You can avoid procrastination by making tasks more attractive and rewarding.
In a survey, a staggering 31% of respondents spent at least an hour a day procrastinating and 26% spent two hours or more. Add up those hours for one year, and you’ll soon realise the impact this has on your performance.
So why is procrastination such a challenge? There are a number of reasons, today we tap into specific attributes of the task that make them so unappealing.
The top six attributes that increase procrastination are: boring, frustrating, difficult, unstructured / ambiguous, lacking in personal meaning and lacking in rewards.
If you have one or more of these attributes, the task at hand becomes harder!
In order to overcome this problem is by making tasks appear more attractive.
Let’s talk about the most boring task of all time (unless this is your full-time job)… TAX!
I am confident that many would prefer to stub their toe multiple times than do their tax forms.
But we can spice it up with creative thinking…
Consider doing your mundane tasks somewhere inspiring; in a cute cafe with people-watching viewing spots, at a local open park, host a tax-party with other entrepreneurs.
Create your own personal reward system that is compelling enough to get the work done. Treat yourself to a gift you’ve wanted, have a high-end lunch that you wouldn’t usually do, or gift yourself some relaxation time.
Tasks do not have to be uninspiring and lacking in reward. You can shake it up.
Take control of your schedule such that you are using your energy and attention as best you can.
Overworking is inefficient, so keep your workweek well under 50 hours. It is not true that working more means you get more done. A lot of the time the work created is budget or has to be re-done. High-achievers do not waste time and energy on semi-decent projects. They excel. They work wisely.
After testing out a 20-hour (4 hours for 5 days) to a 90-hour work-week (15 hours for 6 days), I discovered that I generated almost the same amount of work. This is on-trend with other experts who have tested this theory.
Know that the amount of energy and attention you apply is directly related to the amount of time you have. In other words, I found less energy and attention during a 90-hour week and was able to be as focused and energised for a 20-hour week to get the same tasks done.
Aim for around a 35 – 40 hours per week working schedule and avoid anything more than this amount as it will start to negatively affect your productivity. This style of working is optimal for energy and concentration.
Here is a shocking stat for you – as revealed in a compilation of 150 years of research, those who work more than 60 hours, a single task will take twice as long to complete.
Free up some brain space by getting it out of your head and putting it on paper.
Pen to paper or fingertips to mobile notepad is a simple yet effective act. It can relieve our brain from overthinking and reciting what needs to get done, to free up mental space to perform each task.
Have you ever been to the shops and then forget what you went there for? Our brain is not set up for this kind of information storage. Only a small number of people have the ability to recall all 25 items from their grocery list after multiple distractions from leaving the house to arriving at the shops.
This same principle applies to completing tasks.
If you want to declutter your mind and sharpen your performance, write the to-do list, brainstorm ideas and create an action plan.
Before you start the week, create a list of actions that are important to move you forward then assign them to your daily plan as you see fit. You will appreciate the extra brainpower when it comes to completing them.
Get it out of your head and on to paper, laptop or mobile device.
To summaries, being productive isn’t only about getting more done but rather it’s about working smarter. Simply find efficient ways and making the most of your time, focus and energy. Acknowledge what’s most important for you to get closer to your vision and then complete the task in the most efficient way possible.
Join high-achievers in a 12-week fast track program to acquire the skills that allow them to declutter their mind, sharpen their performance and increase energy.
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