Sometimes we put things off because we’ve lost sight of our priorities. Or the job is so big that we don’t know where to start. Here are some tips to help you break the cycle of procrastination so that you get the job done.
1. Revisit priorities - What are your career goals at this point in life? Have your priorities shifted? If you’ve encountered any major changes recently, such as the birth of a child, moving to a new neighborhood, or loss of a loved one, then you may need to redefine your life’s values and mission.
2. Post reminders of your life’s goal - Tack up a few sayings that are personally inspiring to you or write one of your own. Put them by your phone, your car, and your mirror, or use them as screensavers, to help you gain perspective and get moving.
3. Delegate - If you’ve got a deadline to meet, identify tasks that you could delegate to someone else. If you’re mentoring a coworker, allow that person the opportunity to take on a new responsibility that will lighten your load.
4. Acknowledge each success - Major projects are accomplished in small increments. To curb procrastination congratulate yourself for each step that leads toward your overall objective. Focusing on progress, no matter how small, can help to keep you moving forward.
5. Compile your resources - What resources will you need to accomplish your assignment? Begin compiling them. Move systematically through the list until every aspect of the project is covered.
6. Hire a career coach – If procrastination has become a lifestyle, you might need someone to help you break the cycle. A career coach can help you determine your life and career goals, as well as create a plan for how to achieve them.
7. Create boundaries – To do the things you really want, you may have to say no to other activities.
8. Establish new patterns – Take a different route to work or eat vegetables for lunch and skip the meat. Establishing new patters in something relatively simple can carry over into other areas of life and help lift you out of a rut. The main thing to remember is this: Change is possible.
9. Build anticipation - Imagine how you’ll feel, or how your company will benefit, when you can cross the huge project off your to-do list.
10. Reinforce a sense of accomplishment - When you’ve completed an assignment or project, do something nice for yourself to reinforce a sense of accomplishment. Plan a mini-vacation, indulge in a massage, or go for a walk. Choose an enjoyable activity that says congratulations. You stopped putting things off, and it shows.