Do you ever find yourself wishing you could “just” …

  • Work out how to win over a key decision-maker?
  • Sort out the design of a programme or project plan so it can be delivered on time and on budget?
  • Find the inspiration and the words for your next blog post / newsletter / social media campaign?

 If only Nike’s “Just Do It” could be applied to every challenge!

But we’re human, and being human means we get stuck. Sometimes it’s easier to knock a few small challenges off the To Do list and convince ourselves we have been very productive, clean every surface in the office “so that it is clear, no distractions” or check-in with a client or a colleague to get an update on how a key project is going. None of which gets the thing you really need to focus on any further forward.

Procrastination. Everybody knows what it is – but what to DO about it?

Just Do It becomes much easier when you change your environment

Change your environment, and you change your energy and your focus. For me, when I want to create a programme, a proposal or a post for my website / social media (anything beginning with a “p”, apparently) I take my laptop out of the office and sit somewhere else. My dining table is ideal, as I can spread out any notes / resources and really focus on what I want to achieve. Sometimes, like J.K. Rowling I take my kit to a deli or a coffee shop (well, it worked pretty well for her!). Or in the summer months I might take pen and paper into Roundhay Park for a brainstorming session in the open air.

Today, I’m staying with a friend and we are both working during the day before we go out tonight. It has been a really productive day so far because:

  1. I am clear about what I want to get done
  2. I have specific resources here with me relating to those tasks
  3. There’s a deadline!

All 3 of those conditions are often in place when I am in my office, and somehow less gets done. The key is the change of environment. Somehow I feel both free and focused. Free from distraction, and focused on the task in hand. So next time you need to get unstuck, stop procrastinating and come up with creative solutions – get up and go somewhere else!

The other benefit is that by taking control of the situation you are increasing your resilience – your ability to bounce back from the “stuckness” of procrastination. Knowing that you can always do this also boosts your confidence because you are making a choice about how YOU want to manage yourself to achieve the results you are seeking.

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