I don't want to brag, but procrastination is something I've never struggled with. Now, I wasn't the kid in school who had her paper written before the assignment was handed out, but I never waited until the last minute, either. These days, with my own business to run, not much has changed in that respect. I often turn around completed photos WAY before my clients expect them, and you can bet I'm not slow about emailing anyone back. All this to say that I'm good at getting things done on time, and now I want to share some of my secrets with you. Let's get right to it!
TURN OFF YOUR DAMN PHONE
I mean it. Right this second, before you read any further. In my opinion, your phone's notifications are horrible siren calls that lure your business to its death. I know it's almost impossible to ignore your need to catch up on IG Live videos or (heaven forbid) spend upwards of an hour on Bored Panda, so here's what you should do: set some time to get your work done, then turn off your phone. Only turn it on again when your project is finished or if it's time for a (pre-designated) break. Better yet, hand it off to a friend to keep you honest.
WORK WHEN YOU'RE IN THE MOOD FOR IT
That sounds kinda weird, doesn't it? You should just hustle, hustle, hustle all the livelong day, right? Wrong. I understand that some tasks need to be completed under a certain deadline, but for those that don't, wait until you're in a good headspace. Take this blog post, for instance. Instead of working on it when I'm in a bad mood, or when I'm distracted, or when I just don't feel like it, I'm doing it now, when I feel inspired to write. Think about it: do you really produce GREAT work when you're not feeling it? I'm willing to bet that most of the time, the answer is no. Your best work usually gets done when you're feeling perky and excited to reach out to clients or design a new logo or whatever it is that you do.
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
If you're not practicing some measure of self-care on a regular basis, how on earth are you going to create anything worth looking at? Good work demands that you feel energized and sharp, not foggy and tired. And it's really easy to take care of yourself. Eat well and exercise frequently. Take your vitamins. Meditate. I mean that. Take five minutes every morning and breathe deeply before you get into the thick of things. Then you can jump into that huge spreadsheet or start writing that article that's due today.
SET REAL, MANAGEABLE GOALS
When you're faced with a monumental project, it's so easy to get overwhelmed and tell yourself you need a coffee break before you get to it. And that coffee break turns into a long walk with your pup. And before you know it, you're out with your friends. And then it's next week. Big tasks are hard to handle, but they're not impossible. The best way to tackle them is to break them into tiny pieces and knock those out one at a time. Say you're working on templates to automate your emails. You gotta create ones to welcome new subscribers, ones to reach recalcitrant clients, ones to respond to inquiries. You're not going to automate everything in one day, so take it one step at a time. Maybe design one template a day, or do a few but take nice breaks in between. Just break it down and you'll get it done before ya know it.