person has accomplished goal

I’ve got to be real with you: running a company can be hard work. Especially when the parent company oversees multiple branches, spanning across industries. I’m sure you’ve heard it before — but procrastination is a recipe for hours of scrambling and exhaustion. Both employees and CEOs alike wouldn’t want to get sucked into that black hole. That’s why I’ve spent years learning ways to increase my own personal productivity since starting the High Street Group. Habits like streamlining business practices — a hack that increases productivity and makes tasks simpler for the team — have helped us improve productivity as a whole.

These are the types of things that matter if you’re interested in improving your workplace culture. Stressed, overworked employees (or boss) can lead to toxicity in the workplace environment. Take it from me.

That said, finding ways to boost your personal productivity while motivating your team to be their best as well is a recipe for success. These four simple steps and always help me slay procrastination and increase my productivity:

1. Cut Out Distractions

The biggest productivity thieves come in small packages. That fifteen minutes you spend at the water cooler talking to Janet really does add up in the long run. While it’s normal — and important — to communicate with the team and build community within the office, personal accountability is important as well. If you know you’re easily distracted by scrolling through your phone or listening to a podcast while working, it’s important to make the effort and cut these distractions from your workday. When you’re fully focused on the tasks at hand, then you’ll have plenty of free time for the fun stuff. And you’ll enjoy work more when you don’t feel rushed, speaking from experience.

2. Track Your Time

Procrastination isn’t always about avoiding work; sometimes you just lose track of time. I used to struggle with this, even in my personal life. I think we’ve all been there: it’s your day off and, instead of tackling that big pile of laundry and taking out the rubbish, you’ve lost hours to Netflix. Before you know it, the sun is setting and you have no idea where the day went.

Having some insight into where your time is being spent can go a long way towards making better decisions. Grab a piece of paper, and write out your day in thirty-minute blocks as it goes on. Don’t worry about changing anything. Just try to get the big picture of where all your time is going. Being self-aware will force you to deal with it eventually. Even if this isn’t something you’d like to do long-term, try it out for a week. Seeing where you’re spending your time can be extremely eye-opening and will help you know what tasks you need to delegate more time for and which need to be placed on the back-burner.

3. Work Smarter

What if you could get away with working less and still achieve your goals in life? Talk about work-life balance! The truth is, most people can probably get away with this if they spend a little bit of their free-time thinking about efficiency. Try categorizing your daily tasks in order of their importance. Start on the most important things you need to do and work your way down the list. Remember to always look for new ways to get the job done quickly and get more out of your personal investment.

4. Focus On Small Improvements

Chances are, you’re not going to become a superhuman overnight. Try not to put so much pressure on yourself to perform better. Set an easy goal that you know you can handle, and take small steps to be more productive. You could dedicate a 30-minute chunk to high-intensity work, and treat the rest of your day like normal. New habits take time to build, so don’t overwhelm yourself with crazy expectations.

In the End, Consistency Conquers All

No matter what methods you take to slay your procrastination and increase productivity, it all comes down to sticking with a plan. Get rid of as many distractions as you can, and get a good feel for where your time goes. Grinding for hours isn’t necessarily the best route, so avoid romanticizing hard work. Always be on the lookout for better ways to get the results you want. Taking one step at a time in the right direction is the key to success. Just keep taking those little steps, and you’ll get where you want to be.