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Time Management: How to Beat Procrastination
Since I am finishing up my last quarter of grad school, procrastination is something that I am battling. I think I have a mild case of senioritis which is why I am super excited that Michelle Jamison, Author of Virtual Office Essentials, offered to guest post about beating procrastination. I hope this post gives you a little motivation to tackle your to-do list!
Procrastination is a real problem, especially for those working in a virtual environment. Procrastination can be a huge hindrance to your productivity. Avoidance of a task does not make the task any less important, nor does the task go away. Unlike our green, pointy-eared, fictional gremlins, procrastination cannot be chewed up and spit out to make it go away.
Procrastination is unique to the individual, each of us manifesting feelings of procrastination in our own distinctive way.
For some, the tendency to procrastinate stems from fear, most commonly being a fear of failure. Once we begin thinking about the complexities of a project, the ‘mental gremlins’ start knocking and we immediately think of all the different reasons why we can’t accomplish it.
Now our ‘mental gremlin’ procrastination has just entered the room and it doesn’t leave as easily as it walked in. For these individuals, the fear of failure can cause real anxiety about starting or completing a project. However, there are strategies that can be implemented to help combat these ‘mental gremlins’.

Here are ways to beat procrastination:

1. Make what seems like an overwhelming task less very achievable.

We do this by not looking at the project as a whole but by breaking the task down into smaller, manageable parts. Large projects can seem overpowering but by breaking the larger project down into individual tasks we make the steps to completion clearer and less far-reaching. Smaller tasks will take less time to complete and this creates a clear picture of the progress that has been made, providing that much-needed sense of accomplishment and achievability. …Mental gremlin has turned and started walking to the door.

2. Start with the most difficult tasks first. 

When you are trying to beat procrastination getting the big stuff done first makes it easy to keep the ball rolling.
If this doesn’t work for you, then switch. Start with smaller, less difficult tasks may be the approach to use. Often experiencing some progress will make it easier to continue on with the more difficult tasks. As the progress made on the project becomes apparent, this gives the needed encouragement to see it to completion.

[Related Post: Read this if you have a million things on your to-do list]

3. Hold yourself accountable. 

Sharing the details and goals of a project with a coach, co-worker or friend, who is willing to hold you accountable, will inspire and encourage you. The support of these people, as well as the opportunity to share your successes as the tasks are completed, will help keep the project moving steadily on to the end….Mental gremlin is opening the door.

4. Reward yourself along the way. 

This can be the little tasks along the way or the completion of the whole project. The rewards can take many different forms, from some anticipated purchase to simply taking an extra moment at lunch or the end of the day when the schedule allows. Whatever the reward, thinking about it may help you take that initial step to get the project underway… Mental gremlin has left the building.
The use of these motivating procrastination-busting strategies ultimately leads to an increase in productivity and efficiency of the virtual work environment. It is important to implement the strategies that best inspire you to stay on task. Your ‘mental gremlin’ is as unique as you are, so choosing the right strategy will be key in ridding yourself of this pesky menace once and for all.

How do you beat procrastination in your work environment?

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