Even if you’re busy, it can be too easy to procrastinate when the work is tedious, difficult or something you don’t enjoy. What’s your best advice for how to beat procrastination and get your work done?
These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year, and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co.
1. Set a Specific Time to Do the Task
A tip I can give to ward against procrastination is to set a time to start working on a project no matter what. If you get it in your head that you will start the challenging task at exactly 2 p.m., you are holding yourself accountable. You stand a better chance of actually starting it rather than thinking you will get to it eventually.
– Baruch Labunski, Rank Secure
2. Leverage Your Most Productive Hours
The best way to get through work you do not necessarily enjoy doing is to schedule a time during your most productive window of the day to get it done. Turn off all notifications, put your phone on silent, close your email, shut the door and just get it done.
– Zane Stevens, Protea Financial
3. Use the Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro technique is one of the best ways to overcome procrastination. Using this technique, you split your working hours into activity sessions of 30 minutes each. The first 25 minutes of the session are dedicated to working, followed by a quick 5-minute break as a reward. Here, the duration of an active session is so small that it technically leaves no room for procrastination.
– Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms
4. Confront the Task First Thing
I’m convinced we can beat procrastination with a mindset. You’ll have to get down to that tedious task sooner or later. By putting it off, you’re wasting your mental capacity because the dread also takes energy. Instead of avoiding that thing you don’t enjoy, confront it. I always get the hardest task out of the way first thing in the morning. This makes the rest of the day 10 times more productive.
5. Eliminate Distractions
The best way to beat procrastination is to eliminate distractions. Make sure you’re in a distraction-free environment. Turn off notifications, close out all unnecessary tabs, find an area that is quiet and conducive to work and just get started. It can be easy to get stuck in the mental loop of wanting to do it later, but sometimes it’s best to just start to stay focused and complete the task.
6. Break Large Tasks Into Smaller Ones
My best advice for avoiding procrastination is to break large, tedious tasks into smaller, more manageable ones. For instance, if you need to write a 4,000-word blog post, start by creating an outline. Then, you can tackle each section individually, which can make even the most intimidating article more approachable.
– Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights
7. Keep a Running Task List
If you don’t finish a task, move it on your calendar to the next day. If you’re like most people, you’ll be more annoyed that the task list isn’t getting accomplished or, worse, keeps growing. When you make these tasks extremely visible and organized for yourself, you’ll be more likely to hold yourself accountable for getting them done.
8. Incorporate Cloud-Based Task Management Tools
The best way to beat procrastination is to create a cloud-based to-do list or use cloud-based project-tracking tools. The cloud is a must so you can always have the most updated version of your list on any device (phone, laptop, etc.). There are lots of apps to help with this, such as Any.do, Simplenote, Evernote and Todo Cloud. They can help both you and your team stay on task, even on the most tedious days!
9. Do What Works for You As Often as Possible
You can beat procrastination by setting deadlines, creating achievable goals or tasks, breaking down work into manageable chunks, having a purpose in mind when you work and rewarding yourself when you reach a goal. The best advice is to find what works for you and use it as often as possible.
– Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC