Have you noticed that you procrastinate? You realize that this is becoming or already is a habit, and you lost control over it? Do you keep postponing projects, tasks and moving them “to later”, and they keep pooping next week, and the next and the next? And you do not know what to do to overcome procrastination?
Today, I came to talk about this, how to be more productive? You can apply it in your life or at your workplace. Some people are very productive in their personal lives, but they barely manage to work with deadlines or get overwhelmed with daily tasks.
The first step is to be honest and acknowledge that we have this habit if you are here because you already figured it out. Congrats!!!
We can find four main types of procrastinators:
- The complainer, most of the times the tasks are given to you, you feel like they are tedious, stupid, not worth it. However, what you are forgetting is that you need to do it at some point. The feeling underlying this is frustration, anger, and one belief” I shouldn’t have to do it!” “This is not my job.”
- The superhero, the person that brags that it works better under pressure or tight deadlines but never got “time” to do anything. Always leave everything last minute because they got the belief that “they work better under pressure.” The feeling behind this is boredom.
- The Yes person, the one who always says yes to everything and end up piling too many tasks to do, with impossible timelines, the one that has unrealistic day planners, and ends up doing nothing. The feeling behind this is anxiety, and the belief is, “If I am not able to do this, then I am not good enough.”
- The perfectionist, the one who prepares major, excels and power-points for a simple task and re-dos everything thousands of times, reviews and revise every single email, and every single thing over and over. The feeling behind this is fear, and the belief is, “If I am not doing it extremely well, I am a failure.”
Have you already find yourself in those four types of procrastinators?
Piers Steel is a professor that invented a formula to defy procrastination:
Motivation = (expectancy x value) / (Impulsiveness x delay)
Expectancy = To succeed in doing the task and thereby getting the anticipated reward.
Value = How much you enjoy doing a task and how much you will enjoy the reward.
Impulsiveness = your tendency to get distracted by other things
Delay = Refers to the time-lapse until receiving the anticipated reward.
We want to maximize Expectancy and value and minimize impulsiveness and delay. And to do it, first, we need to analyse in which part of the formula we fail. For that, we will do the following exercise.
We will create an excel with three tabs:
A- Important things, we will write things that are really important to do on that day/week.
B- Important but not urgent, things that are important but can be done maybe next week or in the future.
C- Things that I shouldn’t be doing will be when we check our phones, irrelevant things for the job that is supposed to be done, and just change between tasks because some beliefs have been triggered.
During a whole week, we will be filling that excel every 30 minutes to see and realize which procrastinator we are if we don’t know the issue yet, or if we know to see the complete picture to set up a strategy to work on fixing it.
Once we have this, it is time to create or game plan strategy; questions will be:
- What are you struggling with?
- Why are you struggling with it?
- How would you like things to change?
- What is holding you back to achieve it?
- What you can do to overcome what is holding you back?
Once you have all these answers, it should be simple to start working on the following tips. If you still very lost and overwhelmed will be time to look for a coach that can help you work on those beliefs triggering this behaviour. If you want to talk about it, we can have a totally free vibe call.
Here I leave you some tips to create your game plan to overcome procrastination.
Break down tasks: small tasks are easier to accomplish.
Get out your calendar: Structure your day, even your breaks and your free time. Allow a bit more time than expected for peace of mind.
Be realistic: Put in the calendar what you know you can achieve, don’t overfill it because this is setting you up to fail.
Focus on your why: What are the benefits (value) of completing it?
Set expectation low: To start, set your goal of the things that need to be done lower than you know you can manage.
Pomodoro technique: Focus 25 min work / 5 min break. Those 25 mins you work on a small task, but you totally focus without any distraction. During the five-minute break, you can move your position, maybe stand up and walk.
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