Seven Tips for Beating Procrastination

When I was a kid, I loved tag. Tag came in second only to my ultimate favorite game of hide-and-seek. The challenge to find creative hiding places was just too much for a kid like me.

But tag? I was fast, with long legs, and I loved running like a maniac to escape grasping fingertips. Except today, I’m not so fast and I got caught.

Rebecca from Writers Roundabout tagged me to come up with Seven Procrastination Busters. (She just had to pick the topic I struggle with daily.) Without further ado, here are my seven tips for beating procrastination:

Use the 10-minute method to get jobs done. Nothing kills my energy more than a huge project or one that seems never-ending. Breaking it down into daily 10-minute sessions of frenzied work generally get the job done quickly and painlessly. (Cheers, Harry!)

Break your project down and give yourself small goals. This complements the 10-minute method by creating small, progressive steps towards the completion of a bigger project. Every job has stages – each stage is one project. Think of it that way, and the task doesn’t seem so enormous. (Thanks again, Harry!)

Develop the habit of an efficient work routine. My worst problem is having a poor routine and that leaves me feeling attention-splattered and like I’m spinning my wheels. I’ve been working on creating habits that help me stay on track and get me through the day. (Uhh… Harry! Thanks!)

Sit straighter in your chair when you work. It sounds crazy, but your body position when you write has a huge effect on your mood. Slouch for a while – how do you feel? Lazy and bored. Sit up straight. Force yourself to perk up, and you’ll feel your mood snap to attention. (Harry had nothing to do with this post. Score one for James.)

Keep yourself busy. Once you have a momentum going in your day, don’t break from it until you’ve ridden the wave for all it’s worth. During slow periods, work on your business and take care of the things you’ve been putting off. (Harry again.)

Take a break. Alright, yes, I know – I just told you not to stop. But there’s a difference between keeping the momentum going and burning yourself into the ground. Make sure that you’re maintaining a healthy work-play balance and not letting the scales tip too far in one direction or the other. (Yes, you guessed it… Harry.)

Last but not least, use every resource you have to stay focused, like the combined superhero duo of Google Calendar with Remember the Milk. (YES! Finally! James hits two points!)

Procrastination, for some people, comes from the inability to stay on track (raises hand sheepishly). It’s not that I avoid tasks because I don’t want to do them – it just seems that whatever I’m working on (or whatever shiny new toy grips my attention) is more important.

…like writing this blog post instead of working down my to-do list. 😉

Post by James Chartrand

James Chartrand is an expert copywriter and the owner of Men with Pens and Damn Fine Words, the game-changing writing course for business owners. She loves the color blue, her kids, Nike sneakers and ice skating.