We often hear the phrase: “I wish I had more time in the day.” It seems like the hours sneak up on us far too often. Overcoming procrastination can be quite a challenge, especially after we have finished our 21-Day Clean Program and are attempting to maintain the clarity and sense of purpose we achieved on our program. I can remember days that were shaping up to be luxuriously long sessions of crossing important tasks off of my to-do list, somehow turning into an evening of cramming necessary obligations in as deadlines loom nearer.
I’ve coined a term for this called “busy procrastination." It’s when we keep ourselves busy working on our business, but not doing the things that actually help it grow and get results. As a business owner, there are always tons of things to get done, but only a few of them can make a huge difference in growing a business. It’s important to really gain awareness of the things that make the most impact and do those things before the tasks that are busy work.
The Pomodoro Technique
Have you ever been working on something when there are no distractions around you, the music is blaring, you’re focused, in the groove and you’re on a roll getting things done faster than ever?
That, my friend, is called “deep work” or “flow”. It happens only when we’re able to cut off distractions and really get into the work that we are focused on. It takes 23 minutes to get into the task we’re working on. However, the average worker gets distracted every 11 minutes. How does that add up? It doesn’t.
With this amount of distraction around us, no wonder why so many of us feel like we aren’t overcoming procrastination. So if we really want to get things done, try using the Pomodoro Technique, it’s really easy to get started.
All that is needed is to set a timer for the amount of time that we want to work uninterrupted. A good amount of time is 25 minutes. It’s important to ensure we’re taking short 3 to 5-minute breaks in between work sessions. After about four 25-minute sessions, we’ve earned a 30-minute break. This helps us work on a project from start to finish without distractions and actually get things done. Their website breaks down the exact steps of how to use the Pomodoro Technique and form our own flow.
Keep Track Of Our Moments During the Day
We can use journaling to gain awareness of our current time management so that we can act on it. If we find that we are unable to keep track of where our time has gone during the day, try creating a time journal, and every hour, just take a quick note of how we spent it.
Just like someone starting a diet starts a food journal, by keeping track of where our spare minutes are going during the day, we’ve taken the first step in overcoming procrastination. From there, we can see where our time is going and then we can act on it.
Run Our Social Media, Don’t Let It Run Our Lives
All of the social media apps that we currently use are designed to get us to return to the app as quickly as possible. Many of our favorite app are also sending us updates every 10 minutes. Sometimes these notifications get out of hand and we feel like we can’t keep up.
Most apps grade their success by the amount of engagement their users have with the app. This means they love when we spend more time on it, clicking away, responding to messages, and scrolling through our feeds.
Additionally, the majority of apps are centered around user-generated content. They code the platform, and we create ALL of the content that goes on it. This is why we always feel glued to our phones and like we’re never caught up. Because for every one of us, there are millions of people out there creating content. We technically can’t ever be all caught up.
I have turned off all notifications on my phone outside of text messages, direct messages, and my alarms (obviously). These constant notifications can take us so far out of a creative mindset, and suck us into a state of constant consumption of other people’s content. I avoid social media until I have completed my morning routine and I limit my time online so I can get back to living in the present.
If we want to create more time, we need to ensure we are cutting out the things that pull us away from the tasks that are really important.
Avoid Analysis Paralysis
It’s important to do some research before starting a new project. However, when researching a topic goes so overboard that we are not able to move forward with an idea and start on a task, that is ‘Analysis Paralysis.’
Analysis Paralysis looks a little something like this: We want to start a blog so we research and read every article we can get our hands on. We watch Youtube tutorials on how to build a blog. We do market research and pricing comparisons on every hosting platform, and we have hundreds of bookmarks of blogs that inspire we saved to the browser. Yet, we haven’t taken action.
The quickest way to learn is to fail. It’s better to start a sub-par blog that we learn how to improve on, then to never start one at all.
I’ve made so many errors since I began. I’ve mistakenly bought more expensive products than I needed to and have ended up unhappy with a few design decisions along the way. But, if I was still back deciding what I wanted my blog to be called, I never would have started a platform that has changed my life and inspired people internationally.
As we do our research, we need to put the things we’ve learned into practice, in order to start overcoming procrastination. We retain information better if we act on what we have learned, and we will create more time for ourselves, and get more done. We all spend a lot of time wishing that we had more time in the day. If we’re careful with the time we already have, we can make the most out of it.