Image source: Flickr user Photo Extremist
Everyone is familiar with the ugly face of procrastination. It creeps up on all of us occasionally, and almost always at the worst possible times. But you’ve got a yearbook to work on, and deadlines to meet. So, how exactly do all those highly effective people make it happen? If you’re a yearbook advisor with a load of looming deadlines, read these 7 practical tips to ditch procrastination and get the job done.
1. PRIORITIZE HARDEST TASKS FIRST
One of the best pieces of advice I ever got in college was from a professor who told me, “Life is half fun, half really hard work. In order to enjoy the fun part, you have to tackle the hardest stuff first.”
I’ve carried that with me through every project I’ve taken on since, sometimes even when doing the dishes (no one likes washing those grimy pots) and it has helped immensely. There are just some things you’re not going to feel like doing and those are the things that are usually the hardest on the list. But research shows that people who spend more time on the hardest tasks increased productivity, skill level, and their energy levels. Start with the hardest task first and get them out of the way. Everything after that will be a breeze.Stay a step ahead of the procrastination bug and get that yearbook done.
Image source: Flickr user draxil
2. DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF
If you put as much effort into the small tasks as you do the big ones, not only are you going to run out of time, but you’re going to burn out fast. The little details of any project are enough to drive anyone crazy. Worry about what matters most and put the bulk of your time in those areas. With your leftover time, you can go back through everything with a fine-tooth comb.
3. ELIMINATE THE BIGGEST CULPRITS
In today’s world, there are distractions everywhere. Smartphones, emails, 24-hour news feeds, social media… All these things have made our lives better in many ways, but they can also make us procrastinate like crazy. It is reported that the average Facebook user loads their timeline ten times a day. Do yourself a favor and remove these distractions while you’re working on the yearbook and only check them during breaks or after the job is done entirely.
4. TELL OTHERS ABOUT YOUR PLANS
When other people know that we plan on doing something, it puts the pressure on us to get it done in that timeframe. Tell your coworkers, share your plans on Facebook, or – the most pressure of all- tell your boss that you will have something for the yearbook done within a certain timeframe. Even though it’s not a contract, you’ll be much more motivated and will push to get it done rather than wasting time procrastinating.
5. KEEP A DETAILED PLANNER AND TO-DO LISTS HANDY
Studies show that many of us often underestimate the amount of time that it will take for us to complete something. By keeping detailed lists, from the small tasks to the huge, you will be able to see much better exactly how much has to get done and how you need to space out your time accordingly. Set realistic goals for yourself and always – ALWAYS! – stick to your deadlines.
6. KEEP INSPIRATION HANDY
Inspiration helps keep us motivated more than almost anything else. The more motivated we are, the harder we work. So keep whatever inspires you around you in your workspace at all times. And if you’re running low on inspiration, read our tips on how to get it back.
7. STOP BEING SUCH A PERFECTIONIST
Type A personalities won’t want to hear this, but not every single thing has to be done to the utmost perfection. Of course you always want to aim to do the best job possible, but always within reason. If you’re losing too much time because each task is taking longer than it should, you’re not doing yourself any favors. And, studies show that being too much of a perfectionist can seriously hinder your ability to complete projects and make you procrastinate more.
Hopefully these tips will get your back on schedule and beating those deadlines in no time! How do you kick procrastination to the curb when it rears its ugly head? Tell us in the comments below!