Why should you give staff the flexibility to work their way?June 30, 2023
How to foster camaraderie with a remote teamJuly 31, 2023
What is procrastination?
The definition of procrastination: the action of delaying or postponing something.
Procrastination can be a common challenge in the workplace and is often utilised when approaching a difficult or uncomfortable task. In reality it has no place at work and only serves to heighten stress and anxiety causing greater anguish than is needed. The art of putting things off delays the inevitable and can lead to wasted time performing insignificant tasks which may not be in the best interest of the business.
For executives’ procrastination can alter their leadership abilities demonstrating poor judgement when approaching business strategies. Managers who procrastinate are less inclined to provide support to their employees and for staff it can affect their performance, creativity and may show weaknesses in their character.
For those skilled in the art of procrastination developed through years of bad habits it may prove difficult to just simply stop. And while most of us joke about having our head in the clouds it can lead to serious consequences in the workplace. It’s all about learning to take on those dreaded tasks with determination and enthusiasm and somehow making them more enjoyable and easier to get finished.
Here are 4 strategies you can employ to help yourself and your team to overcome procrastination:
- Set clear goals and deadlines: Use a calendar or diary to write down each deadline giving yourself the time and space to complete the task. Plus try to develop a schedule treating it as a commitment to increase productivity and minimise distractions by determining the most important and urgent tasks that require immediate attention. Ensure you focus on completing these tasks first, as it helps prevent them from becoming overwhelming and causing further procrastination.
- Use productivity techniques: Explore different methods where you work in focused bursts with short breaks in between. So rather than see it as an unachievable project break them down into smaller, more manageable steps, and tackling them one at a time. This can help you stay focused, maintain momentum, and avoid procrastination. Also, don't be afraid to celebrate small victories along the way to help you and your team stay motivated.
- Minimise distractions: Identify and minimise potential distractions in your workspace. Turn off notifications on your phone, close irrelevant browser tabs, and create a conducive work environment that promotes focus and concentration. Not everyone has the same work patterns so determine the times of day when you're most productive and schedule your most challenging or important tasks during these periods to leverage your peak productivity.
- Seek accountability: Share your goals and deadlines with a colleague or manager who can hold you accountable. Schedule regular check-ins or progress updates which can provide motivation and discourage stalling. Work together to reflect on the reasons behind your procrastination. E.g., could this be due to fear of failure, perfectionism, lack of knowledge or just because you are feeling overwhelmed. Recognise and address these underlying causes to develop healthier work habits.
Learning to break the cycle takes motivation and commitment so start using the above ideas moving towards a procrastination free zone by taking the first steps towards building momentum and reduce the likelihood of further stalling. Upon completing a difficult task reward yourself with something enjoyable or take a break to recharge and motivate yourself throughout the workday.
Remember, overcoming procrastination requires consistent effort and self-discipline. Experiment with different techniques to find what works best for you and be patient with yourself during the process. The sooner you start to make changes the easier your work will become and the less stress you will have to endure meaning you will remain focused on releasing your full potential and that of your team.