Learning how to prioritize tasks is as valuable of a skillset as any other business-building skill — right up there with the Copy & Paste command on a keyboard. And I don’t know about you, but learning to stop procrastinating at work isn’t something I was taught in school—like many people, I had to learn the hard way. Trial and error, my friends.
Organizing your work and implementing systems so that you get more done with less effort is a skill that can take years to learn and usually involves a lot of bumps in the road and mistakes, too.
In my experience and expertise as someone who has a passion for prioritizing, a knack for organization, and a real-life job as a project manager for creative women business owners, I’ve identified the three biggest players in the Prioritization & Execution Business Game, and I’m going to share them with you.
The key to help stop procrastinating at work is in identifying your biggest motivators, calling out your potential roadblocks, and addressing those sneaky avoidance tasks.
Once you can clearly establish these three components you can start to get strategic about your work! Learning your motivators will effectively pad you with positive launch ammo, like passion, drive, and energy.
Having a leg up on your roadblocks ensures smooth troubleshooting and effective execution, and getting clear on your time-sucks gives you the opportunity to power through tricky tasks that threaten to sabotage your big-picture plan. And not doing this pre-work planning? Well, in that case, you’d better work really well under pressure because your work will take longer, require extra work, and load you up with extra stress.
I encourage you to pour yourself a cup of your favorite coffee, set up by a nice big window with your favorite pen and notepad, and give the following a go:
Step 1 to Stop Procrastinating at Work: What Is Really Motivating You?
Begin by reflecting on what pieces of your project are the most exciting to you. These are your motivators.
These tasks will most likely be the pieces of your job that made you start this business in the first place. For a lot of creatives, it might be the end-goal, the final deliverable, or the “big picture.” If this is the case for you, write it down somewhere meaningful and visible so you can use it as a reminder when the going gets tough.
If you feel bogged down with the technicalities of a job or project, refer to this shiny motivator — let it energize your drive and boost your momentum! You can also sprinkle small pieces of your motivator throughout your work week to operate as a small dose of drive when you need it. (For example, if you love the feeling of a happy client, work in time to review previous happy testimonials and see how you can apply the feedback to your new or upcoming launch!)
Step 2 to Stop Procrastinating at Work: Write Down Potential Obstacles
Next, acknowledge the pieces of your project or launch you’re worried about. These are your potential roadblocks. These items require nurturing, attention, time and space. Do not jam pack the tasks that you know are going to trip you up at the end of your schedule when you will be crunched for time no matter what. Set up a game plan in advance to methodically address these buggers with the care and thought they (and you!) need. The sooner these are addressed, the smoother the launch-waters will be!
***Note: It might not be possible to address/tackle all roadblocks at the top of the launch, simply because they may not appear until other pieces of your project have been completed! That’s OK! Just knowing they’re on the horizon will give you the chance to plan for them when they inevitably arrive.
Step 3 to Stop Procrastinating at Work: What Keeps Going to the Back Burner? (aka What Are You Avoiding?)
Lastly, identify which specific tasks keep getting knocked down to the bottom of your To-Do list or keep being moved to the next day/week/month. These are your avoidance tasks.
On the surface, these tasks can seem small and simple, yet you keep pushing them to the bottom of your to-do list. With avoidance tasks, you need to identify what’s holding you back from just checking that task off the list. Usually it’s one of these:
The 3 Main Reasons for Task Avoidance:
- You have a decision to make before you can move forward
- You’re lacking clarity about some detail steps within your larger tasks
- Your goals or internal motivations have changed (sometimes before you’re even conscious of it)
Often, the simple act of identifying the reason you keep avoiding certain work makes it easier to address it and move forward!
Approaching your business in this thoughtful and careful way will help set you up for major success without the major paint points of confusion and burn out.
There is no shame in saying “Hey, this piece is going to be hard for me,” just like you should not shy away from the parts that make you go, “I am so good at this!” Organizing your business admin in a way that capitalizes on the good and works with (not against) the “bad” makes you one hell of a smart business-woman, and I hope this system gives you major peace of mind.
Also, also – there’s more relief where this comes from.
If all of this still feels overwhelming or you’re struggling with identifying which things are motivators, challenges, and how to move past avoidance, I have a dream solution for you: Let me help. UNSTUCK offers 1:1 support and accountability throughout the life of your project. I will pad you up with all the tools you need (including this strategy!) to help you plow through your business projects with grace and agility. Spots are super limited thanks to the specific attention to detail and care that goes into each offer. Click over here to get on my calendar!