Do you find it hard to start tasks, not to mention complete them on deadline? Studies show that roughly one in five people globally are textbook procrastinators, while a 2019 report found that 88% of the workforce tends to procrastinate for at least one hour a day.
Most of us do it to some extent. But this way of (not) working can be more insidious, with “procrastiworking”, aka procrastination’s cousin, rising in the workforce. More subtle than simply putting everything off until the last minute, it is characterised by priority dilution, when you delay the day’s most important tasks by allowing your attention to shift to less important jobs.
Answering all your emails as they come in, instead of setting aside time in the day to get through a tranche of them, is a great example. If you do this, you’ll never have time left to do deep focus work that requires no distractions and your full concentration.
If that sounds familiar, you’ll also know that getting back out of this sort of behaviour isn’t easy.
One thing that can help is setting up some accountability for yourself. If you’ve ever roped in a friend to keep you on track towards a fitness goal, you’ll know how beneficial it can be to articulate your intentions, and have someone encourage you to be accountable.
The workplace is also a good example of how you can ask a trusted colleague––aka a body double––to help to hold you accountable and on-track.
Body doubling can work for anyone, and it doesn’t have to be in person, either. Virtual body doubling sessions can be just as effective. Flow Club is one example, offering co-working sessions to help manage the downsides of working remotely.
“The idea is that simply having someone around you as you’re working improves your focus and motivation. This person, the ‘body double,’ can be a person or a group of people. They can be in-person or virtually on video chat or on the phone,” says Flow Club’s Ricky Yean, the company’s co-founder and CEO.
“They can even be strangers. If you’ve ever felt that you got more done at a cafe, a library, or at the office than if you were working at home by yourself, you’ve experienced a mild version of body doubling.”
Where you work can have an impact too. “While we did away with commutes, we also introduced new problems. Without commutes, workers lose the natural structure and divide between work and life, which means you’re working all the time, but not as intentionally.
“That’s the source of a lot of the burnout. We also lost the camaraderie at the office, which is a significant drag on motivation because we lost the sense that we are part of something bigger than ourselves,” Yean says.
If you’d like to work in an environment where your productivity and processes are prioritised, then you may be keen to check out a new opportunity. The City AM Job Board is a great place to start your search; discover three roles currently hiring below.
As a Barclays Data and Quantitative Senior Analyst – Treasury Funding and Investment, you will develop trading tools to support investment, hedging and liability management activities. You will have a critical role in overseeing IT and QA change work that impacts TFI. You will also be responsible for the production and analysis of financial data used in critical business processes. You’ll need an undergraduate or equivalent degree, and a degree in a numerical discipline, as well as proficient IT skills, and a willingness to learn. Get all the details here.
Zilch is looking for a Process Improvement Specialist to work collaboratively with multiple stakeholders to continually simplify, streamline, and improve processes and services. You will champion change at every opportunity, continuously looking to improve processes through automations, process mapping and recommendations, change management or knowledge transfer. To be considered for this job, you’ll need a track record of delivering business operational/process improvements such as driving operational excellence or business transformation within an organisation. See the full list of requirements.
In this Financial Reporting Manager role, you’ll manage a team through the end-to-end production of management accounts on a monthly basis. As a bridge between pure accounting values and commercial interpretation of financials, you’ll drive a sound working relationship between Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) and Financial Control (FC). Experience managing financial control activities to the highest standards within a finance function is required as is a recognised accounting qualification such as (ACA, ACCA, CIMA) or equivalent. Apply for this job now.