“How did it get so late, so soon?” – Dr. Seuss
Procrastination. We’re all guilty of it. The intention to do something but putting it off for no particular reason.
It could be that the task in hand seems too great, you don’t know where to start or you don’t know what you’re doing. I don’t need to tell you that putting it off won’t help – you already know this.
It’s not only in a working environment that this can become an issue, it’s every-day life. You might be putting off a spring clean, sorting through your household bills, even a tricky conversation. But there’s a lot you can do to get motivated and make your life that little bit easier.
Having a Positive Mental Attitude to the job in hand is the best place to start, so that’s something that starts with you.
Cue Rocky soundtrack, high fives and cheers… OK, maybe that’s just me. But to get yourself motivated to take on a task you should try the following:
1 Have a tidy work/home environment . I’m a strong believer in tidy space, tidy mind.
2 Write a list of what you want to achieve . Famed motivational speaker and marketing consultant Simon Sinek talks about the science behind to do lists.
3 Allocate some time, no distractions . And by no distractions I mean NO distractions. Try closing your email down – yes, I said it – for a specific time period. Even if only for an hour a day, you can achieve so much if you’re not replying to emails every few minutes.
4 Apply this to your phone , Skype and other communication platforms. By all means, let your colleagues know this is what you’re doing and why, but stick to it. If you’re at home, try turning off the TV or the washing machine so that the cycle doesn’t finish halfway through your allocated time. In the digital age, going offline even for a short period of time may leave you feeling a bit disconnected from the world, but embrace it. You’re in your own time capsule, so use it wisely.
5 Make sure you’re hydrated and had a small bite to eat. OK, I get it. This probably seems a bit obvious and slightly condescending. But there is real science behind this. In fact, a study conducted by the University of East London showed that drinking water can result in a 14% increase in productivity.
6 Prioritise your tasks . This is something that comes with experience, but there are tools out there that can help. Read our blog on Smartsheets which hosts a range of features that will have you streamlined in no time.
7 Use other tools that will save you time . Social media scheduling tools like Gramblr for Instagram and Hootsuite are essential if you’re not already using them. And Adobe Spark allows you to create professional looking graphics, web pages and videos in videos in far less time than traditional methods!
8 Get it right first time . Before you begin any task, have a clear objective of what you want to achieve. For example, you might want to quit the gym (you shouldn’t, and in my next point we’ll discuss that further). Plan the conversation/job in hand, decide how you’re going to deliver it and figure out obstacles you’ll come up against, take action and achieve the desired outcome.
9 Take breaks . As previously mentioned, a fed and watered body is an efficient one. But to stay focused you need to take a complete break away from your desk. Go for a walk, or a run which can really help to reduce stress (again, science proves this ) or perhaps go and read a few chapters of a novel. Surfing Facebook or LinkedIn does not count as a proper break!
By practising these simple steps, you’ll find yourself using your time more efficiently, so you can achieve more. Achieving more in your day leaves more precious time for doing the things you love.
“If you’re not doing what you love, you’re wasting time.” – Billy Joel