I’ll do it tomorrow… It doesn’t need to be handed in till Monday… I’m busy, it can wait!—We’ve all done this at some point in our lives; spending time on making up excuses and dilly dallying instead of getting on with the task at hand. Procrastination is something we’ll all have to face at sometime. This article for example, was due in ten minutes ago and when I finally send it tomorrow, I’m going to pretend my internet was down… if only I’d read it first! So get out your excuse books, because we’re going to help you tear them up with Bidvine’s guide to getting stuff done and our techniques to stop procrastinating.
1. Follow the experts. – Not doing stuff we’re supposed to has become such an epidemic that there are now libraries of manuals and books out there on how to buck the trend. Our current favourite is How To Be a Productivity Ninja by Graham Allcott. We won’t spoil the end, but being a productivity Ninja has a lot to do with the acronym DUST and classifying the task you are procrastinating in order to be able to solve it.
DUST stands for Difficult (are you finding the task outside of your current expertise?), Unclear (does it need to defined better), Scared (is it out of your comfort zone?), Tedious (is the task boring or tedious?).
The author suggests educating yourself on the subject matter for difficult tasks, defining intermediate steps and measurable outcomes for unclear tasks, creating a bigger fear with deadlines or accountability for scary tasks, and introducing fun background activities for tedious tasks. Graham’s book obviously explains the concepts in a lot more detail, but if you recognise the task you are procrastinating anywhere in the above acronym it’s well worth a read.
2. Delay gratification. – So this one’s sliced bread simple; if you’re putting off doing something important so you can have some fun, cease the frivolity until you’ve earned it!
3. Get smart. – As the internet never tires of telling us, we have more computing power in our pockets than they used to send men to the moon, so why not put it to work? There are a gazillion apps out there for organising your life, but our favourite is Trello.
Trello is a great application designed to help you stay organised whether you’re a sole trader or you manage a team. It can help separate the must do tasks from those that can wait, and it allows you to break tasks down into their finest details. Interested in learning more about how Trello can help you run your business efficiently? Then check out this comprehensive Trello review!
If you want to build lasting habits, you can try Way of Life app, which lets you track your daily activities on the long run so you can look back and evaluate your ability to keep your routine going instead of putting tasks off.
4. Use a digital assistant. – Maybe you haven’t heard about Amazon Echo yet, but it was last year’s smash tech hit in the States. As a portable Siri meets a blue-tooth speaker, you might be wondering exactly why Echo would be any use in helping you get stuff done. The secret lies within. Alexa, the Echo’s built in artificial intelligence brain is always on and always listening. Alexa can help you remember dates, take notes, make lists, help solve math problems and order you takeaway–and she never forgets.
5. The ‘good old fashioned way.’ – You don’t need and an iDroid or a digital assistant to organise your life. All you need is a piece of paper and a plan. Make three columns: Pending – Doing – Done. Add stuff daily and make sure nothing stays in the the same column for more than 24 hours.
We hope the irony is not lost on anyone who read this article instead of getting on with an important task. Now let’s get productive!
If you liked this article on techniques to stop procrastinating, you will love our blog post on brain hacks for better learning.