It’s that time of year. As we near the end of the first quarter, your dreams and goals that you’ve set for yourself are now being faced with some eye-opening realities. Now it’s 5 PM on a Sunday and the jitters are creeping up on you. You mentally start to form the checklist of things to get done during the upcoming week and the things you failed to accomplish the week before.
But as the list starts to grow, so does your anxiety. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, there’s a direct impact on your overall motivation. If you find yourself taking the latest quiz on the type of sandwich that best fits your personality instead of getting your to-do list done….you are procrastinating.
The best way of dealing with procrastination is first to understand why we shy away from the tasks that seem the hardest.
Why Do We Procrastinate?
Think about that one task you absolutely dread doing for your business. Maybe you find yourself putting it off until you’ve gone through and responded to all of your emails. Or maybe that cup of coffee needs to be refilled, and it’ll definitely happen after that.
Next thing you know, you’re scrolling through your social media giving out those likes. You know where I’m going with this. That nagging item that needs to get today doesn’t actually get done. And I bet you’re left wondering where the day went.
Frankly, this happens because we’re uncomfortable and completely stressed. You’ve got a million things to worry about in your business. There are only so many hours in the day.
Nowadays, we’re being pulled in many different directions. If we’re not careful, this can eventually lead to burnout. It can be a lot for a person to handle.
Procrastination is a result of our fears and anxiety overwhelming us to the point that it halts our productivity. And the result? We’re even more stressed than where we were before. It’s a frustrating cycle.
Remember to be kind to yourself. Look back at the steps to help restore a positive mindset, which will help build the framework for productivity.
Now, let’s talk about some effective tricks to help foster a lucrative work week so that you make some serious progress.
Beat Procrastination By Limiting Social Media
This is a big one. Social media is so accessible – it’s literally at our fingertips. No wonder we’re distracted by it!
To increase your productivity, consider downloading an app that blocks off social media for a designated amount of time. There are apps available for both iOS and Android that help decrease the number of distractions throughout your workweek. They also include a variety of customization options that best fits your needs.
Whether you’re looking for an app that blocks off websites, mobile apps, or notifications, there are a ton of options out there for you.
Here are some of my recommendations:
This is obviously easier said than done. Let’s be honest. It takes a lot of willpower to avoid social media. But if there are tools available that limit our screen time, I encourage you to give it a try and see how it works out.
Break Down Your Tasks
Create a list of all your pending tasks. Don’t worry about numbering or organizing them in a particular way – that comes later. Just write out everything you need to accomplish for the week on a piece of paper, in your journal, or on your computer.
Once you have your list, then you can start to prioritize accordingly.
Circle or highlight what you need to get done. Don’t worry if you start to feel overwhelmed as you add to it. This is an exercise to not only help identify your high-priority tasks from low priority, but it also helps make your tasks seem more tangible rather than just having thoughts float around inside your head.
Personally, if I don’t have any immediate deadlines for the week, I prefer working on the smaller tasks first and then moving on to the ones that require more of my time. If needed, break down those larger tasks into smaller ones. This will allow you to chip away at it without increasing your anxiety.
You are ultimately the best judge of what works best for you and the circumstances that allow you to thrive and get things done. The relief you feel will start to act as your fuel for your motivation.
Now that you have an organized list, it’s time to set some goals.
You have a couple of options on how best to achieve this:
- Break it down by day
- Break it down by week
- Break it down by month
If you’re feeling super ambitious, you can even set goals for the coming months. But if you’re just trying to make sure you survive the week, I would recommend starting with a daily breakdown. It’s also a natural way to develop a healthy habit that allows you to control your day.
Here’s an example:
- Answer any emails from clients
- Research topic for next blog post
- Choose subject of blog post
- Make 10 connections on LinkedIn
- Send contract to client by 2 PM
These goals are specific, realistic, and completely attainable. Having your goals in this type of manner will allow you to stay focused. The more specific you are the better.
Silence Your Inner Perfectionist
My best advice for getting a task done is this: just start. It doesn’t matter if it’s not perfect from the beginning. It’s enough that you started. Progress – even in small increments – is progress. You can always go back and make adjustments after you’ve done an initial pass.
But I understand how negative thoughts can be intrusive and counterproductive.
It’s okay to listen to those thoughts, but never let them be the driver. Instead of folding under the weight of your inner critic, challenge these thoughts.
Your critic: This blog post just isn’t working, and it’s taking so much time. Maybe I’ll just get to it a little later…
Try this instead: My blog post isn’t where I’d like it to be, but it’s a good start. I’ve given myself an opportunity to really make it shine.
So, take a stab at it. Put pen to paper. And just go for it.
You’ll have something to work with, which is so much easier than starting with nothing. Your effort will be rewarded, I promise you.
Before next Sunday rolls around and it’s time to start planning for the coming week, take a moment to celebrate your wins. Regardless of how small they may seem, you will be amazed by your sense of accomplishment. Focus on your successes rather than your failures. This mindset shift will set you up to win the next week and avoid overwhelm.
I’d love to hear from you! What are some of the tricks that you use when you find yourself procrastinating? Leave a comment below!
I’m booking free 30-min discovery calls for busy entrepreneurs like you! I want to help you succeed. We’ll talk about your business, your needs, and how I can best support you during this call. Click here to sign up.