Overcoming Procrastination in Your Career
Don’t Let Procrastination Slow Down Your Job Search
The world is full of distractions. Even with the best intentions and an organized “to do” list, procrastination can sneak up disguised in many forms. Did you know that the average American adult spends 2 hours, 51 minutes on their smartphone every day? That’s about 86 hours a month!
What do we do with our time?
“I’ll just check Facebook real quick.”
“I wonder how my stock is doing?”
“I need to make a shopping list.”
This happens to everybody sometimes. When you are looking for a new job, advancing your career, networking, setting up interviews, submitting your resume, and sending thank you notes, you don’t have time to lose.
A healthy work-life balance is important and crucial to being the best version of yourself. However, there is a difference between down time and simply wasting time.
Here are some tip to ensure you slay the procrastination beast and take control of your time management.
Stop procrastinating and read these tips:
Create a to do list every morning
Spend 5 or 10 minutes writing down all the things you need to do today. You can even break it into “Work Related” and “Personal” if that helps you prioritize. A list serves a few purposes:
- Organizes your tasks
- Keeps you from forgetting things
- Creates a sense of accomplishment as you cross off completed tasks
Do the hard stuff first
Tackle the items on your list that you least want to do first. Many people tend to leave the hard stuff for last because it is, well, HARD. The danger in this is that you may run out of time and this stuff doesn’t get done. Sometimes the hard stuff is also the most important–not always, but a lot of the time. That is why it is hard.
The rest of your day will seem like a breeze compared to your morning if you get the big stuff out of the way.
Do the easy stuff quickly
Do it properly, just do it quickly. You can check off a lot of stuff on your list in short order if you are efficient. One example of a quick task could be your email inbox. Many emails you get through the day or week require very short simple replies. Return your reply as soon as possible. Not only does this clear something off of your list (and keep your inbox manageable), it positions you as a good communicator. No one likes to wait a week for a one sentence answer. Just do it!
If you recognize procrastination as a problem in your life than make overcoming it an official goal. Write it down. Make it public, even if just to one other person. Ask to be held accountable. This is no different than starting a new exercise program, a diet, a class, a hobby, or any other goal in your life. Treat it with the same intensity and you will find success.
A little procrastination is not all bad
But wait, you just said we need to overcome procrastination! This is not intended to confuse, but to clarify.
Some decisions and actions require more time and planning. It is necessary to give them the full attention they deserve in order to achieve the best outcome. When you find yourself in this situation, set it aside for further contemplation. Leave it on your “to do” list and go back to it.
Note: The key is to GO BACK TO IT! Don’t completely avoid it because you are unsure about what to do or forget about it because you are too busy.
Set goals and reward yourself
It’s not easy to change our behaviors and patterns. Doing hard things is hard. Feel good about the fact that you recognized an area of your life that needs improvement and you have a plan.
Tackling the hardest things first might not seem like something worth celebrating, but it is. Figure out a small reward you can give yourself to celebrate the win and keep you motivated to continue the battle. You are succeeding at life and that is no small thing!
What other strategies do you use to avoid procrastination?
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