We’re all familiar with procrastination. It’s why we sometimes squander away our time – even when we know a deadline is looming – and risk causing ourselves undue panic and stress. Even dancers – a pretty disciplined group – can fall prey to procrastination. Perhaps it’s the dreamer part of the dancer psyche that derails you into procrastinating. It could also be any one or a combination of the most common triggers for procrastination that we’ve learned about such as being bored with your work environment or feeling overwhelmed.
There are several tips for avoiding procrastination that can help you so we won’t put off sharing them with you any longer.
Get the right start.
It’s true that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It can give your brain the energy it needs to focus on the tasks that await you, boosting attention span and your ability to concentrate. Breakfast ultimately gives you the best chance for getting the job at hand done.
Clear your mind.
Whether this is meditation, prayer or exercise, take the time to do what it takes to clear your mind from clutter of the previous day’s or morning’s frustrations so you can focus on the task at hand without those distractions.
Take one bite at a time.
Breaking your tasks down into consumable portions is literally “eating the elephant one bite at a time.” This euphemism gives us a vivid illustration for taking on a huge task. When we can actually wrap our brains around the small elements components of a large task, research proves that we are more motivated and more confident in our abilities and complete the larger task faster and better.
Get a new view.
Our productivity is impacted by how inspired we are by what is around us. Does your work area make you feel energetic and creative or bored and ready for a nap? It may be too comfortable or cozy and lull you into a web of relaxation. Or its previously inspiring attributes may have lost their effectiveness. It could be that you’ll be more likely to get work done and less likely to get up for another cup of coffee is you simply give your work environment a “refresh.” Try these simple ideas:
- Re-organize your space. It may have become cluttered or difficult to navigate. If getting your work done is logistically less of a challenge, you’re more likely to do it.
- Post new visual elements. Inspirational quotes and engaging pictures or artwork can give you a lift when you feel an approaching lull.
- Make your office look like an office. Your favorite color may send your brain down the path to relaxation and would be great for your bedroom, but keep it off of your office walls.
Organize your task.
Set a deadline and organize your work agenda along a timeline that will meet it. Break your task down and include details in your agenda that will help you to work efficiently and effectively. Include the items that your task impacts so that you create a sense of urgency to act.
If you go through your daily routine, you can, no doubt, identify the distractions that encourage you to procrastinate.
- If it’s Facebook, make your shortcut to it more difficult to get to. Definitely get it out of immediate view.
- If it’s email, establish specific times of the day that you check your Inbox and deal with each message’s content.
- If you can’t resist looking the moment your smart phone alerts, silence it or turn off your alerts.
Overall, be diligent about maintaining your focus and change your environment to help you do that.
Resources: Pointe Magazine and Lifehack.org