I hate it when someone hits me side of the head to get my attention. BUT, it does work ya know. All week I’ve been procrastinating on this week’s post. Lo and behold I run across Ruth Carter’s post “Beat Back Procrastination” on Attorney at Work this morning. It got my attention.
Do you procrastinate when it comes to developing business? It’s easy to do, especially with client deadlines, billable hour requirements, etc. getting in the way.
Carter has 5 possible solutions for you:
- Set short time frames for tasks. Called the Pomodoro technique, you work on specific tasks in short blocks of time – say 15-30 minutes (she suggests 25) without allowing ANY interruptions by phone, visitors, email and so forth. Tasks might include making that call to a client or referral source, or strategizing on your next move relating to your action plan, and the like. (Think: hey, it’s just a few minutes and it will be over soon);
- Change your scenery. Banish yourself to the library (your firm still has one, right?) or the public library or some other reasonably quiet place (no you can’t count the time it takes to get there as part of your task time!);
- Punish yourself. Don’t let yourself hit the bed until you’ve completed your work. (Problem with that is that my home office is one of my favorite places to sleep. Feet up on the desk isn’t the most comfortable position, but I’m capable of dropping right off);
- Reward yourself. Promise to treat yourself to something right after the task is done. Carter’s example of putting a “bucket of ice with a high-quality beer” within eyesight is one way. (personally, I prefer a bottle of sauvignon blanc); and
- Clean up your surroundings/small items. Sometimes a messy office is a distraction, or your “To Do” is just too long. (actually, doing simple, easy tasks first vs. the high priority work sometimes helps me to get motivated for the important stuff).
See if there isn’t something here to help you stop procrastinating. Or, you could have someone use the old 2×4 method.