Everyone goes through periods of procrastinating at work whether you work in an office or remotely. Sometimes the thought of getting things done is just too much. And we feel overwhelmed. So, instead, we find other pointless tasks to fill the time. It’s kinda like the opposite of burnout. But how many cups of tea can you make before your workload really starts to suffer?
We’re here to help you beat the procrastination plague. It’s time to step into the most productive version of yourself!
Typical signs of procrastination at work
- Making numerous trips to the kettle
- Clock watching
- Filling your time with pointless conversations with colleagues
- Prioritising tasks that can wait
- Over-checking your emails
- Taking too long to complete small tasks
Why do we procrastinate?
We can think of a few different reasons why you end up procrastinating at work.
Sometimes your work isn’t stimulating enough. You’re tired of repeating the same tasks day in, day out. You don’t feel challenged and therefore you’d rather watch paint dry than crack on with your work.
You can’t solve a problem
Problems with your work can be a huge trigger for procrastination. Especially when you don’t know what the solution is. Problems get in the way of your rhythm and flow. They can be a huge obstacle to overcome. And sometimes you need others to help you work your way out of the hole.
When your workload piles up, you’d like to think you’d switch gears. But sometimes the opposite can happen. You’re suddenly overcome with overwhelm. And when the overwhelm hits, you’ll find just about anything else to do to distract you. Overwhelm can also happen if your boss applies too much pressure or you’re working in a toxic environment.
7 ways to beat procrastination at work
Ask for new tasks
If boredom is part of your problem, you may need to add a bit more variety into your work day. Communicate how you’re feeling with your manager. Explain that you’ll become more productive if given the opportunity to work on different tasks. Sometimes, all you need to do is switch up your routine.
Break big tasks into smaller chunks
Tackling big tasks is a skill. But think of it like climbing Everest. You focus on reaching certain points before you hit the summit. Take time to map out your project and break it down into smaller sections. This will make your workload feel more manageable.
Deadlines are key! If you don’t set yourself a deadline, one simple task can take you the whole day. So whether you’re working on a big project or just your daily diary, set deadlines to keep you in check.
Rewarding yourself for your work is a great way to boost motivation levels. Maybe you’ll treat yourself to a meal out. Or perhaps it’s as simple as giving yourself an extra break away from your desk. Either way, find things to look forward to for completing your work.
Use a power hour
Power hours are fantastic for productivity. It’s just an hour of your time, but with maximum concentration and effort. Often, people end up achieving more in one power hour than they would have done the whole day. Be sure to turn off all distractions. And it helps if you can let your colleagues know when you’re entering a power hour so they don’t disturb you.
Lists are a useful technique for productivity. List out everything you have to do that week/day/month. From there, you’ll be able to prioritise what needs doing first. When you complete a task, crossing it off your list gives you a great sense of achievement and encourages you to move onto the next task.
Start every day with a plan
Never freestyle your day. That’s just asking for procrastination. Always start each day by writing up your plan. You may even want to check in at midday with your goals, and write up your plan for the afternoon.
It’s not too late
If you’re a serial procrastinator, don’t worry. It’s never too late to get yourself in gear. Everyday gives you a new opportunity to start afresh. Once you implement these tips, you’ll be surprised by how much more you can achieve!
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