Simple productivity boosting strategies to help you get the job done
Do you find yourself procrastinating at times? If so, don’t worry, it happens to the best of us.
There always seems to be that one task on your to-do list which has been kicking around for far longer than necessary. It persists in attempts to reach the top of the task list, but you continue to find reasons to push it back down, then time goes by and it’s resided on your list for so long that it’s almost become invisible, but in the back your mind a niggling voice is telling you it can’t be ignored and you are going to have to bite the bullet and crack on with at some point.
But how to bite that bullet?
We are typically inclined to resist the tasks which we know are going to be unpleasant to do. The sources of this discomfort range from fear that the task might test our limits, or that we are not entirely clear about how to go about performing it, perhaps even something as mundane as fear that the task is going to be boring. Happily, there are simple strategies that deal with each of these stumbling blocks.
Accomplishing complex tasks
Often we avoid commencing a task because we know it will be labour-intensive or complex, so we put it off rather than just making a start and getting the ball rolling. Committing as little as 15-20 minutes to the project in order to get it underway is a way of easing us in without it seeming too daunting.
This easy, and actually very obvious strategy, sets us on the way to ticking this task off our to-do list so that it no longer feels like the beast it once did, and, more often than not, once underway we might even find we had nothing to fear from it in the first place.
Accomplishing tasks we thought were beyond our understanding
The tasks which reside the longest on our to-do lists are those which we think we can’t do. We might not fully understand what are supposed to be doing or we may think we lack the necessary skills to complete them, unsure of the steps we need to take.
This is where colleagues or our supervisor can be called upon for assistance, even if its just to get the task underway with a few pointers. Ideally we should go back to the source, that being the person who assigned the task, they would rather us ask for advice than us either keep putting off the task or trying to do it using guesswork. None of us is a finished product, there is always room for improvement and an expansion of our knowledge and skillset, so reaching out to someone for help is nothing to be ashamed of.
Accomplishing tedious tasks
No one wants to take on a boring task, but it might only be boring because its something you’ve done repeatedly before on many and it’s the repetition which makes it tedious. This is where a little distraction might be helpful. Perhaps the task can be done without a huge amount of concentration so maybe playing some music or even listening to a podcast will help you along the road to getting that task off your to-do list once and for all. It should only be a small amount of distraction therefore unlikely to negatively impact the quality of work produced.
Removing any task which has been languishing for too long on your to-do list should be such a great feeling that no other reward is required, but if a cherry on top is necessary as added motivation, you could give yourself a little treat to celebrate a job well done.