Getting and staying motivated is something that plagues many people, including myself, throughout the work week. At some point in our lives, we have all felt that desire to procrastinate daunting tasks because we just don't have the energy to do it and the deadline isn’t for a while. Different things trigger everyone’s procrastination, and each person has different ways of dealing with it. Simply stating “I am going to avoid procrastination” at the beginning of your work week is not enough. Here are a few tips I find helpful to keep procrastination at bay:1. Understand your Habits
By recognizing which work habits impede your productivity, it's easier to understand what sets you off track and what habits you should learn to break. Acknowledging these patterns will help you understand the causes of your procrastination, and will give insight into how you can remove these triggers from future situations. For example, if you go out for lunch on your break every day and always come back feeling lazy, start bringing your lunch more often!
- Change your Outlook
A situation may seem tedious, boring or unattainable at first. If you change your perspective on the task at hand and reassess what needs to be done, you can likely find what interests you within it. By understanding the personal attractiveness of the task, you are finding a purpose to intrinsically motivate you.
- Create a Productive Environment
If you are working on a particularly difficult task, it's crucial that you are in an environment that will nurture what you're trying to accomplish. Understanding what atmosphere you work in best can help eliminate the desire to procrastinate particularly difficult or tedious tasks. So for example, if you feel like fresh air helps you stay awake and alert, open those windows!
- Plan for Bumps
Knowing that situations will produce roadblocks is important. If you recognize that you won’t always know what the next step is, you can plan accordingly. Set up mental break points throughout your week. Give yourself time to adjust to the task at hand, and mentally prepare for what needs to be done next.
- Be Rational
Understand that procrastination will not be completely removed throughout your work week. Know when to push your limits, but also realize when it is time to reevaluate the situation. By setting realistic work targets, you can make sure to avoid self-sabotage. Setting impractical goals can feed procrastination and leave you feeling overwhelmed.
These are just a few things that may help you stay motivated and on-task throughout the work week. Overcoming procrastination can be a tough task, but these small changes can help you to better understand what triggers it in you. Understanding your mood, environment, and work plan can certainly help you to avoid procrastination in the future.
Any other tips or tricks? We'd love to hear them, please comment below!
Image by Giselle via Flickr CC