None of us are perfect, not even Time Saving Heroes. Lu will be the first to admit she’ll put off certain tasks she just doesn’t want to do, and is a self-confessed Queen of procrastination. The reality is, we all do it – finding a million other things to do just so we can avoid that one thing we don’t fancy doing.
We recognise that, and are forever kicking ourselves up the proverbial to make sure we don’t fall in to that trap. So, here are our top 5 tips for beating the habit, and getting more proactive and being more productive.
# 1 – Ignore your phone
If you need to get something done, your phone is likely to become your biggest enemy. Whether it’s a “quick” phone call, or a simple text message, the second you have that thing in your hand you have the potential to start wandering. Before you know it 20 minutes have passed and you’re still scrolling through Facebook. Yeah, we know you never meant that to happen but yet here we are.
In an ideal world turn your phone off completely. The world is not going to end in the next 10-15 minutes. Make sure other notifications are off too, so you’re not getting Skyped or email pinging through.
# 2 – Protect your time
Whilst it’s easy to turn your phone off, it can be somewhat harder to manage staff or colleagues if you are in a busy office. Someone simply popping their head through your door can lead to a good 5-10 minute distraction, not to mention the time lost trying to get your focus back again.
If you are busy, stand up for your time and ask them to come back later. Put a sign on your door and make it clear you are NOT to be disturbed. One of our clients even has specific office hours where people are free to drop in, but outside of those, his time is his own and is fiercely protected.
# 3 – Give yourself a break
No one can stay 100% focused for long, so make sure you give yourself regular breaks. If you’re working on a task that’s very time intensive, step away every 30 minutes or so. Get up, stretch your legs, have something to eat or drink. This gives you a chance to clear your head and get some new energy, so you can go back to the task with a better perspective. It will go smoother than if you stayed focused on it entirely.
# 4 – Positive procrastination
Yes, there is such a thing! If you are determined to procrastinate, at least do something positive with it. If you don’t want to reply to that particular email right now, clear your desk instead. Maybe you need to phone a client, but don’t want to just yet, so prepare that presentation. Doing something is at least better than doing nothing, but accept you are only putting off the inevitable and you will have to do it eventually.
# 5 – Reward yourself
If you’ve managed to get through those tasks you’ve been putting off, whether it was one or 10, make sure you treat yourself in some way. You have definitely earnt a reward, and knowing what that reward is going to be is a great way to motivate yourself.
Of course, another really great tip is to hire a Virtual Assistant who can take on those tasks you really don’t want to do. To find out if Time Saving Heroes could help you and your business, give us a call on 0161 883 2024, email firstname.lastname@example.org or procrastinate about it for a while and we call you.