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Do you find yourself putting off menial tasks and only getting round to them once the deadline has passed? 

Or perhaps you put off important tasks and just concentrate on the smaller ones that are easier to tick off the list? 

Procrastination: Bad habit? Laziness? Or something more innate?


Each and every one of us can find ourselves procrastinating, both in the office and for personal tasks. We can often feel that we are wasting time or being lazy, when in fact there are more psychological reasons behind our hesitancy to jump onto that next task. 

In official terms, procrastination is the act of delaying or postponing a task, and more often than not, the reasons for doing so can fall into two categories. Either the task in hand is so menial you are aware of the boredom that may come with it, or two, there’s a more psychologically deep-rooted issue - the subconscious fear of failure.


How can we stop ourselves procrastinating?

Let’s explore a few top tips on how we can eliminate - or control - our urges to procrastinate and simply... Get. Stuff. Done. 



1.Lists are procrastination’s kryptonite 

Break the task down into bite size chunks and get it all into a ‘to-do list’. Having everything written down in front of you is by far one of the easiest ways to make headway. Make sure you cross actions off as you go. The progress will spur you on, we promise!


2.Focus, focus, focus

To get yourself in the zone, get rid of all distractions. Switch your phone on silent, stop email notifications, in fact remove yourself from the room if other people are talking. If you have an important task that you need to get sorted, it’s vital you give it your full focus, otherwise it’s too easy to quickly reply to that email that just pinged through, or suddenly offer yourself up for making that long-promised round of coffees. 


3.Scratch beneath the surface

Understanding why you are putting off a specific task can be helpful in rationalising and making a plan. Are you worried about how a potentially difficult conversation with a colleague is going to turn out? Is there a high expectation from the Board on what the next annual year’s budget will look like? Fill in the sentence “I’m avoiding this task because…” and see what answers you come up with. Often exploring and identifying these fears can help you understand what’s holding you back.


4.Set a time frame

Judge your mood. Perhaps you could put your headphones on with classical music or your favourite motivational song playing and allow yourself a ‘power hour’ of activity. Make sure you follow this with a period of rest to balance out the performance of your brain and body.

Or if you are having a particularly taxing day, abide by the ‘five minute rule’ and just work for five minutes on one particular task. Research shows that once you start something, you’re much more likely to finish it. This is down to the Zeigarnik effect, which states that unfinished tasks are more likely to get stuck in your memory. Despite being short, five minutes can still make a difference and help push projects forward. 


5.Have fun with it - reward yourself

Don’t forget to have fun! Rewards are motivational. Whether that’s a delicious dinner out, a short trip away, or even just a fancy coffee at lunchtime, research shows that the brain responds to reward stimulus, so this can be a good way to create positive habits. 


The care sector has been fraught with issues in the past year. Leaders are currently faced with staffing issues due to COVID-19 vaccines, and with occupancy levels back on the rise post the height of the pandemic, the staff : resident ratio could soon be put out of kilter. With no increases in Government funding due and predictions of a new wave of COVID-19, this is set to become a tough quarter for the care sector. 

Now, more than ever, there will be a need to focus and motivate. 

Hopefully with the tips above, if you find yourself procrastinating over a task, you’ll be able to take control to ensure you and your teams deliver on your business goals. 


Featherbank Selection are a leading executive search agency helping care providers build exceptional leadership teams. If you are a Senior Manager or Director in the care sector and would like to keep in touch with regards to potential opportunities for yourself or if you are representing an organisation who would like to discuss how we can help, get in touch.

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