- put off jobs
- delay decisions
- waste time allocated for work ?
Here’s some useful stuff to help you break the habit.
What comes first motivating yourself to make a start or making a start to motivate yourself?
Increasingly researchers find that the most motivating thing you can do is make a start on a task you’re avoiding. So here are some key tips to get you started.
- Plan what’s really do-able in the time you’ve got. Don’t set yourself up to fail by giving yourself unreasonable goals.
- Prioritise. Which task has the closest deadline? What’s the most important job?
- Get the job that’s worrying you most out of the way. Ask for advice if necessary. You won’t be at your most productive on other jobs if worry is reducing your focus.
- Quick wins or big wins first? Recognise how you like to work – if it gives you a sense of achievement to tick some quick calls and emails off your to-do list as the work day starts then do it! Just limit that time so you can move on to the big jobs on your list too. If you prefer the other way round that’s good too – find what suits you.
- Break down big tasks into small chunks. Nearly everyone can focus for 15 minutes – does that sound possible to you too? Set a timer. After 15 minutes’ work take a 5 minute break away from your desk. The important point is you’ve started. Then set the timer again and as time goes by you can increase to 20 then 25 minute work slots.
- Block out distractions. Turn off your phone/email/browser, shut the door to your work area, put a ‘do not disturb’ sign on your door. You can now buy apps to stop Windows, Mac and Android devices connecting to the internet e.g. saving procrastination.
- Work in a work-friendly environment. If you try to work from home find the most distraction-free area . If you are surrounded by reminders of relaxation like bed, TV, snacks you’ll find reasons to pull yourself away from work.
- Can’t write - won’t write? Written assignments, reports and essays can seem daunting – but a blank page at the end of the day is worse. No one writes perfection the first time round, in fact most early drafts are quite ropey. Start putting down your thoughts – the order isn’t important at this stage. Have regular breaks. Remember a poor draft is better than no draft and a draft can be improved bit by bit. Most important of all – making that start will motivate you.