The following is a guest post by A. Michelle Blakely, originally posted in Entrepreneur Connect. Great advice on breaking free from procrastination…now!

According to Real Simple magazine’s survey of 10,000 readers, the average daily to-do list has 5 to 9 tasks on it. Only 5% of the readers are productive for 3 hours during a 9-to-5 workday as a result of web-related distractions. According to the Procrastination Research Group, based on some figures, it is estimated that as much as 95% of the people are prone to procrastination. Amongst them, 20% of them are chronic procrastinators.

Procrastination is generally defined as avoided tasks or activities that need to be accomplished. Poor time management and procrastination can be a direct result of having unreachable goals, having to meet others’ standards, disorganization or the inability to handle the task. Below are ways to erase daily procrastination in your business.

1) Use the first hour or two of your day to work on things that require your attention or have deadlines. Accomplishing necessary tasks will invigorate you to do more.

2) Inspire yourself with insightful reading. Read at least one business article daily and take action. Try implementing a new idea. Don’t just read about it, but do.

3) Afternoon organization can make the next day easier. Take 15 minutes at the end of each day to think about tomorrow’s priorities. Knowing what needs to be done at the beginning of each day gives you focus and direction.

4) Break large projects or tasks into smaller activities and schedule them on your calendar as appointments. Do them in 30-minutes, 1-hour or 3-hour time blocks. You wouldn’t interrupt a scheduled appointment, so don’t allow unnecessary interruptions when working on your projects.

5) Don’t make lofty goals. Be reasonable in your expectations of yourself, your time and your commitments. Overextending yourself can cause you shut down. Be practical and realistic.

It’s always helpful to identify the source of your procrastination. Take some time to think about why you are putting things off and then try one of the above techniques. Procrastination can really be a struggle and challenge for small business owners, especially when they are simply overwhelmed and unsure of their next move. Take it one step at a time and be conscious of your actions AND inaction.

A.Michelle Blakeley is the Founder and CEO of Simplicity, Inc.; a progressive small business development firm. She manages her clients’ business expectations and prevents information overload via Micro Business Therapy™ and Micro Business Action Plans. She is featured in and the Financial Post as one of 30 Women Entrepreneurs to Follow on Twitter and the host of Simple Truths for Women Entrepreneurs on

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