6th Friday and counting – apart from its actually Monday because we had some technical issues with our website, so how lucky are you to be having two blogs in one week! So today I am going to be presenting to you my top facts to beat procrastination and meet deadlines – or so Rod says it, ‘eat the frog’. Now, I didn’t know what this phrase meant up until yesterday and I think it is going to be one that I will be using all the time – it perfectly puts procrastination into a fun expression and makes you really want to beat the dread of that task you have been putting off!
Procrastination really is the bane of every working day – well not even just in work but out of work too – I even procrastinate making my lunch for work the next day! However, we MUST get into the habit of simply ‘eating the frog’. The frog is that one thing on your to-do list that you really just have no motivation to do and this metaphor just means to do it. Or the frog will end up eating you – you will exert all of your energy doing anything BUT that task by procrastinating all day! It is so easy to put off undesirable jobs and look at them as a ‘chore’ until the very last minute – and then comes a stressed induced all-nighter just to complete that feared job that could have been completed ages ago if you had just ATE THAT FROG! So, here are my top tips to GET organised and crush all negative thoughts to simply GET IT DONE.
Ask yourself right now – what is your frog? Everyone has one – and when you have thought of it, I want you to follow these tips into being as productive as you can be!
My Top 8 Tips:
- Firstly, you must ask yourself the question – why am I procrastinating? You must know why you don’t want to do a task in order to be able to tackle it. Say for example you are putting it off because you think it is boring; then reassess the task and take out the parts that you find boring and try look at it more positively. Stop looking at tasks with a negative mindset, saying ‘I Can’t’ and start saying ‘I will’ and ‘I Can’. Having a little bit of self-belief is the first giant leap to believing that you can get the task done.
- It sounds so easy but be ORGANISED! Not just physically, but mentally too. Your desk could be the tidiest place on earth but if you are scrambling eggs up there then you will get nowhere! LISTS, LISTS, LISTS! Get yourself a notepad or a packet of sticky notes and write down a list of things you need to do – perhaps in chronological order so that you know what steps to take next, or not – but alas make it an organised mess! It doesn’t have to be neat, just jot down a plan for the next month, week or tomorrow and work by setting yourself a schedule. By ticking this task off as you go along – even if you do leave the frog till last – you will have no choice but to face it and GET THE JOB DONE!
- Colour coordinate everything! You may not be that type of person that works in a creative mindset, but I promise you a pack of highlighters that if you start to coordinate your day with colour it will help you be 100x more productive! When you complete things off your to-do list – highlight it. This makes your notes stand out and will make it clear what you have to do next. Even to the extent of colour coding your tasks to their importance – so even if one task is of least importance, you have no choice but to get it done!
- Get rid of distractions. From my own experience, I have learnt to turn my phone on silent and stick my earphones in. Obviously depending on your job role – listening to music or the radio may help focus your thoughts on the subject you are doing as you get engrossed in your own little world – cutting off any distractions around you. This one is perfect for you are working in a busy office full of people or even working at home.
- Timing! Think of it as a race. But not too much – you don’t want to overwhelm yourself. If you set yourself an achievable time limit to get something done, you will probably find that you will want to beat the race and get it done ahead of time – all because of the feeling of self-gratification and relief. Moreover, you don’t want to burn out by working too much for too long. Thus, you must set yourself incentives to acknowledge that if you are hitting these targets – you are improving. That brings me onto my next top tip.
- Reward yourself! Anything you can think of to reward that self-gratification of getting the job done! For example, you have a task that you really don’t want to do, give yourself a week and if you get it done in time reward yourself by getting that takeaway you’ve been craving all week! If not – try again. It’s all about setting yourself mini goals, not only to get tasks complete, but to remind yourself that the hard work you are putting in is paying off. It’s all about recognising what you are doing and thinking – ‘yeah, I did that!’ and being proud of it.
- However, don’t just keep this feeling of pride to yourself. Share your task and goal with someone else! You need to actually come to terms with the ‘frog’… don’t let it just sit and ribbet in the background – because that is exactly what it does, it will eat at you because you know it is there but don’t acknowledge it. Furthermore, sharing your goal with someone else, enables them to hold you accountable for your own goals so that you can’t just hold yourself accountable. Plus, it is great to be able to share your victories with someone else.
- Get a Scheduling App! If you have a phone or tablet and use them regularly (which to be honest is 98% of people probably reading this post) – then get an app and set up reminders to push yourself to complete that goal of yours! Even if it is something just as simple as Google Calendar; this will allow you to assign each task to a time, date and schedule it of importance – it’s great. You can also use it to view what others are doing, for example your colleagues: use it to look at what your colleagues are doing and how they manage their time. Look at it as an inspiration board so that you can work as efficiently as possible and beat procrastination!
Now, whether you have taken what I said on board or not – I want you to remember the phrase ‘I must eat the frog’ and I can reassure you that 9 times out of 10 when you are procrastinating and have that one dreaded task that nobody wants to do, you will remind yourself of this metaphor. To conclude, you can’t take life too seriously and if what I have said doesn’t help you overcome the first hurdle to beating procrastination then you need to reassess whether what you are doing is right for you. At least I have planted the seed, and that is enough. For it to grow, is all in your hands.
Thank you for taking the time for reading my blog and one last time – GO EAT THAT FROG! Hopefully (if we don’t experience anymore technical issues) I will have another blog for you on Friday with more content from me and my journey. If you wish to find out more, about my apprenticeship, or Tess then go follow my digital portfolio: @rileysrendering, on Instagram.