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8 Easy ways to Stop Procrastinating

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We have all been there - you start working on one project, and then a big new idea pops into your head. At the end of the day, all of your brilliant ideas are exactly that – plans, without action. Here is how to 'get it done'.

You have a ton of ideas. An overflow. You are a go-getter and super motivated. BUT… you find yourself overwhelmed with analysis paralysis, asking yourself – which idea is the best and should I choose?

You set out on one project, and then a new even bigger idea pops into your head. At the end of the day, you have nothing to show for all of your brilliant plans, as they have remained exactly that – plans, without action.

There's good news. Even if your head is filled with thoughts, ideas, to-dos and projects, you can stop procrastinating and use these techniques to 'get it done'.

1# Create space

Whether it's colleague asking if you’d like coffee, a junior team member with a quick question, or a manager popping her head in your office to make an appointment with you; whatever it is, if every time you sit down to get some work done, you find yourself getting distracted by external causes, you need to give yourself some space.

On average, it takes a person 10 minutes to get back into their task at hand. Spread over a day, that is a huge amount of wasted energy.

Block your schedule so that you can get down to work. Ask your team to gather their questions and plan a meet with you to go through them. Even if it’s just 5 minutes. Create guidelines, so that people know when not to disturb.

Take for example; a friend of mine who is a master programmer with a Fintech company, had an earphone rule. If he had his earphones in, it meant “do not disturb.” This worked out so well that it is now a company-wide practice. Sometimes, when I drop by for an appointment, you could hear a pin drop, it is so quiet in the office.

#2 Root cause and rational thinking

If your external distractions have been handled you might find yourself still procrastinating. If this is the case, figure out the root problem

In operational management (AKA the business of getting things done), one of the core concepts is; - don’t start with the solution, start with the problem.

The fundamental problem could surprise you. Start by asking yourself WHY.

Here is a play-by-play example of this thought process:

Goal: “I need to finish this proposal”
Perceived problem: “I get distracted”
Perceived reason: “Writing this makes me nervous.”
Deeper reason: “It will be judged by my management team when it’s done. I’m afraid of if they don’t think it’s good enough.”
Deeper reason: “If my work is not good enough, I’m not good enough. What if I get fired then?”)
Look at this last answer, rationally. Is that really true?

Absolutely not. It’s the work that is judged, not you. You are not your work. You are you.

Now that you know what you’re apprehensive about, you can rationally calm yourself and accept your fears.

Rationally speaking, even if your work was judged not to be good, other alternatives are possible – you may be given the chance to improve. If you are not given that change, discussing possible work that better suits you and your capabilities, in which you are satisfied, useful and happy, may also be an option.

Now you can get down to the business of finishing your task and achieving your goal.

3# Brainstorm scheduling


You will remain distracted until you get your ideas outside of your head. Ideas always seem wildly awesome, when they are in a cerebral state. Like a far away dream, filled with promise.

Set aside time to brainstorm. If ‘right now” isn’t the time, schedule it into your agenda and commit to the time, like an appointment with yourself.

This will clear your mind, and help you get back to your task at hand.

4# Write down all of your ideas

Once it’s time for your brainstorm meeting, get your ideas down on paper. Write them down, or sketch them out.

You can explore your ideas after you’ve made some progress on your current project.

5# Perfect doesn’t exist

You can’t wait for the perfect day, perfect mood or the perfect opportunity to start. You will waste precious time waiting, and perfect just doesn’t exist. Right NOW is the ‘perfect’ time to start. You can always improve along later.

6# Get work done. Step by step

Plan your work Step-by-step. In operational management (the business of getting things done), a core concept is that everything can be broken down into smaller parts and steps.

Here is how:

    1. Break the project into smaller steps, or “small wins”
    2. Sort them in the order you need to get them done.
    3. Check if you can delegate or delete and tasks
    4. Put them in a list to check off
    5. Start at the beginning of your list

Remember to check off each step, as progress is motivational and helps to keep up your efficiency.

7# Get a coach

You might be an ideas person and a great planner, but less strong at getting things done. Maybe it costs a lot of energy for you. Even you can be a doer. A coach may be the way to help you get there.

The coach can be a friend, or a colleague; someone with the time and consistency to help you achieve your goals. Here is how:

    1. Share with your coach what your goals are, and plans to make it happen
    2. Ask her to help you set realistic expectations and timelines for yourself
    3. Schedule regular check-ins
    4. During your check in’s be honest about your progress
    5. Now that you have a plan and structure, all you need to do is follow it! It’s that easy.

8# Focus

Once your ideas are on paper, and your work is planned into step, you mind is clear and focused so you can get to the task at hand. 

You will see that the work becomes easy this way, and that step-by-step you will achieve your goals.

So the goal is...

The goal is to optimize your result by getting rid of bad habits like procrastination. What did you achieve once you focused? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. We are just as much inspired by you, as you are by Eve & Elle.


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We are Olivia & Morgan

So both in our 30's, with exciting careers including fast track to CEO positions, we met at RSM Business School during our MBA in The Netherlands. 

Always afraid to drop the ball, we quickly figured out life after 30 is not about having everything together, but more about developing yourself, knowing who you and what your goals are and ESPECIALLY  knowing how to get there.

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