8 Productivity Tips For Procrastinators

As a solo business operator, procrastination can be extremely detrimental. We recently asked a sample of business owners to share their tips to keep it at bay. Here are the top things we identified that help them to be freakishly productive. Enjoy these 8 productivity tips for procrastinators:

Productivity tip: Keep the home office tidy

“When my home office is clean and uncluttered, so too is my brain; I’m clear about the tasks I need to complete and I’m motivated to complete them.”

It makes total sense and the same applies for any area that you need to get work done, whether it’s a home office, your workplace desk, or even your work car.

Procrastination hack: Write down a list of daily tasks

“A list keeps me organised and on track, and ticking things off gives me a huge sense of achievement, which further feeds my productivity.”

There sure is a certain sense of satisfaction in ticking things off, but we also had feedback that the act of creating lists can sometimes be a form of procrastination in in itself! One contributor even referred to this as ‘mental masturbation’, in that creating lists of tasks can make you feel like you’re already starting to get them done, but in fact you’ve just written out yet another ‘to-do’ list!

Productivity tip: Write down one overall goal every morning

“When I write down my goal at the start of the day it makes an enormous difference to my focus and productivity. For example, if my goal is: I will work with three new clients by the end of the month, then everything I do for that month (consciously and subconsciously) moves me towards that goal.”

Let’s face it, life throws us curve balls all the time, and sometimes it can be defeating when we have our day hijacked unexpectedly, but we love the idea of continually reinforcing that end goal to keep us moving in the right direction.

productivity tips for procrastinators

Procrastination hack: Finish what you start

“This is a biggie for me. On the days when I’m most productive I actually finish every task that I start before moving on to the next one. By having this ‘completion mindset’ I’m programmed to just get in and get things done.”

In a world where we’re often doing multiple things at once and having our attention interrupted by the repeated pings of smart phones and notifications, this is a great idea to adopt across all areas of life. Whether it’s full focus during your workout with your phone on airplane mode, or eating a meal without sitting in front of the tv – single tasking is something we all should be practising more!

Productivity Tip: Work in Your Zone

“Where possible, I think it’s important for people to work in their most productive ‘zone’. For me, this is usually early in the morning until around midday. I work outside these hours too, but I’m usually less productive.”

We’re all wired differently and just as some like to wake early and others prefer to stay up late, it’s important to try and structure your day to capitalise on your most productive zone

Productivity Tip: Try to stay mentally alert

“If my mind gets fuzzy, so too does my cranial output. To stay mentally alert I often use the Pomodoro technique – a great time-management method that also boosts productivity.”

Prioritise sleep, so you can squeeze the most juice out of your waking hours. Avoid high-carb food and drinks, as they cause blood sugar spikes and crashes. Regular breaks from sedentary activities with a short walk or a five minute exercise routine does wonders for mental alertness as well.

Procrastination hack: Reduce distractions

“When I need to focus I will usually shut down my email programs and the internet, put my phone on silent and close my door. Distractions are poison for productivity.”

The book Stolen Focus, by Johann Hari, brought attention to the fact that it takes 23 minutes to get back into the deep level of thinking, or flow state, after you’re interrupted. We suggest setting a few intervals each day where you will check your emails or messages and not looking at them at all in between.

Productivity Tip: Be accountable to someone

“If I have a lot of tasks that I really need/want to get done, I’ll be accountable to my partner and we’ll negotiate a ‘punishment’. If I don’t get my tasks done I usually have to scratch his meandering back itch for five minutes. If my productivity slips during the day, I hear his voice in the back of my head: “Bit to the left, smidge to the right, a millimetre up, a centimetre down.” I shudder with fear and power through!”

This is why business coaches can be so powerful. It’s not just the advice and expertise that a coach can offer, but also the accountability. If hiring a coach isn’t for you, consider finding yourself a mentor or even just a fellow business owner who agrees to be your accountability partner.

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