Reading this article will cost you three minutes which you could also spend working. Interested? Then you’re most definitely the type of person who could use these tips against procrastination.
You know how it goes. You have work to do, but all kinds of other things seem to pop up. Instead of just doing the job, you get sidetracked by little things and procrastination is the result.
It’s not satisfying to look back at your day and come to the conclusion that you wasted your time on crap. However, there are things you can do to get yourself going. It’s a battle, but you can win. Here are ten tips for you to sucker punch your procrastination in the gut and get stuff done.
1 Be aware of procrastination
Not everyone even notices he or she is procrastinating. When you become aware of something, you can work on it. That is the first step.
2 Remove distractions
Damn that smartphone. All your friends and the entire internet in the palm of your hand. Put the device out of reach, as far away as possible, to lessen the temptation to check it. Also, turn off every single notification. Try to remove all other things in your vicinity that might distract you.
Decide what your ‘non-negotionables’ are for the day. If that is one particular task, write it down on a post-it or something and put it in your field of vision. When you finished the non-negotinables, you’ll see the threshold for other tasks has become a lot lower.
4 Five minute start
Take five minutes to actually start with your task. Stay focused those five whole minutes and the likelyhood of your brain committing to completing it is higher. Sometimes it’s your brain that needs a kickstart. Five minutes of concentration can do the trick.
5 Cut it in pieces
One big ass cake is not easy to eat. If you cut it into pieces and finish one slice at a time, you can still finish the cake. This sucks as dietary advice, but it’s a great way to manage large and complicated tasks. Try cutting up the task in smaller bits. Multiple small bits make a whole. And if not, at least you managed to finish a part of it.
6 Be realistic
It can be tempting to set your expectations too high. If you have a task involving nine parts, for instance, be realistic about what you’ll be able to complete in a day. If three parts is
reasonish reasonable, set your goal at ‘at least three’.
7 Scratch ‘I have to’
Saying ‘I have to’ over and over will not improve your mood. If you change it to ‘I choose to’ or ‘I want to’, you take control and responsibility. It’s all about mindset in the end.
8 Look at the consequences
Wat are the consequences of putting off your tasks? If anything, the first consequence is how you feel about yourself. Feeling like a lazy procrastinating loser is not the best feeling in the world when there’s stuff to do.
9 Look at the benefits
Take a look at the benefits of finishing your task. How will you feel when it’s done? Your mind will be more at peace, the task is, you know, done, and probably somebody else also benefits from your work. Focusing on the positive is always best.
10 Use a ‘helpline’
Ask someone, a friend or colleague, for instance, to help you. He or she can ask you whether you finished your task at a set or random moment during the day. Or check up on how far you are. A little pressure or control can work wonders.
These tips might help you battle procrastination. If you indeed manage to finish the task, reward yourself. You’ve earned it.