I may be the procrastination queen. It’s probably what gives me all the authority I need to write about this topic.
I don’t know about you, but when I have tons of tasks to do - and that is almost every day - I tend not even to get started. I’ve been fighting procrastination for years, and just recently I’ve been able to start changing this state of being.
The rationale behind it is pretty simple. My mind gets bored just to think about the massive tedious actions I have to start doing. The pandemic has turned my procrastination trait worst because days are repetitive. Anxiety is the other component that when added to procrastination, making everything else more challenging. I have tried many techniques to stop procrastination, and the worst of them was the one that says to start with the most boring task. Seriously? I don’t know how that works for anyone!!
What works for me is pretty simple. I keep 3 goals a day. I borrowed that from the high-performance coach Brendon Burchard. I think I listened to some of his podcasts last year and now things are really starting to make sense to me.
My other hack is again simple. I have a planner on my desk, a weekly one. Every Sunday evening or Monday morning, I sit for 15 minutes and write down 3 daily goals. I’m also learning to forgive myself for starting a task and not necessarily consider it 100% done. Instead, I show my self-appreciation for starting it and setting another time to finish it.
This technique has literally saved me from burning out at least once already in 2021. The few actions I’m doing every day are somehow the motivation I need to keep it going. I also use Trello, and as many boards I need for breaking down my goals into actions. It’s pretty simple to use it, and the checklist feature is fantastic. I feel an enormous pleasure in crossing big “Xs” when the goal is complete. This feeling is such a great one that it is precisely what motivates me in moving on to the next goal. Then I realize the week is over and I have completed as many goals as I needed.
Are you waiting for motivation?
Now let’s get into another perspective. Let’s say you’re job seeking right now. Somehow you feel paralysed because of the pandemic. What you see and hear in the surroundings are not great news all time. It’s even worst if you’ve been applying to positions and being rejected. The general feeling is overwhelming, which stops you from taking action.
According to Dr David Burns in the book Feeling Good:
“...highly productive people know that ACTION comes first, followed by motivation. In other words, you have to get started on some task before you’ll feel motivated. You’re not entitled to feel motivated until you’ve start accomplishing something! Waiting for motivation is the trap that keeps your procrastination alive and prospering.”
Tip: listen to this episode form Dr Burns: https://feelinggood.com/2018/02/12/075-the-second-simple-way-to-boost-your-happiness-do-something-youve-been-putting-off/
That’s it, right? Taking action when job seeking in the pandemic is the only choice that will get you to your next job.
Answer Some Questions:
- Is there someone in your thoughts that you could reach out about a job you’ve applied?
- Have you followed up with recruiters after job interviews?
- Have you listed companies you want to work for?
If you said yes to at least one of them, you know already what your next step is. Take action and go for it. Call that person or write that message or make that list.
It can be the case you’re delaying actions because you think they are not worthy or because of whatever negative thought that may have crossed your mind. There is a useful technique for moving on.
How to Tackle Boring Tasks
The Pomodoro Technique is an excellent framework for that. You will concentrate on a specific text for a pre-determined amount of time - WITHOUT interruption. No LinkedIn, no Instagram, no Facebook, no Twitter, no Pinterest, no Clubhouse. Nothing. Just you, the task and the focus on getting it done.
Here is how it works:
1. Pick your task.
2. Focus 50 minutes for doing the task and then give yourself a 10-minute break.
3. Decide on a time. Pick the hours when you tend to be most alert.
5. Be active during the breaks. Bring back that energy and get moving.
6. Set a timer and go!
I hope you feel energized this Monday and start taking action to whatever task you’ve been delaying. Remember, motivation comes after action and not the other way round.
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