Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday ~~ Don Marquis.  This is one of my new favorite quotes.  We are all guilty of procrastinating in one way or another. There may be parts of our job that we hate doing but we have no choice. We hate working on our taxes so we put it off until tomorrow. We may be assigned projects that just seem tantamount to climbing a mountain and so we say to ourselves: “I will do it tomorrow.” One thing is for certain, there are endless tomorrows. So how can we remedy the situation?

Procrastination – I’m Human!

Curing our procrastinating ways takes some real soul searching.  It’s an inherent trait.  We’re human! First step is to really analyze ourselves to see why we are procrastinating. Focus on the underlying problems that initiate the procrastinating feelings and address them. Often times we overwork ourselves. A lack of proper rest only facilitates procrastination. In other words do you find yourself working 12-16 hours a day and feeling like you accomplished nothing? A lack of rest initiates bad decisions and poor planning. Getting good rest helps you to accomplish more in less time. Work smarter not harder.  Accomplished busy people are organized people.  Multitasking is not wise.  Use your calendar to its fullest capacity.  We procrastinate but we can also be mentally disciplined.

Organize Your Projects

If the project looks too big then break it down into installments and schedule when those various installments need to be done. If a project looks overwhelming then we are more apt to procrastinate and put it off until tomorrow. Remember how are parents taught us to eat properly? My folks would always say: “Don’t bite off more than you can chew”. It is such a timeless expression that still serves us in our career. Once you bite something, chew it, and then swallow it you feel like you have accomplished something. When we feel like we have accomplished something then we are less apt to procrastinate.  There are also some great project management tools out there for team collaboration.  Have due dates and have deliverables.

Good Old Fashioned Pen and Paper

Distractions can be a real time management killer and of course really encourage procrastination. Stop for a minute and write down three items that consistently distract you. Do you have control over them?  For me it is noise ,especially when I am writing blog posts like this one.  As a team you should all be cognizant of what distracts each other and be respectful of this.  

 At times multitasking can really be a time killer so it is super important to prioritize. When I feel projects piling up I actually get out my scratch pad and write down what I need to accomplish in the day. Then I put a number beside each item to give me a sequence. That little trick has helped me tremendously. Once I am done an item or two I make sure I reward myself with something as simple as getting out of my chair and taking a quick walk outside. The facts are that we have to take control of our feelings and create an environment that discourages procrastinating and encourages productivity.

I would love to hear any tips and tricks you have learned to overcome procrastinating. Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Written by Jonathan Saar