No one is immune to procrastination. Even people who are diligent about getting things done are sometimes struck with it. In today’s world, it’s easier than ever to get distracted, and procrastinate on the things we need to do. Too much procrastination, and our list of responsibilities grows and grows, until we find ourselves buried and behind.
Thankfully, there are plenty of tips and tricks that you can use to beat procrastination for once and for all. Use the eight tips in this article to get back on track and to increase your productivity by decreasing how often you put things off.
1. Know Why You Are Procrastinating
Want to stop procrastinating? Figure out why you are doing it in the first place. Sometimes, we just get distracted with other things. But, sometimes there could be a deeper meaning behind our procrastination when it comes to certain activities. Don’t always assume procrastination is a bad thing. In fact, it could be your mind or body trying to get your attention. Are you hungry? Tired? Frustrated? Think about why you are putting something off. Once you get to the bottom of it, you can try to rectify the issue, and you will be less likely to keep putting off your duties.
2. Get Started Right Away
If you start something right when you are presented with it, you are far more likely to finish it. The first step is usually the hardest to take. For example, if you have a report to write for work, start out by immediately writing the first paragraph. Don’t give yourself the option of putting it off. You might be surprised how quickly that single paragraph turns into the entire report!
Make a commitment to dive right into something right when you get it and take that first step as quickly as possible. The more you follow this practice, the easier it will be to accomplish things.
3. Cut it Into Pieces
One of the biggest reasons people procrastinate is because they feel overwhelmed by the task at hand. A big project or goal can seem daunting, so we avoid even getting started. So, before you dive into the project, cut it into smaller, more manageable parts. Set smaller goals for yourself and determine what you can get done in a certain amount of time. When pieces of a big project are cut down to size, it is far less intimidating.
4. Create the Perfect Environment
In order to be productive, you should be in a place that makes you feel productive. Create an environment or space to work in that doesn’t distract you. For example, it is probably not a good idea to sit down in a room with a TV or music playing. Distractions are the enemy when it comes to accomplishing your tasks. Determine what motivates you to get things done and surround yourself in a space that evokes those feelings.
You can also choose to change your scenery if need be! If you have been sitting in one place for too long, it can start to feel uninspiring and maybe bore you into procrastination. Hit the ‘reset button’ as often as necessary to keep yourself motivated by your surroundings.
5. Give Yourself Reminders
If you are having trouble staying on track with your tasks, set yourself reminders to do so. You can set up alarms and reminders in your phone. They can go off after a designated amount of time, reminding you to either get started on a certain project, or to keep working on it. Sometimes, these little reminders can give us the push we need to keep going. A word of warning, though; don’t get too distracted by your phone in setting reminders or acknowledging them!
6. Wake Up Early
Not a morning person? If you struggle with procrastinating, it might be time to switch up your routine! By waking up early in the morning, you can give yourself a bit of extra time to get some work done. Why is morning so important? It is quiet and still, and there are fewer distractions all around. This can be the perfect setting so that you can give complete focus on what you need to get done.
Of course, one of the keys to getting up early is going to sleep early! Don’t expect to be productive in the early morning if you haven’t gotten enough sleep. Develop a nighttime routine that allows you at least 7-8 hours of sleep so you can wake up feeling refreshed and ready to work.
7. Create a List
Make yourself a task list each day of the things you need to get done. It’s easy to procrastinate when you don’t know where to get started or you are unsure of all the things you should get done. By creating a list either the night before or in the early morning, you will know what needs to get accomplished for the day. This can actually be a great motivational tool, too. Crossing items off your list can be a very rewarding feeling!
8. Set a Timer
Some people work better if they know they have some kind of reward waiting for them. That reward can be something as simple as 10 minutes of ‘free time.’ So, if you need an incentive to get things done, set yourself a timer. A good place to start is to set a timer for 25-30 minutes and designate that time strictly to the work you need to get done.
When the timer goes off, you can give yourself 5-10 minutes to do anything you would like: Check your email, browse social networks, make a phone call, etc. Once that time is up, reset the timer for your next block of work time. Small rewards can add up and can make it easier to keep going.
Beat Procrastination Once and For All
I hope this article has given you a few ideas on how you can kick procrastination to the curb! It’s easy to get distracted from time to time. But, once you know the techniques on how to stay motivated and not put things off, you’ll be amazed at how much you can actually accomplish in a day!