Every time I say to myself, ‘it’s time to stop procrastinating’, my next thought is… soon. I’ll do it soon. I’ve always been a bit of a procrastinator. I’m often challenged with how to stop procrastinating at work. In fact, the excuse I use most often is that I work best under pressure.
That’s an excuse. I know it is. As a coach, I work on time management skills with my clients. I help them get out of their own way, so they can overcome procrastination. But deep down I know I’m not always walking the talk.
Are you a procrastinator too?
You have 10 things to do on your list. Eight of them are high payoff and imperative. Yet there you are, scrolling through your social media watching the latest cat videos.
I know, I get it! You’re not alone. In fact, some studies have shown that 85-95% of all students struggle with procrastination. You thought your kid was the only one, right? Well procrastination is a real problem that starts early.
It doesn’t end with students either. In the workplace it can cost employers as much as $10k per year, per employee.
The impact of procrastination is huge. There are things like financial loss. Think about the late fees you pay and how they accumulate because you didn’t pay something on time.
Or the promotion on the car that could have saved you thousands. If you hadn’t procrastinated getting to the dealership. Those things add up over the years.
Procrastination has an emotional impact too. People who procrastinate feel more stress. There’s always something they’re putting off and it weighs on them.
I know that’s true in my case. I find myself up at 3am running through the list of things I know I need to do. And berating myself for not having done them already.
When you’re a procrastinator, there’s even an impact on your personal life. The dinner reservation that you put off making. The furnace repair that you put off scheduling.
Procrastination impacts our lives. So, I set out to find a way to get it under control. I’m sharing the five tips I’m implementing in my own life to help me tame the beast and have strategies on how to stop procrastinating at work!
And I have to say that so far… so good!
5 Tips On How To Stop Procrastinating At Work
1. Take baby steps to overcome procrastination
Big projects are daunting. But if you break them into smaller pieces with smaller deadlines, it’s less overwhelming. When you think about it, it’s the overwhelm itself that actually causes procrastination. Small bites, small deadlines. It’ll help.
2. Find an accountability partner or a good coach
Forgive me for the unabashed self-promotion. But there’s nothing better than an accountability partner to help keep you on track. It’s always easier to accomplish goals when someone else is holding you accountable.
3. Take action and start producing
Don’t think about it, do it – even if it’s a tiny step forward. This is how to stop procrastinating at work. At the end of each day, you should go to sleep knowing you took action. Even if it’s a small action, it’s still a step forward.
4. Stop beating yourself up for inaction
You will backtrack. This is a new habit, and it’s a new way of behaving. So expect to struggle at first. It’s natural. Accept it and move on. Getting stuck in that negative trap of berating yourself is only going to make matters worse.
5, Ask for help
It’s unrealistic to think you can do everything yourself. That’s why delegation exists. If you’re too proud to ask for help, you won’t succeed. Knowing you won’t succeed before you even begin is a recipe for procrastination. Why start if you know you’re going to fail, right? Take a look at the goal in the beginning and realize there’s going to be areas where you need help. And plan on that help.
Life is hard enough without falling into that pit of procrastination. So use these tips on how to stop procrastination and get it under control. I mean it, if I can do it, you can do it too!
You’ve got this!
Looking for a career transition or to create a bigger impact in your current career? Speaker and coach Cynthia Corsetti can guide you in Executive Leadership, Career Transition and Interview Skills. Connect with her on Instagram, LinkedIn. and Facebook
You can also watch a video version of the blog over on my IGTV.