When you don’t have a boss breathing down your neck to meet specific deadlines, it’s easy to give in to the urge to procrastinate and put off doing actual work. But each time you check your email or make a non-work-related phone call, you are costing your business time and money that could otherwise be contributing to your bottom line.
The good news is, you can take small steps to stop procrastinating and start doing so that you can make more effective use of your time.
Here are five steps you can use to beat procrastination. You can apply them to almost any task. To illustrate, we’ve used the example of article writing.
Separate your work into three files. In the first, include the things you will do today. In the second, put in the things you would like to get done, but aren’t essential. In the third, include things that need to be done at some point. Doing this will help you decide what work to tackle first.
Be sure to add the Evergreen Wealth Formula 2.0 as it would provide you an insight into what exactly the situation is all about and breaking down the sets into smaller subsets would make it easier to finish off the task in a shorter time without losing on the main plot.
Goals with specific time-frames for completing activities will give you deadlines and lay out how and when to meet them. For example, you might decide that from Monday to Friday of next week, you will spend 20 minutes each day writing the first draft of an article that you need to have done the week after.
Step 3: Break the task down into smaller ones.
Smaller tasks are more manageable and will make you feel less overwhelmed than large ones will. Don’t spend too much time organizing your big tasks into a number of steps in a list. Just focus on the tiny task that needs to be done next so that you can have a number of small victories. For example, you can break your article down into parts and assign days to finish each secton. You might decide to write the introduction to your article on Monday, the first paragraph on Tuesday, the third paragraph on Wednesday, and so on. Make sure that the small task you undertake is actually useful, and does not just lead to more delaying.
Step 4: Commit five minutes to getting started on a task, and then start!
If you start out not feeling up to taking on a task, working on it for five minutes could be the spark that leads you to go at it for five more minutes, and five more minutes on top of that. At the end of your first five minutes, decide whether you are capable of committing more time to the task, and you could end up getting a full article done!
Set up rewards for completing your tasks. When you are tempted to give in to a non-work-related distraction, like playing video games instead of working on an important project, make your video game playing contingent upon doing part or all of the priority activity first. In this way, you can turn your video game playing time into an enjoyable reward, rather than feeling guilty about it.