Procrastination, the art of postponing or delaying a task’.  Are you guilty?  I know I can be.

Take my empire biscuits as an example – I’m no baker, but I do love eating them!  I decided to check out a recipe, it seemed reasonably simple, so I decided I would make them, and informed the family to expect my biscuits – a form of accountability.  However, I managed to delay for 5 whole years!  An extreme example of prolonging a nice simple task.  Good news, I have now made my elusive empire biscuits – spurred into action thanks to a Bake Along by 3 Sisters Bake.

As an organised and efficient VA, I thrive on being busy with a variety of activities.  I’ve known myself to consciously procrastinate, giving me time to think a certain task through before acting.  Whether it is work or pleasure, it happens to many of us.  There are many reasons for it, including the fear of failure, and the fear of success.

Suggestions to help procrastinators:

  • Write a list, raising the task you have been putting off to the top. When overwhelmed or experiencing a busy period I bring out my ‘To Do Today List’ notepad.  It helps organise my thoughts to plan my day, at the same time breaking my workload down.
  • For bigger tasks, break tasks or projects into more manageable chunks or goals, the focus on getting the job started rather than the finish line. Set dates for each of the goals, and watch progress being made.  I use the web-based app Trello to keep track of projects and activities I have on the go.
  • Be accountable. Talking through your task or project with a colleague or friend can help clarify your thought process.  It’s good to talk, for many reasons.
  • Every single day, get the less pleasant tasks completed first. Thus leaving the rest of your time with more enjoyable work.  This is a productivity method known as ‘Eat the Frog’.

Tasks we procrastinate over are often those we don’t enjoy or won’t get done quickly.  It’s common to action smaller tasks with quick wins, putting off those we don’t do so often.  It is useful to be aware of our sub-conscious tactics at postponing tasks, then can then consider delegating to someone who is better positioned to take action, or outsourcing.  Your friendly VA is a good starting point to lighten your workload.  Get in touch, I could help.

Tell me in the comments what tasks you procrastinate over?