7 Sure-Fire Ways To Stop Procrastination In Its Tracks
Written by Lisa Montanaro | March 8, 2012

By Guest Blogger,  Nadine Nicholson


According to Wikipedia, this is “a mechanism for coping with the anxiety associated with starting or completing any task or decision.”

Ouch. That hurt.

Let me tell you a personal story.

Recently, my accountant emailed my year-end corporate taxes. I made a task to review the documents. Two weeks later I still hadn’t reviewed them. I delayed the task at least three times.

My company is incorporated and getting my taxes done on time is not a nice-to-have.

I allowed myself to get distracted by other “more interesting” tasks and went against the time system that usually works so well for me. There’s a big difference in delaying versus CHOOSING to do something in the future.

I delayed. Period.

One day I thought to myself, enough is enough. Just review the taxes, will you already! It took me maybe 30 minutes. Easy, easy, easy.

I spent way too much energy avoiding this task. I let it drive me, not the other way around.

The moment I stepped into the driver’s seat and took charge was the moment it became easy. Not only that, it also freed my energy to focus on other high-priority business items.

My mindset completely shifted.

Do you relate? I’m willing to bet you’ve experienced something similar.

Procrastination is like having guilt. Both are wasteful ways to spend energy.

So what can you do about it?

  1. The most important thing is to have buffer time set aside in your calendar to do your admin-type tasks. Check out my article to learn about a time system custom-made for entrepreneurs. Use your buffer time to get whatever you need done that will allow you to focus on your top performance days.
  2. Before shutting down your computer for the day, identify the top three mission critical things you must accomplish the next day. Try not to pick more than three. Don’t leave it for the next day. Do it before you walk away from your desk. It will take one minute.
  3. Design a morning practice ritual to warm yourself up in the morning. This could include yoga, meditation, walking, stretching, etc. Do the same thing every day, whether you are at home or on the road.
  4. Have a healthy breakfast within one hour of waking up. Your body’s energy requirements peak during the first hour you’re awake so make sure you give it good fuel. Control your physical energy throughout the day. Ensure you’re eating to get enough nutrition to provide energy for the next two to three hours. Don’t wait longer than three hours between meals. Your brain needs to be fed for you to think clearly and make good decisions.
  5. Use a tool like Microsoft Outlook tasks to manage your task list, assign due dates and estimate how much time they will take.
  6. Do your mission critical things when you have the most energy in the day. For most people it’s around 9 am or 10 am.
  7. Minimize your email while you’re working on your critical tasks so you’re not distracted each time someone sends you a note. Even better, shut your email off completely and choose two times each day to check it. If people really need you, they’ll find you or call your cell phone.

How do you stay focused on the key tasks in your business? Share a comment below.

Nadine Nicholson is a business consultant, coach, speaker, trainer and author for solopreneurs who survive… and thrive! Using her D.R.I.V.E. to Thrive Business Blueprint™, Nadine helps high-achieving solo business owners unleash and leverage leadership skills to drive business growth and honour personal priorities at the same time. She believes building a business is a spiritual journey of personal leadership and inner bravado. It’s about doing what you’re meant to do and not settling for anything less. Visit Nadine’s free resources at: http://nadinenicholson.com/free-stuff/.  

Meet the Author

Helping others be the best versions of themselves gets me jazzed!

I’ve worn many hats in my lifetime—often at the same time—while enjoying fulfilling careers. I’ve been a performer, teacher, sign language instructor, lawyer, career counselor, law professor, coach, consultant, mediator, entrepreneur, speaker, trainer, writer, and author. 

I’m an eternal optimist and life-long learner, constantly researching ways to improve personal and professional effectiveness. And it brings me great joy to then pass on the results of that persistent curiosity to my clients and audiences. 

Of all the career hats I’ve been privileged to wear, my favorite is owner of this business since 2002. Why? Because it provides me the opportunity to work with wonderful organizational and individual clients. On any given day, I get to connect deeply with audiences, work with dedicated teams, improve workplaces, watch clients have a-ha moments, and know I’ve made a difference in their lives and careers. And that is very satisfying.