We’ve all been there before. We have a certain amount of time to accomplish a specific task, and we find ourselves doing anything but the task at hand. Instead we check our email, scan social media, and chat with our coworkers. As our allotted time ticks down we panic and stress because we’ve given in to procrastination yet again.
It’s normal to procrastinate, some even argue it’s good to delay action until the last minute citing that it actually improves decision making and efficiency. While I agree with those points to a certain extent, I think in most cases procrastination can be dangerous, especially when it comes to your side hustle.
Since a side hustle is work you do in your spare time, it’s incredibly important to stay focused. Your spare time is too valuable to be wasted by procrastinating. In addition, since your side hustle is your own business, you are ultimately responsible for the work. If your work isn’t as high quality because you are in a rush in the final hour, it’s going to reflect poorly on you. It could even cost you future business.
Procrastination and goals don’t often go hand in hand. If you want to accomplish your goals, you will need to be focused and productive. It’s dangerous to procrastinate with new ideas as well. If you don’t take action on your ideas, you run the risk of forgetting about them completely. Worse yet, someone else will have the same idea and beat you to it. Consider these four tips to keep yourself on track and focused.
The best thing you can to do fend off procrastination is eliminate any potential distractions. Start by taking a few minutes to get prepared. Use the bathroom, refill your drink, and pull out any materials you need to accomplish your work. If you’re in an office shut the door or put ear buds in to send the message you’re not available for interruptions. Close your email and any other applications that aren’t necessary. Put your phone on silent and place it out of view. By eliminating distractions you will find it easier to stay focused while you move from task to task.
It’s easy to procrastinate when you feel overwhelmed. Organizing yourself will help you prioritize tasks and get on track. Start by creating a work plan or timeline for the tasks you must accomplish. If you have a large task break it up into small manageable pieces. Aim to make each piece something you can complete within a day. Checking off each piece on your to do list will help you feel more in control and less overwhelmed.
Have a Five Minute Frenzy
A five minute frenzy is great technique for those tasks you don’t enjoy and tend to put off until the last minute. Set a timer for five minutes and spend that time super focused on one of your tasks. For example, if you tend to let your filing pile up, spend five minutes focused solely on filing. If you’ve been putting off a phone call you need to make, use these five minutes to make the call. Schedule five minute frenzies once a day or once a week. You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish in five short minutes.
Is your work space contributing to your procrastination issues? Review your work space to determine if it could be negatively impacting your productivity. Your work space should be comfortable as well as motivating. If it’s uncomfortable or disorganized it could be contributing to your procrastination and you should go about changing it.
Everyone struggles with procrastination at one time or another. Don’t let it stand in the way of your side hustle goals. Remember that the feeling of accomplishment will far outweigh the feelings related to procrastination. Best of all, the sooner you finish what you need to do, you can focus on what you want to do.