Do you struggle with procrastination when it comes to certain tasks? All of us have at one time or the other.
When procrastination rears it’s ugly head in my life, there are three simple methods that have helped me that might also help you.
First off, let me say starting any writing project that has no strict deadlines is a big struggle for me. So I had to find something that would help me get started. I have found what helps me most is using the Pomodoro technique. To get myself going, I get everything ready that I need ahead of time for my writing project. Then I ask Siri to set a timer for 25 minutes and I’m off to the races, so to speak.
- The premise of the Promodoro technique is to work for 25 minutes followed by five-minute breaks.
- After 4 sessions, take a longer break for 25 to 30 minutes.
This method works for me because it gives me an artificial deadline. I have to beat the clock to get a project completed in 25 minutes or a partial project at least started or completed in that amount of time so it pushes me to start.
Setting that timer and making myself type is usually all the push I need to complete a project that I have been putting off for a quite some time!
The second technique that I use to beat procrastination at work is simply a to-do list. I love lists so as simplistic as this one sounds, it is pretty effective for me. Before I start my work day, I make a point to take all of the clutter I have in my head and I get it out of my head and onto paper. I make a list of absolutely everything I need to get done in a day no matter how big or how small. Then I sort everything and list tasks in the order of importance. I try to eat the biggest frogs first so they don’t end up on the next day’s list. Then throughout the day, I review the list and mark off the things I have gotten done. I get a great amount of satisfaction erasing items on my list.
On the other hand, I have those days that are filled with constant interruptions. And even though I don’t get everything done that was on my, I can still see where I have made progress and that is a motivator for me.
Can you relate?
The third method for kickstarting projects where my team is concerned is the use of white boards. Over the years, I have used whiteboards to list project deadlines, the names of clients that need to be contacted or visited in a given month, assignments that are due and that are coming due. Anything that can be listed on a whiteboard, I think we have listed it.
And I have found that everytime I list out pending projects or assignments that need to be initiated on a highly visible dry erase board, an interesting thing happens. Without fail and without me saying anything to anyone, my employees automatically start chipping away at the lists. They come in and out of my office throughout the week to make updates and to add information until all of our projects have been completed. If I want to know if they have started a project or where they are on it at any given time, I just look check out our boards. Making a visible list to work on is fun and motivating for my team.
Now if you think using dry erase boards is a technique from the dark ages or if your team members are outstationed, then projects and lists can be added to apps like Trello, Asana or Nozbe and those may work better for you.
We, however, are not able to use outside applications so dry erase boards work well for us.
In a nutshell, I have found using the Pomodoro method, creating a to do list or setting up project deadlines on a dry erase board are all ideas that are easy and take little to no expense to implement and have helped me and my team push through procrastination.
What methods work for you?