With job applications to complete which can take several hours, interviews to prepare for, telephone calls to recruiters to make and so much more when it comes to job hunting the temptation to a little procrastination can be as real as it is in the workplace. So how do we ensure that we avoid procrastination whether we are in a job or looking for a new role?
Let’s start by recognising that we are not alone! Procrastination is one of the most common ways people sabotage themselves and don’t get all all they want from life. By putting things off, they are not as efficient and productive, and can cause damage to their professional and personal lives.
Fortunately, there are several quick and easy ways to stop procrastinating and start moving forward with all your important goals.
- Make a list of what needs to be done – Then you can start tackling these tasks.
- Rank that list in order of priority – Put those with the closest deadline at the top of the list.
- Break large projects into little steps – In this way, we won’t feel overwhelmed and can create a pattern of slow but steady progress.
- Organise your workspace – A cluttered work area will be harder to be productive in. Organize your space with a place for everything, and everything in its place. In this way, you won’t waste valuable time hunting for things you need.
- De-clutter your computer – Your computer should also be well organized, like a filing cabinet, with folders and files all named something meaningful that will help you find them again. Don’t just dump everything into Documents or litter your desktop screen with everything that “you might just need.”
- Rearrange your room – If your desk is facing a window or something else that might be distracting, such as a TV, it might be time to move around the furniture so your room says “Work!” instead of “daydream” or “waste time”. If it is a multipurpose room, such as your office and also a guest room, group the furniture together by function. And don’t hang out on the bed with your laptop all the time, or you will be in danger of falling asleep.
- Keep a paper calendar – Carry a small calendar with you. It’s useful for writing down important dates and checking availability.
- Use time management techniques – Time management is the art and skill of making the most of the time you have by organizing it and using it efficiently. Start by seeing where your time is going each day. Track yourself on a spreadsheet in 15-minute increments. Write down what you do: Get up, go to sleep, break for lunch, have a meeting and so on. Do this for a week. Chances are you will find things that are eating up your time but have no real value.
- Avoid eating up time with email, Facebook and so on – Email, Facebook and other social sites can be handy for communicating and marketing, but they can also eat up a lot of time. Try to look at them no more than three times a day: morning, noon and night. You will be amazed at how productive this can make you.
If you struggle with procrastination, try some or all of these tips and see what a difference they can make to your life.