task for you.

If you can’t hire it out and you can’t cross it off your list, you’re going to have to just get it done.

2) You haven’t found the right solution yet.

If a task on your list is not getting done because you’re not sure how to do it, start at Google and do your research. Or, ask your peers or other resource people for their suggestions. It only takes a minute to post online or send out an email.

3) You don’t have the expertise to finish the project.

When a task morphs into something more involved than you expected it’s okay to find help. Find someone who can assist you. It’ll be easier than dealing with yet more frustration, the job will be done quicker, and you’ll be able to focus on your business again.

4) It’s overwhelming and you aren’t sure where to begin.

This is actually one of the easiest procrastination reasons to overcome. You just need a plan! Break up that task into smaller tasks that you can spread out. How do you climb a mountain? One step at a time. So split the task into steps.

Another idea that you may find helpful is to start by setting a deadline and then working backwards from that deadline.

5) It requires an action step you aren’t ready for.

Get clear about why you aren’t ready. You need to either cross it off your list for now so it’s not looming over you and discouraging you when it’s not complete, or you need to figure out why you aren’t moving forward on it so that you can deal with whatever is stopping you and move past it.

6) Distractions surround you.

For women working from home this is often a real challenge that results in procrastination. I can get more done in one hour of peace than in four hours of distracted work time. If distraction is a problem you need to find a way to work around it.

If you have very young children, plan your work time during nap time, late night, or early morning. Or find a trustworthy mother’s helper. With older children you can often barter. Have a family meeting and explain that for the next hour Mommy will need quiet time to work, and then when that hour is finished you’ll all do some fun project together.

Other distractions can be eliminated. Close your email. Put the phone on silent and let it go to voicemail. Focus exclusively on the project you’ve been putting off.

I hope these 6 strategies help you to overcome whatever you’ve been procrastinating. Just think how great you’ll feel when you can sit back and relax, knowing the task is complete!

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