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5 Ways to Stop Procrastinating

When it comes to routine, mundane or boring tasks, most of us struggle to stay focused and actually get them done. Instead, we often find ourselves getting sidetracked or distracted by things like email, surfing the web and, well, anything else we can come up with that lets us procrastinate just a little longer. But procrastination can seriously hinder the success of your business. Here are 5 ways to get your dilly-dallying under control and get everything on your to-do list checked off.

Be Honest About Your Strengths and Weaknesses – Maybe you love the customer service aspect of your business, but loathe balancing the books. We tend to put off doing those tasks that bore us or that we find tedious. Instead of forcing yourself to do something you really don’t enjoy, consider delegating it to someone else on your team, or outsourcing it altogether. That way you’ll know the job will get done in a timely manner and you can focus on other items on your list that you enjoy more.

Create a Schedule and Stick to It – If you’re just working off a list you’ve got stored in the back of your head somewhere, it’s much easier to put things off and let things slip through the cracks. Conversely, when you create a detailed schedule, and more importantly, hold yourself to that schedule, you’ll tackle what needs to get done and in a timely manner.

Reduce or Eliminate Distractions – Frequently checking your email or having your co-workers pop into your office every 10 minutes can completely take the wind out of your sails in terms of productivity. Eliminate these distractions by setting aside a specific time to tackle your tasks without interruption. Put your phone on do-not-disturb or close your office door. You’ll be surprised how much you’ll accomplish when you can actually focus.

Be Realistic About How Long Things Take – When you’re scheduling out your tasks for the day or week, be generous with the time you allow to get each one done. When we feel like we’re behind on our work, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and just put it off. If you think the budget plan will take you 2 hours, allow for 3, just in case. That way when you finish it ahead of schedule, you’ll feel an extra sense of accomplishment.

Don’t be a Hero – As a small business owner, you’re already juggling a dozen or more hats. Remember that it’s ok to say “no” once in a while when your plate is too full. If you don’t take on more than you can handle, you’ll be much more likely to tackle (and complete) what needs to get done.

No matter what industry you happen to be in, everybody gets the urge to put things off once in a while. But when the stuff you put off until tomorrow is still lingering on your to-do list days, weeks or months later, it could be affecting your bottom line. Put these 5 simple steps into action and you’ll conquer the procrastination monster and get everything that needs to get done accomplished.

posted by Rebecca Daneault @ 7:43 PM