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How to Truly Stop Procrastinating

Monday, January 2, 2012 by Slaughter Development

Personal productivity goes down the tubes when we procrastinate. How do we stay productive and keep on-task when distractions seem so enticing?

Let’s be clear: we’re not talking about taking breaks or vacations. Procrastination is the ultimate anti-productivity disease. Instead of setting and meeting objectives, we work hard at finding ways not to get things done.

A recent article in Real Simple magazine offers a few helpful tips:

Do the Worst Thing First - Attack the hardest task when your energy is fresh and you give yourself the strongest chance of success. Doing otherwise can have a damaging domino effect.

Make the Job Smaller - Instead of being disheartened by how much you can’t do, look at how much you can. If you have 12 boxes of clutter to sort, do only one.

Create an Audience - It’s easy to blow things off when your commitment to yourself is the only thing at stake.

Don’t Interrupt Yourself - If you get pulled away from tasks by every ding, whistle, and ring on your digital devices, well, you’re like most of us. But keep in mind that other people aren’t interrupting you; you are interrupting yourself.

These are great suggestions. But it’s important to keep at the forefront of our minds that the opposite of action is not always inaction. Sometimes, we get so obsessed with ‘done’ that we work hard on the wrong things. Personal productivity requires not just completing tasks, but being productive on tasks that actually matter. The way to meet objectives is to set productive objectives in the first place!

Highly productive organizations are filled with highly productive people. That doesn’t mean that these employees don’t have any fun, but that they make a concerted effort to stay on target. The true definition of productivity is setting goals and then working to meet those goals. Understanding the business process by which we succeed is what matters. That’s how productivity can kick out procrastination. Try it and see what you can accomplish!

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Like this post? Here are some related entries from The Methodology Blog you might enjoy:

Judging Your Own Day - Many of us have come home after work and have made a simple pronouncement: “I really had a productive day.” Or sometimes: “Wow, it feels like I got nothing done.” What’s the difference?
Read on »
Goal Setting and Perspective - Reader Mandy Cooley pointed us to a recent blog post about goal setting. The message: perspective on objectives is as important as the goals themselves.
Read on »
Stop It, You Big Bully! - When we hear the word “bully”, it’s hard to picture anything outside the typical image of a buff teenager who teases others and is the source of peer pressure in school. But we as adults know, there’s no age limit when it comes to creating negative, unproductive environments dominated by power struggles. Read on »

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