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Do You Procrastinate? 5 Tips for Getting That Project Started

Jul 03, 2019 | Categories: skills development, stress

man standing on top of mountain

Sometimes getting started is the hardest part. Distractions are part of your daily battle to complete things you want to accomplish. We all want to find ways to break through obstacles that may have stopped us in the past.

Hubspot recently published a very useful infographic that demonstrates five ways to help you overcome these distractions. Following these steps can help you overcome your obstacles and accomplish even your most outrageous goals.

  1. Identify the transition point
  2. Mitigate distractions
  3. Work when you’re at your best
  4. Prepare to power through
  5. Break up tasks into smaller parts

Identifying the transition point

Think of the transition point as the very first act you need to take to get started. If you need to make a phone call you are dreading, the transition point would be picking up the phone and dialing the phone. If you need to schedule a meeting, start by opening your calendar. If you need to write an article, start by opening a document and creating a working title. These transition points get you started, and starting is half the battle to success.

 

Mitigate distractions

According to Hubspot, the average worker gets interrupted every eleven minutes. I think they may be being generous as I can’t recall the last time I have experienced eleven continuous minutes without a distraction.

In my case, because I need to focus on writing, I try to mitigate distractions by putting on my headphones and cranking up the music as loud as it goes. While it’s not foolproof, it definitely helps. Finding a place where you can do your work without distractions will help you get in the flow and be much more productive.

If you are someone who doesn’t like a lot of chaos in your surroundings, taking five to ten minutes to organize and straighten your workspace can help you to feel like you have things in order and you’re likely to work better because you’ve eliminated an extra layer of stress.


Figure out when you work at your best

Every person has times when they are more productive than others. Identifying those times of strength, and concentrating your efforts during those times, can help you get a lot done in a relatively short period of time.

Conversely, if you know, for example, that you are simply not productive at a certain point of the day, don’t try to accomplish important tasks during that time period. Plan your productivity time wisely.


Prepare to power through

Any time you get ready to start a project, you will encounter a formidable enemy known as resistance. We constantly create stories in our own minds about the potential ways our task could fail. Humans innately do not want to fail, and sometimes will opt to avoid an activity altogether instead of running the risk of failing.

The best way to get past that uneasy feeling is to start by acknowledging the feeling, without putting any emotion behind it. Once you recognize the feeling, allow yourself to let it go. Visualize a ship sailing away from the shore. Once your proverbial ship has sailed, immediately carry on with your task.


Break up tasks into smaller parts

Have you ever been overwhelmed with a huge task, a task that feels as if you’ll never complete it? The best way to make that behemoth seem more manageable is to break it up into smaller, more manageable pieces. By doing this, the task at hand becomes much more achievable and takes a lot of the pressure off. Give yourself deadlines for each task and, before you know it, you are well on your way to completing that seemingly insurmountable task.


Conclusion

Resistance is the enemy of accomplishing one’s goals. Finding ways to acknowledge and work through these obstacles, whether they are real or created in our minds, is the way to lower ones stress and accomplish so much more.

 

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Dave Clark
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