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Simon Buehring

Knowledge Train

Managing Director

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Pesonal productivity and project management – need to beat your inner procrastinator? [INFOGRAPHIC]


signs of procrastination and how to avoid them

We all suffer with procrastination at some point, lose motivation, inspiration and are generally less productive than we can potentially be. Procrastination is the name for "putting things off" and leaving everything until the last minute, a term psychologists define as "the gap between intention and action." Extreme procrastination can also be a symptom of anxiety or low self confidence. Take a look at the cartoon above and see which of the symptoms you recognise within your team members or yourself!

"Why am I procrastinating?"

15-20% of the population are procrastinators, so you are definately not alone. Here are some possible reasons of why you might not be able to get started on those important tasks on your to-do list:

- You are trying to delay the discomfort you might experience by starting a difficult task

- You're lacking confidence in the task

- You're doing things that you don't particularly enjoy. People are generally more motivated by their passions!

- You've given yourself too much work to do at once

- You're a perfectionist and are scared of failure

The key to beating procrastination is by understanding the difference between people who procrastinate and those who don't. How DO those people get on with those difficult, mundane reports when there are so many emails to delete or Facebook messages to read? The answer is - they do it - no matter how they are feeling. You can decrease the chance of procrastination by planning more efficiently, but the only way that will beat it completely - is to just begin the work!

Project management or a to-do list?

To-do lists are the first thing we think of when our minds are frantically whirring about the tasks looming ahead. Although this is an element of become more organised, it can sometimes indicate a loss of control as we scribble down reams of targets to complete, with no sense of priority.

The moment your to-do list starts to become a project or series of projects is when you become more concerned about time, or when there is an end product.

Creating elements of project management within yours or your team's to-do lists will help to drive you towards your goals. Try some of these:

- Next to each task, make a sub-goal and list the action points to take. You'll be less likely to overload yourself and look for distractions.

- Assign due dates and a level of priority next to each task. Just writing high, medium or low next to each item on the list will automatically give you a sense of direction when glancing at it.

- Give yourself a break by doing an easy task when you've completed a difficult one, keep the momentum!

- Take short breaks instead of one long one, it can improve your concentration and keep your mind occupied!

Click here to view Knowledge Train's free project management resources.

Author Profile Picture
Simon Buehring

Managing Director

Read more from Simon Buehring

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