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Effective ways to stop procrastination & help you focus

March 26, 2018

In a recent newsletter I shared some tips to help you get rid of your tendency to procrastinate and delay tasks (we all do it!) and get really efficient to ultimately focus on the stuff that really needs doing. The feedback was so positive I decided to turn this into a blog post so it's accessible and helps anyone who lands on this page!

Meditation

Doing a short meditation a the start of the day (10 mins is plenty to start with) is a highly effective way to clear the mind of any junk, create space and allow you to focus on the really important stuff. I know meditation doesn't come easily to a lot of people though.

If you're open to trying, I highly recommend the app Insight Timer.

It has thousands of different guided meditations and is so easy to use that it's a great place for someone new to meditation to start.

 

Apart from using meditation techniques to create space & awareness, here are some more practical tools:

 

Pick your top 3

Write down your top 3 tasks for the day and attack them one by one. Don't start the second until the first is finished and focus on doing one at a time.

 

Visualise

Take 2 minutes to think about the outcome of finishing each task (satisfaction that your accounts are done, peace of mind that your papers are organised, accomplished that you have chased outstanding invoices...) and focus on the FEELING of completing the task. Hold onto this feeling when you start to get distracted or demotivated and focus your energy on how good you will feel when it's done.

 

All you need is 5 minutes

For each task, tell yourself you only need to do 5 minutes and then you can stop - and go in with that idea. It will be much easier to carry on after 5 than attempt to do 45! Read more about it here from the co-founder of Instagram!

 

Break it down

Break your tasks down into manageable 30 minute chunks and reward yourself with a 10 minute break (do something nice!) after each task is done.

 

Create a productive environment

Setting up your space mentally is as important as having a physical space that supports your focus. Choose a place to work that is free from clutter (to avoid you getting distracted by just cleaning this or filing those papers first) and keep all the things you need close by to complete your task. And remove all the things that stop you focusing...see the next 2 points.

 

Resist emails

Don't turn on / check emails until your task is finished.

 

And hide your phone!

Emails are not the only thing that distracts us during the day. Various research shows that on average people pick up their phones between 40-80 times per day (the numbers vary greatly) Either way, it's pretty huge - that's over 3 times in an hour. 

Put your phone away and turn off social media notifications to avoid being distracted by other people's lives and falling down the social media rabbit hole!

 

Find an accountability buddy

Say your task out loud and get someone to hold you accountable -it's amazing how much more motivated you will be to finish that budget when you know someone else is keeping tabs.

 

I hope some of these tools help you next time you feel urged to delay getting an important job done. Try them one by one or all together and test out different things. We all have different ways of working so some may not work for you, and some may be a game changer! I truly hope so and I'd love tohear what you find most useful. Drop me a message to let me know!

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