How to beat procrastination and become productive

Coming from a corporate PA background, productivity and time management was something I had down to a t.  So, what better way to celebrate World Productivity Day than write a blog with some of my best tips.  BUT, I’ve put a spin on this one and focussing on how to get around procrastination to be productive…

Procrastinate: To delay or postpone action; put off doing something.

Procrastination is very common for small business owners.  At some point, we are faced with doing something we’ve been putting off, something we don’t know how to do or maybe it’s because we have so many ideas we don’t know which one to do first!  We become so obsessed with what we should be doing, that we don’t actually get on and get it done.

I’ve faced this myself, even this week.  I’ve officially returned from maternity leave and have so many ideas on things I want to be doing, I’ve not been taking the time to work through it properly.  So, here are my top tips on how to beat procrastination and become productive…

It’s all about the planning…

I always go on about planning and that’s because it’s so important.  Doing things on the spur of the moment or not giving enough time and attention to something just doesn’t work.  The first thing you need to do is plan in the time to do that one thing you’ve been putting off.  And be generous.  Don’t just stick it in for half an hour because you really don’t want to be working on it any longer than you want to.  Give yourself plenty of time, no distractions where you can focus and tackle it head-on.

Make a list…

Think about the steps you need to take to get the task done.  If, for example, you want to get your lead magnet off the ground.  Think about all the steps you need to take to do this…

  • Write the content for the lead magnet
  • Design it
  • How are you going to deliver it to readers?
  • Will they need to subscribe to receive it?
  • Will you host it on your website or a dedicated landing page?
  • What list/group/tag will they go through to?
  • Will they get a direct download button or receive via email?
  • Will you be creating a nurture sequence? How many emails, how frequently? Etc

All of these things create tasks that need to be implemented to get the job done.

Set a deadline…

I always encourage clients to set deadlines.  I often work on things that they’ve been putting off for so long that they aren’t bothered when it gets completed by, they’re just pleased it’s getting done!  BUT, setting a deadline means you have a target to work towards.  By not setting one is where you end up in the vicious circle of putting things off and dropping it down your to-do list.  Set a deadline and STICK to it!

Get an accountability partner…

If you don’t have one, I highly recommend getting an accountability partner!  My accountability partner Claire is amazing.  We are both VAs and started our journey around the same time.  During our training, we would have regular calls to hold ourselves accountable with our training, marketing and getting our businesses up and running.  We are now 2.5 years down the line and still talking regularly throughout the week.  If one of us needs to get something done, we let the other one know.  We then check-in regularly to make sure we are sticking to it and moving forward.  It’s either a gentle nudge or a hefty push that we need to get on with it!

Get rid of distractions…

As I mentioned, this week I’ve been procrastinating myself and I’ve been letting distractions take my focus away.  So I’ve been strict – every time I click on the Facebook shortcut on my laptop I immediately log out and close it down, I’ve turned off my notifications, ignored my notifications, and even moved my phone to the other side of the room so I couldn’t check messages.  Give your complete undivided attention to the job and get rid of the distractions!

Give yourself a reward…

You can decide this before, or even after you’ve got it done, but remember to give yourself a reward once you’ve completed it.  It doesn’t need to be anything big.  For me, I took the morning off and went for tea and cake in a local coffee shop.  That was a reward for getting the one thing done that I’d been putting off.

 

Hopefully this has given you some inspiration on ways to combat the dread procrastination bug, but if you’re still struggling to get it done, why not look at outsourcing it instead?  This is what a lot of my clients have done, and they have felt the instant relief in handing it over, knowing it’s going to move forward.  Why not get in touch today to see if I can help.  Either book an appointment directly or email me at info@njrvirtualpa.co.uk to find out more.

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