Getting Things Done: How to Conquer Procrastination

We all do it; we push the things we enjoy least to the bottom of our to-do list. Day after day that list builds and builds. No matter how much you love your business, there are always the mundane duties that you just can’t stand to do. Putting off these jobs allows them to multiply until the tasks seem insurmountable, creating stress and anxiety. If you are one of the many entrepreneurs who find themselves overwhelmed by dreaded duties, the following tips may help you defeat the urge to procrastinate and finally get those tedious tasks done:

1. Schedule these tasks early in your day. Decide how much time needs to be spent on each task and mark it in your calendar or agenda. If they need to be performed weekly, work on them first thing Monday morning. If they are daily jobs, work on them first thing each day. Deciding to work on the functions you enjoy least as early as possible will actually make your job more enjoyable. The rest of the day or week will then be dedicated to carrying out the duties you really enjoy. You will find yourself looking forward to your days instead of feeling a sense of dread over the mounting piles of monotonous work.

2. Reward yourself. When you have completed these wearisome deeds, reward yourself by taking a break, getting a coffee or having a snack. Knowing that there is a treat coming when you finish may not make you enjoy these duties any more, but it will likely give you the extra motivation to get the job done.

3. If the job seems huge, break it up. Divide the tasks into sections and schedule 2 or 3 times throughout your day to work on them. After completing each section, give yourself a little reward and move on to more enjoyable work. Be sure to set some kind of alarm to remind you when it’s time to get back to them, or you may get carried away with doing the jobs you love.

4. Don’t allow yourself to get distracted. While performing these despised duties, it’s very easy to become distracted by anything and everything. In fact, you may find yourself looking for distractions to avoid this work. The more focused you are, the faster you will complete these tasks and be finished with them. During this time, don’t check your email, chit chat with employees or colleagues, and don’t answer any personal phone calls.

5. Delegate. If you have employees, delegate some of these responsibilities to them; that’s what they are there for. If you don’t have employees, or your employees are as overwhelmed as you are, consider outsourcing. As a result of today’s advanced technologies, there are very few jobs that can’t be outsourced. Decide which task(s) you enjoy least and contract them to someone. There are Virtual Assistants to handle administrative duties, Accountants and Bookkeepers to manage financial functions, and there are even companies and individuals to whom you can outsource sales duties.

Procrastination leads to stress and anxiety, but these can be easily avoided. Don’t allow the urge to procrastinate overcome your desire to run your business efficiently. Following some or all of these simple steps may help you conquer your inclination to delay performing dreaded duties, allow you to more thoroughly enjoy your work day, and let you run your business mote effectively.