We’ve all been residents of ProcrastiNation at one point or another.
You know that place--the comfortable land that assures us it’s better to enjoy a Scandal marathon on Netflix than to prepare for that big presentation we’re giving on Friday or begin working toward that impending deadline.
So how do you snap out of it? Here are a few techniques that I’ve employed to help me get stuff done as a solopreneur.
1. Break big projects up into multiple small projects and assign mini deadlines. A large project becomes much more doable when it’s broken up into chunks.
2. Use the Pomodoro Technique. Set a timer for 25 minutes and work. Don’t check email. Don’t answer a text. Just work for 25 minutes. Then take a 5 minute break. Repeat. I use this technique to make myself focus when it is near impossible. This helps me pump out work for at least 25 minutes. Because I know there is a break in sight I can focus and be productive.
3. Batch similar tasks. I first heard of this technique in The 4-Hour Work Week. Multitasking is a myth. It is difficult for your brain to switch between different tasks so get more done by doing similar tasks at the same time regularly. For example: I do 90% of my social media work for a certain client on Fridays. Every Friday I just knock it out.
4. Color code that calendar. Make deadlines pop. You don’t want to be surprised by a deadline because you overlooked it. I keep my calendar on a 3-week view which is really helpful for knowing what’s coming up beyond the immediate.
5. Get up and move at least once every two hours. Since I work from home I check the mail around noon. Even just this small task lets me change my focus briefly and stretch my legs. When I come back to my desk I have a renewed focus. Plus they say sitting kills you.
6. Meditate and/or pray. One prayer that I review every day is “Lord, help me to wisely use my resources of money, time and hard work.”
7. Exercise regularly (5 days a week is a great goal). I had pretty much fallen off the exercise bandwagon late last year and I came back to it in January with gusto. It has been amazing how many great ideas have come to me when I’m on the treadmill or elliptical machine. I don’t exactly know the science behind it but it really works for me.
What do you do to snap out of procrastination? And how GREAT does it feel when you’ve accomplished something significant?