the last word
From Procrastination to Motivation
THREE INCREDIBLY SIMPLE HACKS
Procrastination can be an incredibly destructive thing: first,
you simply decide to check Facebook or take a coffee break
before getting to work on a project, and somehow before
you know it, the due date has arrived and you’ve accomplished
almost nothing. It can be a tricky thing to tackle; often, one
can’t quite pinpoint why they are not doing the work they should
be doing, apart from this feeling of dread bubbling up within
them. However, by applying a few straightforward strategies,
a person can turn their procrastination on its head and harness
more motivation than they ever thought possible.
1. UNDERSTANDING WHY ONE PROCRASTINATES
This seems deceptively simple, but it is a key part of banishing
procrastination forever. People procrastinate for myriad reasons
– some are afraid of failure; conversely, others are afraid of success,
and the added responsibility and scrutiny that might come
with it. Some may not understand the task and may be afraid to
ask for help, they may simply dislike the task itself or they may
have so many tasks to complete that they may not know where
to start. Finally, some people plan poorly, or feel almost paralyzed
trying to begin a task they don’t believe they will be able to complete
Once someone understands why they procrastinate, they can
more easily identify where their hesitation is rooted and overcome
it rationally. For example, a person who fears failure can intellectually
understand that procrastinating on a project will only
contribute to the realization of that fear, and that will help spur
them to get to work.
2. PLANNING AHEAD
No matter what the reason for one’s procrastination, planning
ahead is a surefire way to increase motivation and, in turn, productivity.
One can do this by creating a “to-do” list at the end of
every workday for the next one, starting with any meetings or previous
commitments for that day. Then, add any uncompleted tasks
from the current day, as well as what they would like to accomplish
the next day.
It is important to create a list the evening before for several reasons:
it ensures you won’t forget any early meetings or calls, allows
for ample time to remember anything that may have been forgotten
and allows you to subconsciously begin working on the next
day’s tough problems. Finally, the person who writes their “to-do”
list the previous evening walks into every workday feeling prepared
and confident, rather than anxious and easily distracted.
3. PINPOINT THE BEST BEST WORKING TIMES
People are unique, and part of this individuality is that they do
their best work at different times than others would. Some people
can easily identify this within themselves, while others may need
to employ trial and error to discover whether they work best in the
early morning, late at night or somewhere in between.
Pinpointing one’s best working time allows a person to plan
their day strategically: for example, scheduling writing tasks during
the afternoon if they know that is when they tend to be most
productive. On the other hand, if a person is best at working in
the morning when they are fresh, they should start their day with
more challenging tasks than checking their inbox.
Turning procrastination into motivation is as simple as managing
your thinking. Employing these simple yet effective
mind hacks can ensure one tackles that “to-do” list
promptly, and with ease. n
Matthew Pollard is an entrepreneur, published
author, international speaker,
coach and consultant.
By Matthew Pollard
48 ❚ JULY/AUGUST 2015 ❚ HR PROFESSIONAL