It’s difficult to understand that while the UK economy surges ahead as the fastest growing in Europe, its productivity has sagged to an inauspicious 6th in the G7, below that of France and Italy, and only fractionally ahead of Japan. The Government isn’t happy about it and the Chancellor and the Business Secretary have outlined a plan, revolving around ‘moving’, ‘building’ and ‘learning’ to do something about it.  

Whatever your thoughts about the government’s plans, they are ultimately about tacking a degree of procrastination, because procrastination robs productivity and hurts credibility.

People usually procrastinate to avoid a task that’s unpleasant or daunting but everyone does it at one point or other. But you know it’s time to stop delaying and get on with it, when procrastination starts to interfere with your work performance.

Perhaps it’s causing you to feel worried and stressed out, or making others feel anxious because you’re holding up progress.

Don’t let things get that far!

Try these 5 Top Tips to overcome your procrastination:-

1.      Identify the challenge

Write down the specific task you’ve been putting off. For example, “I have to convert all of my client contacts and notes into the new file-sharing software system and show how to navigate its tools and folders.”

Writing down the challenge helps – what you focus on becomes BIGGER.

2.Define your goal

Good planning is the foundation of success for any project. It’s helpful to write it down so you have it ready for reference.

Start by getting clear on your goal. Your goal is your beacon to keep you on track in stormy waters.

For example, “I want to become good at this new software so it’s a useful tool, not an obstacle to my progress.”

Having a clear and precise idea of your goal will keep you on track and motivated.

3.Defuse sabotaging talk

Identify sabotaging thoughts that are hanging in the wings, ready to pounce at a weak moment, then come up with a couple of truths to contradict them. For example, if you continually tell yourself “I’ll never be able to learn all this,” you might say to yourself:-

“I can do this” or “If others can learn this, so can I.”

That’s a plain and simple truth!

To neutralise your frustration at having to do this task, you might say, “I’m doing this because I want to be a team player” or “My boss thinks I’m the best person to do this.”

4.Take baby steps

Break the task into small, doable chunks.

You’ve envisaged the goal – dealt with what’s holding you back – and fixed your destructive thinking.

Completing the task requires deciding when you’ll get started and figuring out a doable, step-by- step game plan. Write it down, schedule it and commit to it.

Then go on a mental journey, plotting out each part of the task, including details such as who you will talk with and what about, where and when you’ll be working and how long you expect each part to take.

5.Fight your resistance

As you move through the task, you’re likely to meet with resistance in the form of excuses, bad moods and discouragement. Meet resistance with tenacity and stubbornness, and continue to deal with any emotions that surface.

Say to yourself, “I can do this. I’ll feel better when I handle this.”

Say it over and over until it’s fixed in your mind.

Any time you feel discouraged or are tempted to procrastinate, refocus on the goal.

Want to read more of the Top Tips?

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