If left unchecked, a bad procrastination habit can actually be a deterrent to advancement in a career or getting good grades in school. In the realm of independent consultants, procrastination can lead to a loss of business. No employer wants to wait for a project that has passed the deadline. There are some very helpful hints when it comes to avoiding procrastination. How quickly can you make these a part of your daily routine?
· Make a Commitment: This is a lot like accepting a deadline, but it's also more about your own personal responsibility. When you commit to finishing a project by a certain date then you are pretty much putting your reputation on the line. Even if it's a small matter of returning an e-mail or phone call within 24 hours, it's still a commitment that you can make to yourself. Staying true to that commitment can go a long way towards improving your business relationships which equates to success.
· Prioritize: If you have a list of several small assignments and one big task, don't let the little jobs get in the way. You need to prioritize your tasks by level of importance and deadline. This can be done at the beginning of every morning as you set out plans for your work day.
· Utilize the Morning: Speaking of the morning, that is a perfect time to accomplish tasks that are due by the end of the business day. It's simply a matter of figuring out how long a particular task will take and then setting aside those hours in the morning to do the actual work. In many cases this goal could be reached by lunchtime!
· Get Prepared: A common theme for procrastinators is that they're never ready. This goes back to that issue of staying organized. As a freelance consultant, if you're working on a project that involves a certain amount of research then you should conduct that research all at once and assemble it in a single file or group. That way you'll have easy access to that information when it's time for you to disseminate it. There's no excuse for poor prep work.
· Remove the Distractions: Ironically, the very thing you are reading this article on is probably the biggest contributor to procrastination. That would be the Internet. Today, we use the Internet to communicate with friends, read news and conduct business. While it's easy to get lost in the world of YouTube or Facebook, those activities should be regulated for off work hours. Perhaps you should look at spending time on those personal sites as a reward for a job well done. Don't let the Internet drag you down!
Now that you've read some helpful tips about avoiding procrastination, it’s time to get back to work!