Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tip #351: 6 Tips To Overcome Procrastination

6 Tips To Overcome Procrastination


At some point, all of us fall victim to procrastination. And although procrastination stems from many sources, the most common source is an overwhelming fear or intimidation of a project, or uncertainty in your skills to meet a challenge to your satisfaction.

Don't Let Procrastination Pull Down Your Career.

Unfortunately, procrastination can become habitual for many people. Employees who procrastinate frequently will see a sharp decline in the quality of their work and their output. Naturally, this will draw the attention of their employers, and in extreme cases could lead to termination.

To make sure procrastination doesn't ruin your career, here are six tips to help you overcome procrastination and become a more organized worker.

6 Tips To Overcome Procrastination:

Tip #1. Create An Outline/Schedule: In most cases, procrastination is the byproduct of not having a game plan. Sitting down in front of a blank slate you have been assigned to fill is intimidating, enough so to turn your attention elsewhere. But developing an outline and creating a reservoir of information and knowledge to tap into will aid in filling in what's blank. So before you start any work, be it a project or your daily responsibilities, draw up a quick outline to act as a guide.

Tip #2. Assign Yourself A Deadline: Deadlines serve two purposes. They can be a scare tactic used to make you realize how limited your time is to complete something and how with each passing day you have less and less time to work on it and bring it up to the standard of quality you want it to be at. Or, they can be an organizational tool that helps you divide a project up over the week while providing a concrete completion time to aim for.

Tip #3. Break Up The Project: Smaller, bite-sized chunks are easier to manage and far less intimidating than a project viewed in its entirety. Part of your planning process should be to find ways to segment the project into more manageable pieces. Each piece represents a step towards completing the project, but instead of having an entire blank canvas to fill, you only have, for example, 25% to paint in by the end of Tuesday.

Click here to read Lifehack's article "How To Overcome Procrastination Once And For All"

Tip #4. Reward Yourself Periodically: Be sure to reward yourself whenever you complete a portion of your work. This will help combat exhaustion and the stress that exhaustion leads to. Take ten minutes to browse the web, or get some fresh air by taking a walk. Depending on your work environment, get out of the office and read for a little while, or engage in some sort of fun hobby or activity. Whatever you do, rewarding yourself for each significant step you finish will help inspire you to press on.

Tip #5. Steer Clear Of Perfectionism: No one wants to turn out subpar work, or even work that falls short of the standards they hold themselves to. But perfectionism tends to be far more damaging as an agent of procrastination than it does aiding the quality of your work in any way. For example, people often look at a book and marvel at the author's accomplishment. But what most fail to realize is that the author spent 15+ months writing, editing, rewriting, deleting, rebuilding and repairing the content of that book to get it to that final product. The same applies to your career work.

Tip #6. Bite The Bullet And Do It: Biting the proverbial bullet usually happens at one of two moments in the lifetime of a project: At its start or at its end. For some projects, just getting it done from the get-go, banging out that shoddy first draft is the most effective means to overcome the fear of starting. Once done, the rest of the time allotted to you can be used to draft, refine and tighten up the project at a casual pace. Alternatively, waiting too long will force your hand, demanding that you produce the entirety of the project -- that you just "do it" -- in one shot to meet deadline.

Executive Summary: Some people equate procrastination with laziness, and while that may be true in some cases, just as many -- if not more -- are the result of feeling overwhelmed and intimidated. These are perfectly natural and acceptable feelings to experience. The trick is to learn techniques that allow you to tear down fear and intimidation, to level the playing field and take ownership of your work. If the project is large, break it down into manageable chunks. If the project is long, reward yourself with periodic breaks -- especially after you have made significant progress.

Your Next Step:If you want to find out more about how Dale Carnegie® Training can make your business more effective, or need more information on this subject, please send us an e-mail at the address below.

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Bob Dickson, President
Dale Carnegie® Training of Western CT
(203) 723-9888

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