5 Simple Tips to Fight Procrastination in the Workplace

We’ve all heard the saying, “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” While this saying is essential to remember, it can also be hard to apply it to life as we know it today. Given that there are 24 hours in a day, it is easy to assume that people should get a lot done, but procrastination starts to settle into our plans when we factor in responsibilities at work and home.

While it is a good idea to put in effort at work, it is also essential to make sure you are not overworked. One easy way to find the middle balance between lazy and exhausted is through The Science of Personal Productivity. This course offers insight from Dr. Rebecca Heiss into scientific methods to be more productive both at work and at home.

Limit Email Time 

procrastination - a woman looking at her emails

One of the most critical things in the office can also be one of the most distracting. It is not uncommon to receive multiple emails a day from different coworkers asking for different things in various timeframes. While email does allow coworkers to contact others quickly, it also opens a rabbit hole that can lead to severe time-wasting and procrastination. 

Getting in the habit of setting specific time slots throughout the day when it is ok to check your email can make a significant difference in the amount of work you can complete in a day. By limiting the time you spend checking emails, you teach yourself to focus on the task at hand instead of putting off work on a project every time a new email comes through. 

Prioritize Tasks 

To do list

When it comes to big looming projects, I’m sure everyone has had a run-in with procrastination! Depending on the size of the task, sometimes even the thought of working on it can be overwhelming and stressful. If you don’t train yourself to prioritize tasks, you’ll end up stressing yourself out by trying to complete a massive project that has been put off for too long. 

Even if a project might be small enough to complete all in one day, that doesn’t stop you from breaking it down into bite-sized portions! Instead of pushing off a big task to work on smaller or less important ones, split projects into manageable tasks that can be completed in a reasonable time frame. 

Embrace “Good Enough” 

Procrastination - A woman resting her head on a table

Instead of working yourself to the bone to complete a task perfectly, learn to be all right with “good enough.” It is important to remember that you should still put effort and pride into the work you complete, but not to the point that you are hurting yourself in the process. By embracing “good enough,” you can teach yourself how to find a balance between procrastination and overworking. 

Learn to say “No” 

The word "no" written on a napkin

While learning how to say “no” in the workplace might sound like a way to procrastinate, it’s actually a way to help you be more productive! By constantly saying “yes” to new projects and new responsibilities, you can find yourself overworked and spread thin. This kind of mentality in the workplace can lead to exhaustion and, by default, procrastination. 

Training yourself to say “no” to new tasks can be uncomfortable at first, but the payoff is apparent once you get used to it! Setting boundaries in the office can be tricky to start, but in the end, it can provide a healthier mindset both in and outside work. 

Implement Accountability 

pexels anna shvets 3727509 1

Accountability is the most critical way to combat procrastination in the workplace! By having someone else hold you to a certain standard or due date, you deny yourself the opportunity to put it off until another day. While you might have a coworker hold you accountable to due dates, sometimes it might take having a person of authority over you holding you accountable to make sure the task gets done.

Overall, no matter where you work or what you do, these are five easy ways to fight procrastination and focus on productivity. For more tips on time management, check out The Science of Personal Productivity or search through other Bigger Brains courses! 

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