You’ve got a to-do list the length of your arm. Some tasks are new additions, some have been on your list for longer than you care to admit. You wake up with that feeling; that weird combination of anxiousness and guilt that manifests in your stomach when you have too much to do. But, instead of tackling the problem head-on, you spend that little bit longer in the shower, watch a couple of YouTube videos, and give your desk a thorough tidy.
Procrastination. We’ve all been there.
Some believe that it stems from laziness but, more often than not, procrastination is simply the result of feeling overwhelmed. The issue is, if you’re procrastinating and not addressing the root cause of the problem, you’re bound to head straight into the centre of a vicious cycle.
Next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, try these simple strategies to curb procrastination and take control:
Break It Down
You know that big, overwhelming task you’ve been putting off for months? The chances are, that task is actually a compilation of smaller tasks. Instead of convincing yourself that you need to tackle it all in one go, break the task into smaller, more manageable chunks.
Much like cutting up your food into bite-sized pieces instead of swallowing it all whole, this will make your to-do list a lot easier to process!
More often than not, the hardest part about tackling your to-do list is simply getting started. An easy way to get the ball rolling is to promise yourself that you’ll complete just one small chunk of a task — whether that be writing one paragraph of that important proposal or reading one page of that book you’ve been meaning to read.
If you complete the small task you’ve committed to, allow yourself go back to whatever you were doing before without guilt. However, I guarantee that you’ll end up doing much more than you initially intended. Trick yourself into getting started and you’ll find yourself on a roll!
Hardest Thing First
If you’re feeling weighed down by one task, in particular, use the two previous strategies to tackle that task before you do anything else. Discipline yourself to wake up, do your morning routine and get straight to it.
Your feelings of guilt and anxiousness will soon give way to pure satisfaction and productivity, and the following tasks will seem easy and effortless.
Still struggling to find focus? Check out my top tips for boosting concentration at work.