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Outsmart Procrastination Using These 5 Simple Brain Tips

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“Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.”  

Do you recognize this adage from none other than American founding father, Ben Franklin? 

Author Mark Twain put a different spin on it: “Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well.” 

But Franklin had the final say: “You may delay, but time will not.” 

Overcoming procrastination is a matter of outsmarting your own distractible mind. Start by: 

1. Recognizing that you’re a procrastinator. 

You may be procrastinating if you: 

  • Fill your day with low-priority tasks. 
  • Leave an item on your to-do list for a long time, even though it’s essential. 
  • Fill your day with unimportant tasks that others ask you to help with instead of tackling the high-priority items on your own checklist. 

2. Figuring out why you procrastinate. 

Before you can cure yourself of procrastination, you need to determine why you’re doing it in the first place. Do any of these scenarios sound familiar? 

  • You avoid a task because you find it boring or unpleasant. 
  • You’re disorganized. 
  • You have doubts about your ability to complete a task successfully. 
  • You don’t fear failure; rather, you fear success. You feel that succeeding will result in your being swamped with even more work. 

3. Prioritizing your most dreaded tasks. 

Oh, yuck. Seriously?! Yup. Whatever item on your to-do list feels the most tempting to procrastinate, block off time on you calendar to get it done ASAP. 

  • Best case scenario: You’ll check it off your list in a timely, efficient fashion – even if it’s no fun while you’re doing it. But otherwise, if you hit “ignore” when your reminder to do it pops up, think about the additional time you’re wasting moving appointments around and rescheduling it. Why not just get it over with? 

4. Knowing when your peak time is and taking advantage of it. 

Are you a morning person or someone who hits their stride only after lunch? Of course, you have to learn to work effectively throughout the day. But save your peak time for high-priority projects. 

5. Logging out of social media. 

Social media is a huge time-eater. So instead of clicking the “keep me logged in” box on social platforms, log out, so you need to input your password again to resume surfing. This extra step can be enough to give you pause and consider whether you really have time to get pulled back in. Ideally, set designated times to log on – and then set time limits. 

6. Becoming more efficient at project management. 

Become a master of scheduling and project planning. Try one of the numerous apps designed to help you be more organized, such as Trello or Toggl. 

  • If you delay projects because they feel overwhelming, break them down into smaller, more manageable chunks. Organize them into smaller tasks and focus on starting, rather than finishing them. The rest will follow. 

Find Career Success with Search Wizards 

The Search Wizards team has lots of additional tricks up our sleeves to help you overcome procrastination and whatever other hurdles stand in the way of your career success in the talent acquisition field. Read our related posts or contact us today to learn more. 



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