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From Procrastination to Productivity in 7 Steps

June 15, 2022

Having a strategy to manage your mindset can take you from procrastination to productivity. Here’s what works for me.
 
What does your mindset have to do with your productivity?
 
Turns out a lot!
 
To demonstrate just how much, I would like to share my story about how my mindset was undermining my productivity, and what I did to stop it from happening.
 
Do you remember how I explained earlier that the tasks that will move your business forward are usually of the harder and the chunkier kind? It’s true. They are rarely quick and easy. They also tend to demand a good amount of brain power.
 
But these tasks are also mighty important.
 
So, I told you to book a time in your diary when you commit to tackling these tasks. I advised you to turn off the phone, close the door, and ignore all email so interruption is minimal.
 
It’s what I do, and IT WORKS!


Confession Time

I genuinely follow my own rules on this, and I am as committed as they come.
 
UNTIL...
 
The alert pops up, telling me it’s time to put down whatever I’m doing, and turn my attention to this important task I have scheduled.
 
You know what happens next?
 
I hit DISMISS. 😱
 
Because I’m in the middle of something else. Or I feel like I haven’t got all the information I need to get started. Or I have no clue about where to start.
 
And so... I don’t.


How Does Procrastination Affect Productivity? (Still About Me)

Instead, I scroll through social media on my phone. It's my go-to procrastination habit.
(But you may start piling the laundry in the washing machine, or decide you like to make a list and then another list, or you may be a napper, or a snacker, or...)
 
 It’s short-term gratification, because next, of course, I am disappointed and I get hard on myself. I even tell myself I’m not cut out for this whole business thing.
(The truth is, I was born to be in business. It’s just the little voice in my head telling me otherwise. Call it self-doubt.)
 
In the meantime, whatever I wanted to do that was so important... hasn’t happened.
 
You get it, procrastination and productivity are not best friends.


From Procrastination To Productivity

This all happened several years ago. And if you know me at all, you know I’m not one to sit there and just let it be.
 
I decided I needed to add another productivity strategy to my toolbox. One that takes me from procrastination to productivity.
 
I firmly believe that insight is the key to finding the answers.
And to gain insight, I needed to become more conscious about what was going on. So, every time I caught myself reaching for my phone to start a scrolling session, I asked myself:
 
Why am I looking for distraction?
What is so hard that I feel a need to weasel out of it?
 
I noticed a pattern. It also gave me insight into what was going on. And, best of all, THAT insight allowed me to build a strategy to do something about procrastination and productivity!
 
And of course, that’s something I want to share with you!


How To Stop Procrastination?

Here’s what I came up with for myself:

  1. Schedule a date with yourself to tackle an important task that will move your business forward.
  2. Set a reminder
  3. Be on high alert to catch yourself red handed going about your procrastination habits.
  4. When you do, ask yourself WHY you felt the need to hit the dismiss button and start your procrastinating habit. Dig deep. Are you unsure about the next step? Do you feel you need to gain more information? Do you find the task daunting? Are you scared you will fail? Are you bored?
  5. Look for the patterns. Insight is the key to overcoming future procrastination.
  6. Once you’ve established what your pattern is,
    a.     Create some rules and boundaries for yourself (For me, my phone goes in the drawer, and I’ve set a rule that I’m only allowed to postpone once AND I need to reschedule there and then.)
    b.     Gamification might work too, depending on your personality.
    c.     Just START. It doesn’t need to be perfect. The path will become clear and you can fine-tune as you go.
  7. Reward yourself when things go well

But what about you?
Do you, like me and so many other people, tell yourself you’ll do it later and then later never comes? What are the procrastination habits you notice? How do you go from procrastination to productivity? How do you manage your mindset to remain productive? Do you have any procrastination tips I haven’t thought about?
 
I really would like to know, so send me a DM on Instagram or email me so we can learn from each other.


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