No better time to focus… Than NOW!

Whether parties are looming or seasonal jobs (such as Accounts being in high demand December/January) are upon you, while looking to find stress free ways to manage the workload, we can all fall foul to that beast we know as procrastination.

Even as a business coach, I am not immune to the temptations of more interesting tasks or projects, especially when I’m having to deal with an area I am not comfortable with such as the Belbin Team Role position of ‘Finisher’, which is often the case for those who constantly seek new opportunities! The excitement has waned by then.

So whether you find it difficult to start a job, monitor its progress or lose motivation once the initial enthusiasm has passed, here are some great tips to keep you on track:

Mini Snacks: Ask yourself “What can I achieve in 5 minutes that will move this forward by even the smallest amount TODAY?” Then set about doing it. Scientific research shows we are more likely to actually complete a task once we set about starting it.

Emotional boost: Pick a song you really relate to for the task in hand. Some of my friends would look amazed to know that I tune into Classic FM when writing these features but I find it calming and allows me to think as there are no lyrics. Find songs that inspire you for the task in hand.

Place a Wager: Look to a friend or someone you believe can hold you accountable and place a bet with them! Make it something you actually having to suffer a loss if you don’t achieve your chosen task. Announce that you will take them out for a meal, take them to see that band they may be but you are not keen on or even to do something you will find embarrassing yet they will find amusing … OK, maybe not so much a bet as a forfeit as they never seem to lose out! Create a given day/time of the following week, or whatever time scale you work to, and it is down to them to check in at that time to redeem their wager/forfeit should you have failed in your objective. Great incentive because it is lack of face as much as financial or whatever the bet is.

Rewards: On a flip side, set about rewarding yourself for completing a task like pampering yourself. Make it relative to the task in hand such as I like to make a cafetière of coffee once I’ve written a feature and sit back to read the finished article. Some may have secured a big contract so look to a new car. Set the reward accordingly.

“Umm, that one”: How big is your to-do list? A valuable tip is to know what is most important and FOCUS on that. If you have a lot of things vying for position in your mind, write them all down and put them into order of priority. Then work your way through it with the full knowledge you do not have to focus on anything else as it is written down ready for you to address later.

“Bye”: Let it go, quite simply, if it is not important or it is something someone else can do proficiently, get this off your to-do list and out of your head. If passing it on, we call that delegation, which is a little different but, nonetheless, you no longer need to handle it yourself so give yourself permission to let some things go.

Gym time: If you go to the gym, you will undoubtedly give yourself a set time to powerhouse your way through a set routine. It is no different with a task. Start in 20 minute stages and work up to an hour where you will close the door on all other interruptions or distractions and fully focus, knowing you have a time frame to work to.

What’s going on up there?: Have you ever actually spent time assessing yourself? What are the main factors for holding you back? Is it a fear or lack of perceived knowledge required? Even the most confident among us have fears, myself included, but it helps to be completely honest with yourself so verbally ask “I’m avoiding this task because..”.

Coaching to Success have techniques to help you recognise yours or your team’s strengths as well as areas that you can either work on or realise they are best passed to others whose strengths lie in that given area. Don’t put off something else that can help you move successfully forward, take the first step towards overcoming procrastination by contacting Neil on 07761 187238 or email, where you will be assured a warm, friendly welcome and the chance to discuss how we can help not only saving time but actually achieving all those tasks.

Having read this, why not check out Neil too by watching our YouTube video HERE.