May 20, 2010

Beat Procrastination For Once and All

BY John Paul Narowski IN Productivity One Comment

We’ve all been there before:  Procrastination.  You dread a task so much that you find any excuse to not start on it.  You desperately search for the most menial tasks to fill your time so you don’t have to start on the job you’ve been putting off.  Maybe it’s the size, the difficulty or the way it makes you feel, so you just procrastinate more and more.

The only problem is procrastination turns a mildly unpleasant task into an invincible monster.  It becomes faceless and gigantic in your mind and you dread it more and more.  Your negative feelings toward the task are like gasoline, adding extra fuel to a bonfire; things only get worse.

Wow, it makes me anxious just thinking about it!

Procrastination Protection

So how do you get the better of procrastination and conquer any job in your path?

  1. Just Do It: Yeah it’s cliché and seems over simplified, but it’s the truth. Sometimes you just have to power through your angst and anxiety.  Don’t mess with planning, formatting, styling or any other fluff activity — just dive in and start.  Set a timer for ten minutes and work through it.  If the job is still making your stomach turn after the time is up, take a break and do something else.  Chances are though you will see that the job isn’t all that bad.
  2. Do It First: If a task is causing the procrastination boogeyman to creep into your head then tackle it first…and that means FIRST!  Don’t crack open email, check your Facebook account or anything else you do to burn through time.  Do it first, or even part of it first, and you will feel productive and better about yourself all day long.
  3. Forget Perfection: You’re not perfect and either is this project.  Just start on it and work about coming back later on to fix the mistakes.  Get through the first round of the project and you’ll shake the procrastination monster.
  4. Eliminate Distractions: Despite what you have trained yourself to think, human beings are not multi-taskers.  Our brains are only capable of focusing well on one thing at a time.  If we try and spread that focus around it takes our brains time to reset and get back into focus.  Turn off email, the TV, radio, Twitter or whatever else modern technology has created for you to waste your time and not work.  Don’t even pick up your phone; the world will still turn I promise.

425040_61872955Procrastination is all in your head so knowing that you’re participating in this game is the first step to beating it.  Identify the problem and attack it with the above the tactics and your goliath will be shrunk down to doable size.

I’ve been hacking at various business ideas since I was 16. I’m a full stack developer and love crafting user experiences. I’ve been nose deep in code since I put the legos down, and built several successful businesses in the process. I’ve lost some hair, gained some experience and throughly enjoyed the journey.

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