How to Not Be a Procrastinator Pro

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Ah, the life of procrastinating. You get a project, and it doesn’t look too fun to do.

Let’s push on working on that project till…the deadline and then panic. Sounds great!

The life of a procrastinator professional isn’t a dream we should all be seeking unless you like constant stress, sleep deprivation, and panic attacks when deadlines emerge on the horizon.

If I did just describe you (sorry!), at least know that you aren’t alone…

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Whether your upcoming project is minuscule or enormous, I am here to talk you through it and get you started on a life without waiting till the last minute.

First, let’s take a minute to get organized.

break down tasks

Break Down Tasks:

One of the reasons tasks seem overwhelming is their sheer size. Break down larger tasks into smaller, more manageable steps. This makes the workload seem less daunting and helps create a roadmap for progress.

What I like to do is, if the task takes under two minutes to do, I do it immediately, so it’s not looming on my mind the rest of the day.

I live by this quote,

“Don’t put it down, put it away.”

-The Uncluttered Life

The moment you pick up a bill, invoice, package, etc. find the correct place it goes and put it away. This will not only keep your office organized but will keep your mind clutter at bay.

set clear goals

Set Clear Goals:

Clearly define your goals and objectives. Knowing exactly what needs to be accomplished provides a sense of direction and purpose, making it easier to stay focused and motivated. Write them down, highlight them, and put the goal in your line of vision. The more you see your goal as you go about your day, your subconscious will file it away as an objective to work towards.

create a schedule

Create a Schedule:

Establish a daily or weekly schedule to organize your tasks. Allocate specific time slots for work, breaks, and relaxation. Having a structured routine helps in maintaining discipline and prevents procrastination.

You can stay on your game and know when deadlines are looming ahead. Whether you’re an old-school write-everything-down-on-paper person like myself, or an all-digital type, stay ahead of the game and write (or type) out all appointments, meetings, and deadlines.

I like to write down when I need to begin a project, or I need to call/email someone to get the ball rolling. This way, your mind is consciously trying to get a head start and not letting procrastination set in.

prioritize tasks

Prioritize Tasks:

Identify the most crucial tasks and prioritize them. Tackling high-priority items first ensures that important work is completed promptly, reducing the likelihood of procrastination.

If that is too overbearing, tackle smaller and easier tasks that you can complete quickly so you can get more off your plate immediately and make more room and time for larger tasks.

use the pomodoro tech

Use the Pomodoro Technique:

Break your work into intervals using the Pomodoro Technique. Work for a focused 25-minute period, followed by a 5-minute break. This cycle can enhance concentration and prevent burnout.

The Pomodoro Technique essentially trains people to focus on tasks better by limiting the length of time they attempt to maintain that focus and ensuring restorative breaks from the effort. The method also helps them overcome their tendencies to procrastinate or multitask, both of which are known to impair productivity. Source: Tech Target

eliminate distractions

Eliminate Distractions:

Identify and minimize potential distractions in your environment. Turn off notifications, create a dedicated workspace, and establish clear boundaries to minimize interruptions.

I like to put my iPhone on “Do Not Disturb” during work so I am not distracted by notifications.

reward

Reward Yourself:

Set up a reward system for completing tasks. Treat yourself to a small break, a snack, or an enjoyable activity after accomplishing a task. Positive reinforcement can motivate you to stay on track.

Gen Z refers to this as getting yourself “a lil treat,” meaning your favorite drink or snack. Small incremental rewards can increase dopamine in your brain, eventually training it to keep doing similar tasks.

practice

Practice Self-Compassion:

Understand that everyone procrastinates at times. Instead of being harsh on yourself, practice self-compassion. Learn from your experiences and use them as opportunities for growth. Self-forgiveness is a huge part of overcoming procrastination. The more harsh you are on yourself, the longer it will take to come out of a procrastination fog.

Overcoming procrastination is a gradual process that involves self-awareness, strategic planning, and consistent effort. By implementing these tips, you can break free from the cycle of procrastination and cultivate habits that lead to increased productivity and a more fulfilling life. Remember, small changes in behavior can have a significant impact over time.

Want more productivity tips? Get more SAGE advice here. And no, we will never get tired of that joke!

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(Content Marketing Coordinator)

Ashley is the Content Marketing Coordinator at SAGE. She has a true passion for writing and blogging. In her free time, you can find her dancing ballet, cooking up one of her favorite recipes, or spending time with her husband Joe and puppy, named Pickles.

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