Procrastination. There’s no way around it. Like death and taxes, it’s unavoidable and occasionally gets the better of people. 

Entrepreneurs have so many tasks on their plate that it is very common to stare procrastination in the face more often or not. Unfortunately, with so much to do, the longer you procrastinate, the higher the list of tasks piles up. Without having some sort of strategy to beat procrastination, your business will suffer. 

Over the years, I’ve tried and tested many different tactics for overcoming procrastination with marginal success. However, these five cures for procrastination have been my saving grace time and time again.

Break tasks into smaller pieces.

There’s nothing worse than staring down a huge task that’s going to take you several hours and having no motivation to get started. The best thing you can do is break that big tasks into several smaller tasks and start ticking them off. Have a proposal you need to write? Break it into the executive summary, description, pricing, etc. and count each one as a separate task. Need to put together a slide deck for a presentation? Count every five slides or so as a task. No matter what you’re facing, there are always ways to break it up.

Make it fun.

Believe it or not, you can make even the most mundane tasks fun. If you have a bunch of things to do, write them on cards, shuffle them, and pick one. Whatever you pick is the first task you need to complete. Keep going until everything has been completed. You can also put tasks on wall, spin a couple times, and stumbled until you pick one. No matter how silly it is, it doesn’t matter. If it helps you, then it’s worth doing.

Implement task management methodologies.

Having a project or task management methodology in place is one of the best ways to check procrastination at the door. Methodologies like scrum or agile are great ways to visually represent the tasks that need to be completed. Put up sticky notes for each task you need to complete, and then when you finish, pull it down or move it to completed. There’s no better feeling than getting out of your chair after finishing something and getting to move the sticky note.  

Bribe yourself.

Find excuses to treat yourself! Oftentimes, I will tell myself I can’t have something until I finish what’s on my plate. For example, I’m typing this blog right now at the end of the day and my energy tank is running low. To force myself to finish, I told myself I can play 10 minutes of video games when I’m done. Even though it’s a small reward, it gives me something to look forward to and makes the task a little less daunting. Think about what you want to do the most and use it to motivate yourself.

Strap in and eliminate distractions.

When all else fails, it’s time to strap in. The task isn’t going to go away, and you’re going to have to do it one way or another. When it gets to that point, I’ll close the door to my office, put on headphones, and listen to some ambient music with no words to calm me down and keep me focused. Most of the time, the first 10 or 15 minutes seem impossibly hard, but after that, the task gets easier. Before you know it, it’s over and time to celebrate.

Unfortunately, procrastination sneaks up on everyone. However, finding cures for procrastination can really increase your productivity and make you feel more accomplished at the end of the day. Want to learn more about productivity tactics? Check out our education page

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