We’ve all experienced the little voice inside our head that convinces us that work can wait. Procrastination strikes everyone, and it’s particularly bad at this time of year. As summer has drawn to a close, the days are starting to get shorter, and temperatures are dropping, it’s very tempting to put off tasks that might only take you a couple of minutes.
Instead of waiting until you’re too overwhelmed to focus, try and tackle procrastination, and those overdue projects head-on. Below are four easy-to-implement tips for finding, and keeping, motivation at work.
Is there a task that you continue to push back? Are there distractions in your work space? Once you determine your obstacles, figure out how to get over them. Large projects can feel overwhelming, especially if you’re pressed for time. It’s often helpful to break down big tasks into bitesize chunks, set smaller goals, and work in short bursts. This way, tasks that were once hanging over your head can quickly be checked off your list.
Seek inspiration from a team member
Sometimes all it takes is collaboration with a colleague to help you knock out work faster than you would on your own. Surround yourself with creative colleagues who approach ideas from a variety of perspectives. This way you can be introduced to ideas that you otherwise may not have considered.
Collaboration also amplifies the chances of a quick and successful turnaround as you have more hands on deck to help you propel a project forward. By including a workflow or collaboration tool into the mix, you can keep your team organised and communicating seamlessly.
Switch up the space
Small changes to your work environment will have a huge impact on your readiness to work. Changing your view, shifting items around on your desk, or working remotely every now and then, can have the positive effect of making your space feel new again. This can help reignite your motivation.
A recent study found that 80% of people are equally, or if not more, productive when they work from home. Find a day that isn’t crammed with meetings or deadlines, and an environment that’s conducive to productivity, such as a café, or your kitchen table, and get down to work.
Reset when necessary
As it gets closer to the end of your week, you may find that your to-do list is the same length as it was on Monday. If so, use Thursday morning to figure out what you need to prioritise before the end of the week, and focus on those tasks.
While many company cultures promote multitasking, some studies have shown that doing too many things at once can increase the stress hormone cortisol. Instead of risking information overload, and a stress meltdown, focus on your top priorities to say productive and finish critical projects first.
Procrastination can be tough to overcome, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you’re having a difficult time defeating the procrastinator within you. We all have days, or even weeks, when it feels like no matter how hard you try, you can’t get anything done. The key is to find a system that works for you, and get back to the grind.
By Jim Somers, vice president of marketing at join.me