Inevitably there will be times when you just resist to get things done. Such moments come depending on how much you worked, how much you slept, how well your nutrition is, how well your social life and emotional state is. Last but not least: Do you have any plan about fighting the productivity slump?
Here we deal with a strategy how to battle that. Read on the 10 tips.
- Zoom Out. it will help you to see how a task fits into the bigger picture. Understanding the purpose and importance of a task is essential. If it finally turns out that the task is not really important, you may consider how to eliminate, shorten or delegate it.
- Look For Procrastination Triggers. Tim Pychyl has been researching procrastination for more than 20 years. He listed characteristics of a task that are very likely to cause procrastination:
- Lacking in personal meaning
Zooming out of a task will help you spot these characteristic. Then you will have to make a plan how to turn them into something positive and change your attitude towards the task.
- Mind Your Self-Talk. When people are put under pressure and they don’t feel like handling it, the negative self-talk rises rapidly. Be aware and observe what thoughts go through your mind in such situations. Things like “I can’t do it”, “Not good at this”, “I don’t want to waste my time doing it” could only make things worse. If the task is to be tone and rejecting it will have consequences – such thoughts won’t help at all.
- Allow Yourself to Do a Bad Job. If feel stuck with a job or project, just try to do the worst job possible. This is important to get you started. Once you start rolling, you will see the problems in the output and gradually will improve the result. The ideas will begin to flow and slower or faster you will be able work it out.
- Shrink Your Work. When not feeling fit, working too hard or too much just discourages a person further. Set the time for a complex task at half. Plan one hour for two hours task. Plan 45 minutes for two hours task. Better do something and get it started than procrastinating and being scared of how much you need to do. Once you put you on track working on the task, you may gain inertia and actually end up working more than you initially planned. And probably get better results than you expected.
- Set Limits. Spending more time at something may actually make you less productive. If a report is scheduled to be done in one hour would usually yield better results opposed to working on it for the whole day. Setting limits creates a sense of urgency and pushes the task to get it done. If there is a hard limit for a task, a person is motivated to put more energy over a shorter period of time. It also may shrink your work but in a different way. Being under time limit may help you to throw aside not important and redundant work related to a particular task.
- Change Your Environment. It may help you to get out of a bad track you are moving in and start fresh. Working in office might be switched to working from home. Bored from working from home? Try shared workspace where you can see other people, go outdoors. Changing the environment in your company or home office also helps a lot.
- Disconnect From the Internet. A recent research shows that half the time spend on internet is procrastinating before you actually get the job done. This is especially true when person is not in the right mindset to work. Disconnecting from internet will help you reduce distraction and get more done.
- Reward Yourself. As a final step, try rewarding yourself each time you accomplish a task. Such a reward could be a cup of coffee, 15 minutes on social media, 15 minutes break. Rewarding is not the best strategy but usually it is a very effective motivator. Unfortunately it may lead to other deviations if used in excess. For example – too much coffee, too much food, taking breaks too often, smoking a lot.
- Embrace Counterproductivity. It is unrealistic to expect being productive 24/7. Not feeling like productive is often a sign that you should step back, be unproductive and recharge. Ask yourself whether you are procrastinating or you really need a break. If the case is not urgent, don’t push yourself just for the case of doing something. You can’t be always plan for being highly productive. And you need to consider that putting a lot of energy over shorter period of time can’t be maintained for too long and a slow down afterwards is expected. Taking a break helps you recharge, clear negative thoughts and return back even more productive.