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Career Tips - April 28, 2022

Procrastination is Your Biggest Enemy, Here is How to Get Rid of It

Procrastination is one of the oldest and biggest enemy stopping most people from reaching their full potential.

Over the years, there have been several steps and solutions introduced for people to resolve this issue, but it remains a lingering problem.

Firstly, some people never accept or even know that they procrastinate. As a result, it has had long-term consequences that they experience throughout their lives.

However, some people may be fortunate enough to recognise their procrastination tendencies early on and take action. 

For emphasis, procrastination remains your biggest enemy if you don’t know or accept you need help.

Mostly, it’s a concealed fear that some people don’t want to admit, or it could simply be a lack of desire to accomplish something since it doesn’t motivate them.

Whatever the reason, if you are aware that you are a procrastinator, you should take action and “eat that frog”.

Why eat that frog?

According to American writer Mark Twain, if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you may go through the rest of the day knowing that it is probably the worst thing that will happen to you all day.

In actuality, your “frog” is the most crucial task you have. If you don’t do something about it, you’ll be the one who procrastinates the most.

So, if you have two significant tasks ahead of you, “eat that frog” means to start with the biggest, most difficult, and most important assignment first.

Discipline yourself to get started right away and to stick with it until the task is finished before moving on to something else.

Here are 5 steps to get rid of procrastination, or, better still, your biggest enemy.

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1. Do it in the morning 

Assume you’re an entrepreneur with five tasks to complete each day, four of which you enjoy and one you hate. Then the last task is something you dread.

It is completely natural to put the most difficult task at the bottom of the list. This stands to be “your frog.” 

As a result of the task’s difficulty, you leave it unfinished, unfulfilled, and incomplete in the following weeks. 

This could have an effect on you as an entrepreneur by leaving you feeling the same way due to the uncompleted task that remains in your mind.

According to a survey done by project management platform Redbooth, which included hundreds of thousands of users who plan and track their work on the site, it was deduced that on a typical day, approximately ten tasks from various people were completed at around 11 am. 

It was also noticed that after lunch, overall productivity dips a smidgeon, and after 4 pm, it plummets completely. 

As a result, the crux of productivity comes before 11 am, and you need to seize it.  

2. Avoid the distractions

We live in an age of a tremendous amount of digital distraction. We stay continuously bombarded by breaking news alerts, celebrity tweets, stock price notifications, emails from coworkers, and phone calls from friends.

According to research, an average person checks their phone 5 times every hour, that is every 12 minutes. This may not appear to be a major issue and a simple approach to relax and unwind.

Unfortunately, studies have shown that regular interruptions and distractions cause a ten-point decline in average IQ. A ten-point decline may not seem significant, but it is.

The enemy of the necessary cognitive processes in getting things done is digital distraction.

Checking your emails and reading the news may appear to be a more tempting way to begin your day. 

The truth is that you will still end up doing it at a point later on in your day. Your frog is the one that is really in danger here.

To avoid the odd flashes of notifications that may appear, set your phone to silent and place it face down. 

Remind everyone around you that you will be dealing with your daily frog and that they should leave you in peace for a while.

Take a seat and direct all of your mental energy toward your daily frog. When you’re done, the news headlines will still be there.

3. Create a system to achieve your frog

After you’ve identified your frog, you’ll need to devise a strategy for dealing with it. 

You can choose a task that you can complete in less than four hours. But if the task would take longer than that, you can split it down into smaller chunks and complete it day by day.

The frog’s job, for example, could be to establish and maintain relationships with five new organisations, ultimately resulting in your product being used in their marketing campaign.

Firstly, make a list of 20 firms that you believe will benefit greatly from your offering. Then prepare an introductory call or email to persuade one of these companies to choose you.

The tasks become far more manageable when you break your frogs into smaller bits. As a result, every day brings a new frog and another step closer to your ultimate aim.

Eating your frog before noon will give you a huge sense of accomplishment and a sense of immediate victory, thus putting you on track to complete the more fun tasks for the rest of the day.

If you’re going to eat two frogs. It’s best to start with the biggest one. Take on the biggest frog first thing in the morning, with a clear brain and Tony Elumelu-like determination.

4. Make it a habit 

Success is not achieved in a single day but rather through a series of successful days. The importance of developing and maintaining a habit is ingrained in the thoughts of successful entrepreneurs.

The importance of habit cannot be overstated. Set yourself the challenge of eating a frog every day for a week. Then, at the end of week one, take a retrospection in knowing what you have accomplished, how you feel, and know if you are closer to accomplishing your goal.

The endorphins released by your brain after doing this on a regular basis will urge you to make it a more frequent daily habit. 

You will be hungry for more after two weeks and unstoppable after three weeks.

5. Give yourself a pat on the back after an achievement

Apart from the sense of achievement that comes with successfully eating many frogs, remember to treat yourself.

You can use the time off to go to a concert you want to go to or get a massage.

Place a prize or a reward for yourself on the amount of frogs you eat, for example, if you eat 15 frogs without missing one for the next three weeks, you will get to binge-watch a seasonal movie.

Not only will you fully earn it, but you won’t feel guilty when you do any leisure activity like playing a video game. 

By following these steps, you will be getting rid of procrastination or your biggest enemy as the case may be.

However, it still comes down to discipline, an active effort to improve at work, and a strong desire to change your life. 

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