Good Work Habits – or How to Avoid The Procrastination Bug

Good work habits are essential with today’s hectic job demands in order to avoid the procrastination bug – you know, that tendency to say “I’ll do it later”.

good work habitsPeople with good work habits tend to be more successful in their careers than poorly organized individuals, and they tend to have more time to focus on their personal life. Good work habits are more important than ever because of today’s emphasis on productivity and quality.

The procrastination “bug” is the leading cause of poor productivity and self-sabotage. People procrastinate for many reasons, including their perception that a task is unpleasant, is overwhelming, or may lead to negative consequences. Fear of success can also lead to procrastination. Awareness of procrastination can lead to its control.

Seven techniques for reducing the procrastination bug are:

  1. Calculate the cost of procrastination – Think about what could happen if you delay the start of a project or task. For example what could possibly happen if you wait until the last minute to submit your payroll?
  2. Counterattacking the burdensome task – Don’t dwell on the complexities of your job, consider them as challenges. Deal with the task. You are going to have to deal with the task sooner or later.
  3. Jump-starting yourself by creating a list of priorities and setting time limits for tasks.
  4. Pecking away at an overwhelming task will make the task seem less of a chore.
  5. Motivating yourself with rewards and punishments. Postponing or delaying tasks at work can be self-sabotage so be aware of the consequences and try to be more positive.
  6. Making a commitment to other people.
  7. Expressing a more positive attitude about your intentions.

Developing good work habits and time management practices often start with developing proper attitudes toward work and time. Seven such attitudes and values are:

  1. Develop a mission, goals, and a strong work ethic that provide you with a sense of direction that is needed to accomplish quality work in the shortest amount of time possible.
  2. Value good attendance and punctuality, do so can get you off to a good start and can be a positive asset on your part.
  3. Value your time and the time of others by planning your activities and concentrating on one key task at a time. Complete tasks which are top priorities first instead of focusing on the least important ones.
  4. Value neatness, orderliness, and speed by cleaning up and getting organized. This will allow you to work faster because it will be easy to find things when your workspace is clean.
  5. Work smarter, not harder by managing your time well. Separate activities into time wasters and those that maximize the use of your time. Find ways to automate time-consuming tasks.
  6. Become self-employed psychologically by thinking of yourself as your own boss. You want to make thing happen in the business, do good quality work and receive a bigger income from it.
  7. Play the inner game of working, you know what your purpose is at work and do your job with your own best desires and to the best of your ability.
  8. Appreciate the importance of rest and relaxation, good work habits are not just about working. Our body and our minds need a break from all of the tasks that we are doing. Taking a short break will allow you to think more clearly.

Eleven skills and techniques to help you become more productive are

  1. cleaning up and getting organized
  2. planning your activities
  3. getting off to a good start
  4. making good use of office technology
  5. concentrating on one key task at a time
  6. streamlining your work and emphasizing important tasks
  7. working at a steady pace
  8. creating some quiet, uninterrupted time
  9. making use of bits of time
  10. staying in control of paperwork, the in-basket, and e-mail
  11. using multitasking for routine tasks.

Eight suggestions for overcoming time wasting are

  1. Minimizing day dreaming, don’t get lost in memories of the family picnic over the weekend.
  2. Prepare a time log, set time limits for tasks and evaluate your use of time. This will help you evaluate if you have done productive tasks or timewasting activities.
  3. Avoid being a computer goof-off or cyber loafer by making good use of office technology and avoid using them for personal use.
  4. Keep track of important names, places, and things to avoid unnecessary and time consuming recalls and trackbacks.
  5. Setting a time limit for certain tasks and projects at the end of the project compare your planned time to your actual time.  If the task took longer than the time you allotted try to figure out why the task took longer.
  6. Schedule similar tasks together and develop a multitasking routine. Routine tasks are simple tasks which you know that you will be doing all the time.
  7. Bounce quickly from task to task as you check off the list of tasks for the day. It is easier to move from one accomplished task to the next thing to do. The quicker the transition, the more tasks you will complete.
  8. Be decisive and finish things. Being decisive would mean having the ability to make firm decisions with speed and clarity.

Sure it’s fairly easy to write an article about how to develop good work habits and avoid the procrastination bug or I’ll do it later syndrome – but it isn’t easy to implement it. This is something that I struggle with every day.

Each morning when I go to work I have a plan and a list of things that I need to accomplish in order to maintain and run our business, from paying bills to creating updated product demo’s or support articles. But once the phone starts ringing my priority becomes the person on the other end!

What are your biggest challenges on a daily basis?