be more productive with these techniques

You’re procrastinating. Here’s how to stop and start being productive.

I think my wife is telling me something… she just emailed me a research article on procrastination. Really, it’s a an appropriate share, as I’m a recovering master procrastinator. Despite implementing some tactics to cope with my habit, I still struggle with procrastination. I struggle most when it comes to projects or deliverables that lack a timetable or deadline. The kicker is that I’m an entrepreneur and small business owner, which means I often set my own timetables and deadlines. Without urgency, the great modern procrastination machines attack…internet browsing, email, Instagram, Facebook, news, YouTube, photo sharing, and text messages. They are ALL my daily nemesis. As the husband of psychologist Dr. Luisa, she’s provided me the know how to fight back. However, I don’t always have the motivation to fight back and NOW I know why.

7 Procrastination Triggers

The Harvard research article identifies 7 triggers of procrastination, and you know what? I often check off a few en route to Instagram, YouTube, or checking my email. The task can be:

  1. Boring
  2. Frustrating
  3. Difficult
  4. Ambiguous
  5. Unstructured
  6. Not intrinsically rewarding (i.e., you don’t find the process fun)
  7. Lacking in personal meaning

…Yup, got some of those.

5 Strategies to Fight Procrastination

Now that we have a nice set of emotions tied to the action of procrastination. It’s time to roll out the five strategies to fight back:

  1. Reverse the procrastination triggers: make the boring exciting, create structure for the unstructured…
  2. Work within your resistance level: if an hour is daunting, tackle the task for 5 or 10 minutes.
  3. List the costs of procrastination: can you afford not to get it done?
  4. Disconnect: modern tech is a distraction, disconnect completely so you have nothing but the task to focus on.
  5. Do something — anything — to get started!

Read all about each strategy in detail here. For me, it’s the last one that helps me the most. “Do something…anything…to get started.” Often, my overly critical mind is overwhelmed by the “right place” to start a task. In reality, just starting somewhere is all I need to get into my groove. From there my experience and knowledge guide me through the task. Still, it’s hard at times because it’s more entertaining to message friends and send my family pictures of my daughter.

Think about why you procrastinate and implement one of the strategies to make some positive change!