1) Know that you are, in fact, procrastinating.

Here are some useful tips to know if you are procrastinating:

o Filling your day with low priority tasks, or staying “busy” but not getting important things done.

o Reading e-mails several times without replying or deciding what you’re going to do with them.

o Sitting down to start a high-priority task and almost immediately logging onto Facebook, or going off to make a cup of coffee, or responding to a text, or any number of other, not-so-important things.

o Regularly saying ‘yes’ to unimportant tasks that others ask you to do, and then filling your time with these instead of getting on with the important tasks already on your list.

o Waiting for the “right mood” or the “right time” to tackle the important task at hand.

2)  Revamp your “task list.”

As a business owner, chances are that your  “to-do” list is much longer than it should be for any given day. Prioritize your task list and know what you are capable of in a given day or week.  None of us have more than 24 hours in a day; knowing what MUST be done is vital to being productive.

Hourglass
“Likewise, if there is a task you hate, you can use a timer for that, too.”

3)  Set a timer.

If there are tasks that tend to be a time suck, or that you hate doing, give yourself a time limit to stop doing it. For example, if you need to be on social media for your business marketing, but you know you can get lost in the fabulous colors, ideas, and recipes on Pinterest,  set a time limit for yourself. I suggest 20 minutes. You can interact, post, pin, and save all sorts of things in 20 minutes. When the timer goes off, close what you are doing, Likewise, if there is a task you hate, you can use a timer for that, too. When I first started working out, I would tell myself 5 minutes is all I had to do. I would set my phone timer and I would climb on the blasted elliptical, and after 5 minutes I was allowed to get off, if I wanted to. This is a way of allowing your mind to make its peace with something that you would really rather not do.

4)  Change your environment (and clean your desk!) 

Many of us try to force ourselves to work in an environment that is impossible to focus in. In fact, if your office looks like this one or this one…
Cluttered Desk

you may want (NEED) to find another place to work. For most of us, we will work better in a place without distractions like TV, loud music, lots of people, and clutter. If you remove these obstacles, you will see your productivity rise.  Listen, creativity may arise from chaos, but a litter-strewn office probably isn’t helping you get stuff done!

5)  Be part of the 20%.

Some days are filled with emergencies and tasks that take up the majority of our time, but no matter how crazy your days get, make sure you carve out and ruthlessly protect just 90 minutes. Yes, 90 minutes, which is just 20% of an eight-hour day, for the most important tasks. “Even if you squander the remaining 80% of the day, you can still make great progress if you have spent 90 minutes on your goals or priorities,” says North Carolina–based productivity coach Kimberly Medlock.

6)  Beware Of These Productivity Killers:

Identifying distractions is the first step to avoiding them. Here are the top-five workplace attention destroyers, according to a 2015 survey by CareerBuilder:

1. Cell phones/texting
2. Internet browsing
3. Office gossip
4. Social media
5. Email

So to be the most productive you can be: set a timer, close Facebook (yes, really), and turn off your phone. I promise the world will not end without you if you do these things, and even better, you will be crossing things off your task list which will give you more time for these things later!
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Kristi Brown

Creativity Consultant, Sales & Marketing Strategist
/krēāˈtivədē/ /kuh n-suhl-tnt/
Noun: An energetic native Floridian with a passion for smart, authentic, imaginative, effective marketing strategies and original ideas.
Synonyms: Netflix Junkie, Cockapoo mom, crazy aunt, world traveler, foodie.
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