If you’re finding yourself spending a lot of time at work but not achieving so much, it’s time to admit that you’re probably a procrastinator. It’s nothing to be ashamed of — roughly 5% of the population suffers from chronic procrastination. However, if you want to keep your job, you need to stop constantly ignoring your schedule.

How to stop procrastinating

Read the tips listed below and come back and thank us later in the comments.

Take an Objective View

Remember that instant gratification monkey? His entire purpose is to give in to your selfish desires. To fix this issue, you must remove the “self” part from the equation. Using technology does this by giving you an objective view of your performance.

It can be difficult to analyse yourself without any outside help, which is why the hidden self in the famous Johari Window model is so important. There is one major flaw with the Johari Window solution, though — we really don’t like taking criticism from other people. Technology acts as a neutral tool that displays the absolute truth without any emotion or personal bias. You might not like the results of your latest productivity report, but you can’t deny that it isn’t accurate or come to the conclusion that your time management application has a vendetta against you.

Take an objective view of why you're procrastinating

Tell Others Your Availability

Perhaps this is less about your incapability to get things done and more about other people constantly breaking up your workflow. Fixing this can be as simple as switching to a business answering service, which allows you to schedule your calls using a shared application.

Feeling on edge all the time as you wait for incoming calls and messages can be really off-putting when starting any task that requires concentration. But by effectively blocking out periods of time where you have communicated to your co-workers that you don’t want to be disturbed, you can get down to business with zero interruptions.

Tell people when you're available

Get Help from a Visual Aid

Time-tracking software is designed to produce visual reports on your workplace behaviour and habits without requiring you to spend any time creating graphs yourself. You may already have a rough idea of how much time you spend in meetings or how much you’re getting checked off your to-do list, but to make this data crystal clear, you will need to look at a set of hard statistics to evaluate where your time is best spent and how you can change up your routine to ramp things up.

As opposed to tables or heaps of statistical data, graphs interact with our visual system, which makes the information easier to consume and make conclusions from. From this perspective, it’s worth having a time-tracking application running in the background of your desktop so that you can periodically evaluate your effectiveness when working.

Visual aids can help you realize why procrastination is hurting more than helping.

Automate When You Can

If you really don’t feel like completing all of the work that is set for you, thanks to automation, that’s okay. For most of the mundane work processes, there are now ways to generate a response without you having to do any activity. For example, if emails really get on your nerves and take up too much time in the morning, you can organise your inbox in your sleep using Gmail filters.

This means that you can archive, delete and respond to generic messages without spending any time on the task at all. No human job would be complete without effort from our side, but your workload can be minimised by using automation techniques. Even if you are technically procrastinating, you won’t feel quite as guilty when you give in to the instant gratification monkey.

Automation can help curb procrastination

Conclusion

Procrastination always seems like the easy option, but it’s really not good for us in the long term. Choosing to ignore our most urgent priorities is driven by a short-term desire to put things off. In his TED talk on the topic, blogger Tim Urban personifies this desire as the “Instant Gratification Monkey” which steers the rational mind to do the wrong thing.

In his speech, Urban also explains that the rational mind has a guardian angel. In this blog, we explain why we believe technology plays this role through four different approaches that tackle your time-wasting habits.

Take a few minutes to listen to his speech and perhaps you’ll gain even more insight into the reasons why you, your employees, or coworkers are so bent on procrastinating: