Procrastination strikes again, and you have seriously lost your mo-jo. As a small business owner, wasted time is wasted money, and the tasks you are putting off don’t just disappear.

How can you jump start your productivity again?

1. Mindset.
You don’t actually have to feel like doing a task to just get it done. People seem to think they need to ‘feel like’ doing the filing, or calling their client, or writing their blog post to get started. But that’s a myth. Whether the task makes your heart sing or sigh just get up, walk over to your work station and do it.

2. Days for each task
Don’t try and do everything every day, have set days of the week scheduled in to complete each task. So each day you spend an hour (or whatever works for you) on completing one thing. E.g. Monday is invoicing and finance, Tuesday is marketing, Wednesday is paperwork and filing, Thursday is stock take and ordering – you can see how it can work for you.
By having a weekly plan, you don’t feel overwhelmed about completing that task on other days, as you know it’s going to get done later in the week. You also don’t waste time settling down to each task multiple times each week.

3. Timing
You can put up with anything for 5 minutes, can’t you? If there is a task that you have been putting off for ages, set a timer for 5 mins and just concentrate on tackling it for that long. Once you’ve started, it is often much easier to continue, so if you feel like it, after the timer goes off, just carry on. If you can’t force yourself too, then congratulate yourself on at least doing 5 mins, and then do 5 mins the following day, making tiny inroads is better than nothing.

4. Tick sheet and carrot
Be realistic about what motivates you, and find the right carrot. Do you like seeing a to-do list all ticked off? Would tracking progress electronically motivate you more? Would you hate to ruin a run of ticks on your daily goals by missing a day? I use the app Habits to tick off my daily run. If I’m unmotivated to run one day, then the fact my missed tick will spoil a run of 20 or more ticks soon pushes me out of the door. Do you need an incentive or reward?

5. Delegate it
If you loathe the task, and resent the time and effort it takes, then delegate it. Find someone else who will do it for you. You are unlikely to be doing your best work if you are not enjoying and engaging with it. And if you add up the time you spend both completing the task and the time you spend avoiding doing it, it can’t be a good use of your time and energies.

What strategies do you use to get yourself out of the procrastination rut?