October 6, 2019,   6:49 PM

4 Ways To Stop Procrastinating At Work

Bilal Bin Saqib

Bilal Bin Saqib is an entrepreneur, an avid business problem solver and a marketing expert based in London, UK. He is a graduate from the London School of Economics & founder of BBS & Co., a UK-based digital product agency. FULL BIO

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Procrastination at work can put your productivity and creativity at stake, leading to detrimental effects on your career and the overall progress of your company. According to the 2007 Wasting Time Survey by Salary.com an average employee wastes around two hours a day on tasks unrelated to work. 

All employees have certain tasks that they need to perform on a daily basis. Procrastination has a ripple effect on all of these tasks and can leave you rushing to get everything done in time. This affects the quality of your work. 

Procrastination is a habit that originates from a conflict where immediate gratification outperforms long-term goals. This habit makes it hard to adhere to time allocation on tasks and reinforces laziness in your work. This, in turn, results in stress and potential problems at work. 

Here are four techniques to help you stop procrastinating at work:

Break a big goal into mini-goals 

An effective way to execute your action strategy for a goal is to write it down and identify the requirements to complete it. Next, break the requirements down into smaller, actionable steps with realistic deadlines and start working on them immediately.

Breaking down big goals into small-scale tasks can be fruitful to your performance as the gratification achieved on the completion of those smaller tasks is immediate and quenches a procrastinator’s thirst for quick pleasure. 

Additionally, allocating realistic deadlines to each smaller goal must be ascertained with a small reward, such as a coffee break, or catching up with colleagues on lighter topics to break the arduous work tempo. Small rewards after completing a task will increase your motivation and your productivity and lead to a higher outcome rate within a shorter time span. 

Abolish multitasking

While most job descriptions encourage prospects to multitask, studies have shown that multitasking leads to a slow productivity rate and poor performance on the task at hand. 

New York Times cites a study conducted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which states that multitasking has a positive correlation with a decline in the completion of projects and lower rates of revenue generation. One of the reasons why employees procrastinate at work is because they feel overwhelmed with the number of tasks they need to complete within the devoted time. 

Distractions such as your phone, social media or talking to other employees may make it harder for you to concentrate. To overcome this hitch, you should focus on only one task at hand by minimizing distractions and disruptions. Put your phone on silent or allocate a set time span to check your phone as a reward after completing a task.

Get a workday accountability partner

Most bosses are prone to check the work of their employees on a fairly frequent basis. If you have a chronic procrastination problem you might tend to leave tasks until mere days before the deadline then rush to finish them in time. Being held accountable for work tasks on a daily basis helps ensure your productivity in the long-run. 

It is recommended to find someone that can train you in better work habits and hold you chargeable for your work outcomes on a day-to-day basis.

Work with a “can-do” mindset

Most procrastinators struggle with starting-off on a task because of a lack of motivation or perceiving the task as a tough one. The solution is to shift yourself from a “can’t do” to a “can-do” mindset. 

Breaking a goal down into smaller tasks makes it less intimidating and drives your motivation to work on the “immediate-gratification” principle. Once you start building momentum, you will notice that perceived strenuous tasks have now become achievable. 

Fighting off a habit as tough as procrastination requires you to organize yourself and your thoughts in order to work with focus. Only then, will you see yourself becoming more productive. 

Bilal Bin Saqib is the founder of Tayaba.

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