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How to Stop Procrastinating

Do you find yourself procrastinating until the last minute? If so, you’re not alone. Studies have shown that “88% of the workforce admitting that they procrastinate at least one hour a day”. We’ve all been there, and whether you procrastinate about things in your professional or personal life, the below practical techniques will help you get out of that mindset and start accomplishing your tasks and goals.

 

5 Second Rule

Taking immediate action is one of the best ways to deal with procrastination. Don’t give yourself 5 minutes before starting a task because you’ll likely keep procrastinating long after those 5 minutes are over. Mel Robbins is the pioneer of the 5-second rule and says when you catch yourself procrastinating, count backwards from five, then immediately work for 5 minutes. After those 5 minutes are over, you can do whatever you want. Hopefully, by that 5-minute point, the hardest part (getting started) will be over and you’ll be able to finish the task at hand.

 

Have a Procrastination Song

Pick an upbeat and motivating go-to song to help inspire you. When you find yourself procrastinating listen to the high-energy song and get to work!

 

Give Yourself an Incentive

The human brain responds to reward stimulus so give yourself an incentive for completing a task. For instance, if you complete x task you can have y reward and incentivize accordingly depending on the task. I.e., the bigger the task the bigger the reward.

 

Think How Good It Will Feel to Be Done

Remind yourself how good you will feel once the task you are putting off is complete. Having it hang over you and finding immediate distractions can feel good in the short term, but the longer you push something off, the more it will weigh on you. Imagine how you’ll feel once it’s done and free yourself from the anxiety and pressure of procrastinating.

How to Stop Procrastinating

Mental Health Strategies

In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, researcher and author, Brené Brown stated, “Another pandemic is going to follow this one—it’s already started; we’re months into it now—which is a real mental-health pandemic.” She elaborated that since the pandemic, anxiety and depression levels have risen, people feel an increased sense of loneliness, and that prescription medicine and divorce rates are higher than they were pre-Covid. While these statistics may sound dismal, during the interview she provided recommendations on coping and dealing with these hard emotions and the mental health toll many are facing right now. Below we’ll provide some of the key takeaways from the interview and how to improve your mental health for your personal and professional wellbeing.

Ask for Help

One key takeaway from the interview is the reminder that “self-awareness is not a luxury”. It’s important to have a support system around you and remember that we are not wired to do this alone. Whether that’s through friends, family, or a counselor, having those around you who want the best for you and can be there for you is imperative to your mental health. Make sure to have a safe support system in place and ask for help when you need it.

 

Moving Meditation

One of Brené’s favorite mental health activities is to walk and do a daily examination. She will spend that time either reflecting on the day or if it’s a morning walk, thinking of the day to come. Walking is a wonderful, free activity that can start or end your day on the right note. In the evenings it can help you with the transition from work mode to home mode and in the morning can help you organize your thoughts on the day to come and all that you need and want to accomplish. Having time for you, whether that’s a walk, other physical activity, or a meditative practice, can make you feel more grounded and centered.

 

Moving on From a Failure

Brené recommended a quick exercise you can do when dealing with a personal or professional “failure” and that is to ask yourself: will it matter in 5 minutes, 5 hours, 5 months, or 5 years? If it’s not going to matter in 5 months or 5 years, it’s probably not something to get worked up about. Everyone makes mistakes and while those mistakes can seem monumental in the moment, in the long run, they won’t seem important. Using an exercise like the above will help you put things in perspective so you can move on from your mistake and not let it derail your day.

 

Finally, during the interview Brené posed the question: how do we self-protect when we’re afraid and how does that behavior move us away from our values and goals? Many have struggled to deal with this last year and still find themselves in a hard place. If you’re in such a place, it’s even more important to have a support system around you, tools and practices in place, remember to take each day as it comes, and be kind to yourself.

 

Mental Health Strategies

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Looking for a New Job

There are some key questions you should ask yourself when considering a new job. These questions will help you with clarity as to what type of role it is that you should be looking for, what you need in a job, and what you would like to do that’s different from your current job. So before you jump in and start applying for new roles, ask yourself these questions…

 

What do I need to make in regards to compensation?

Perhaps one of the reasons you’re considering a new job is for a higher salary. If your current job isn’t enough to cover your lifestyle, and you feel you could realistically ask for a higher salary based on your knowledge and experience, then it may be time for a new, more challenging role.

 

What do I enjoy doing?

Are there any aspects of your current role that you truly enjoy and excel at? Are there parts of your job that don’t feel like “work”? If you’re not sure, keep a journal for a month and jot down daily what you enjoyed. You may find it’s not something that’s in your current work field and that’s ok. It may be a hobby you enjoy or a passion outside of work. If that’s the case, ask yourself if there are any ways you can include that in a future job or perhaps think about going into a new field.

 

What am I good at?

Think back to what people at work have told you that you’re good at. Newsweek posted an article where they wrote about the 10-core skill sets that exist in the workplace and finding out which of these skill sets is your strength. They include: “Words, Innovation, Building, Technology, Motion, Service, Beauty, Coordination, Analysis, Numbers”. Are you currently in a role that utilizes your strength? It not, it may be time to find a role that does.

 

What type of environment do I want to work in?

Think about what type of culture you would like to work in and if there is a certain location you have in mind. Do you thrive in a collaborative environment, or work better by yourself? You’ll want to find a role that supports your work style. Similarly, ask yourself where it is you want to work. Many don’t want to spend a lot of time commuting to work every day and with the increase in remote job opportunities, you may be able to work entirely from home. Think about where you want to spend your time working and if you want an in-person role, a remote role, or a hybrid between the two.

 

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Looking for a New Job

The Future of Remote Work

For over a year now, many (non-essential) workers have been able to work from home, either full-time or part-time. Overall, these workers enjoy the benefits of working remotely and have proved to maintain their productivity when working from home. While at the start of the pandemic remote work may have looked like a temporary solution, after over a year many workers remain happy with their work-from-home status, and it looks like the trend is here to stay. Remote workers have enjoyed their more flexible schedules, not having their daily commute, and the cost savings of not physically going to the office (use less gas, fewer dry-cleaning bills, etc.). In a Harvard Business School study, 81% of those polled said they either “don’t want to go back to the office or would prefer a hybrid schedule going forward”. Since employees aren’t anxious to give up their work from home perks, what does that mean for the future of work?

 

Virtualized Society

In many ways over this past year, we’ve become a more virtualized society. Team members can work remotely, and with the help of video conferencing solutions like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, still feel engaged with their co-workers. While it took some adjusting at first, many find these virtual meetings fit seamlessly into their schedules now. In the coming years, we’ll likely see a rise in virtual events as well. For those looking for jobs, this will mean online job fairs, and there will be many more offerings for virtual trainings and conferences.

 

New Office Spaces

With many business employees continuing to work remotely in the future, office spaces will likely change. For companies that allow their employees a hybrid work model, they’ll likely downsize their office space, savings on their real estate costs, and change their environments to be more collaborative for when employees do come into the office. In an article on Architectural Digest, they say companies will be asking themselves, “How do we create spaces that foster personal investment in the brand, improve collaboration, and respect privacy?”

 

Wider Reach

For companies hiring remotely, it will open up a wider talent pool. Previously companies usually only focused on hiring those within a driving distance from the office, but with remote work, employees just need a reliable internet connection making it a lot easier for companies to find qualified and talented employees for their team.

 

The pandemic forced many companies previously unwilling to have employees work remotely to shift to that model and in turn, have embraced the trend finding their employees remained productive and successful. For employees, while there were adjustments at first, they quickly welcomed the many benefits of working remotely. Moving forward, both companies and employees alike are ready to thrive in this new work environment.

The Future of Remote Work