Check This Out! 5 Tips to Overcome Procrastination in the Workplace

Aug 23, 2016

Reading this article isn’t one of these tips, but we’ve got some great tips to battle the beast of procrastination! Check it out! 

  1. Don’t spend the first 30 minutes workday catching up on social media

It is easy to tell yourself you will ease into the workday by spending the first 30 minutes catching up on social media or the news. But in reality this is just putting you behind as the 30 minutes you had scheduled to do this will turn into another 30 minutes, and eventually will turn into a few hours. Instead, ease into the day with easier tasks while having that morning coffee. You can start off by reading through emails or even reply to some emails which require quick responses. By doing this you are getting into the work mindset without knowing it, and essentially easing into the workday. Also, with easing into the workday by doing smaller tasks that are work related, you are not putting yourself behind on the workday as you have already knocked a few things off the list that needed to be done for the day. Instead of starting the day with catching up on social media or news, try telling yourself you will complete two hours of work before taking a ten minute break. This way you have already gotten into a work mindset and would not end up taking longer than a 10 to 15 minute break as you would already be thinking of what needs to be done for the day.

  1. Becoming self aware

You may have an urge to check your social media, or even tell yourself that 5 minutes will not make a difference. But the reality is if you listen to those urges, you will continually listen to those urges every time you have them. It is overcoming those urges and telling yourself that you will resist them as they pop up in your mind. Once you have resisted that urge to switch gears and procrastinate a little, you will succumb to the urge every time you have it. So, the best thing to do is becoming more in tune with these urges and realizing that most times the urge to procrastinate is derived from feeling overwhelmed or stressed. When you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed, it is easier to fall victim of procrastination as your mind tells you it is okay to take out a few minutes to do something unrelated to work but in reality this is just putting you more behind on the tasks needing to be done. So, becoming more self aware of these urges will ensure that you are moving forward with your work and not falling behind by procrastinating.

  1. Blocking out distractions

When you resist procrastination throughout the day, the urge may become stronger and you may tell yourself that we have been good thus far, so what would 5 minutes be. But if you fall into the trap of procrastinating in the afternoon, it may be easier to tell yourself that you have worked most of the day so it is okay to take a break and catch up on some social media or news. In reality, by procrastinating later in the day it is harder to get back into the work vibe because you spent a lot of energy on resisting the urge the whole day that your willpower to resist the urge depletes throughout the day. So, you should shut off and tuck away any potential distractions such as personal cell phone devices and open internet browsers. This will provide you with the energy to focus and avoid procrastination, as you do not have to spend your energy resisting the urge and also, do not fall out of the work momentum.

  1. Embrace imperfection

As mentioned above, many times the urge to procrastinate may come from feeling stressed or overwhelmed. So, taking a break or switching gears may take your mind off the task at hand for the time being, but one thing to remember is that you are just procrastinating and the task would still need to be tackled. By procrastinating we are just falling more behind on the task, it is better to just to spend that time on the task. Sometimes all you need to do is getting started and everything may fall into place by just taking baby steps towards the task. It does need to be perfect at first but the great thing is by having the time to start the task on time, you will have that time at the end to go back and revise it towards your definition of perfection. Sometimes striving for perfection from the gecko may cause stress, thus leading into procrastination. So start on that intimidating task sooner than later, and don’t let yourself procrastinate.

  1. Setting dates for yourself

Often times setting self-imposed deadlines are easy to pushback but to avoid this, look at these as appointments or dates with yourself. If you had an appointment or date with a friend, you would never be late or not show up. So, instead of setting self imposed deadlines that you are inclined to moving, try setting dates up and say that you will show up to your computer at work at a certain time every day and get started. Also, instead of saying you need to complete something by a certain time, think of it as you have another date or appointment with a different task at another time during the day that you cannot be late for so there is no time for procrastination.