Procrastination is the number one enemy of production. It hinders our progress. We can be helpless in its grip as we find ourselves trailing through new found internet interests, or suddenly tidying our rooms as important deadlines approach. We all do it. We all have our own ways of doing it. I find myself having a lot of cups of tea, and my dog often gets walked obscene amounts of time when I have a lot of work to do. Here are some helpful steps to help you to stop procrastinating, and to just get it done!
Organize Work Time
One effective way to organize tasks is a “to-do list.” By listing all the activities and jobs that need completing it is possible to organize them into time slots, and subsequently organize your mind. When the mind feels less cluttered, and knows it should focus on one task at a given moment, it is more likely to perform well.
Try to balance work time with social time, and other commitments. Even if something has a high priority and need to be completed, it is important to remember other aspects of life, and to look after yourself. Procrastination will be unavoidable if you do not dedicate time to other ventures, as the mind will naturally wonder, and will lack focus.
Even though it might seem contrary to getting a job done, it is crucial to take breaks. Procrastination will become more frequent as you try to subconsciously avoid the task at hand. If you burn out you will find yourself staring into space, or finding a simpler task to do. To avoid procrastination it is necessary to take a break regularly, get some fresh air, and a drink or snack.
Much of what procrastination involves is the psychological avoidance of a task and ultimately there is always a distraction, however mundane it may be. It can’t hurt however, to remove some of your primary distractions from the situation whilst completing an important task.
Social media is a common form of procrastination, as is browsing the internet in general. If the task does not involve the use of a computer then keep away. If it does it might be more difficult to avoid, but there are options. For example, an app called RescueTime allows you to restrict certain websites from access for a given amount of time.
Identify your own distractions, and try to create an environment that is relatively free of them.
Whether its going to the library to do some university coursework, having a photograph of loved ones and a comfy chair at the office, or having a good desk setup in your bedroom, one of the keys to hard work is in the environment you create. Working in an environment that is orientated towards productivity will allow for much less procrastination than working in one full of distractions. Experiment and make changes to your environment to maximize output.
Work With Others
Work with other people who have similar aims, and discourage each other from procrastination. When working in a pair or group it is unlikely that everyone will be prone to procrastination at the same time, and someone will always be able to motivate the slackers! Other people can provide a great source of inspiration, and working together will lead to greater productivity. Look to others, who have already accomplished a similar goal; they will tell you how much hard work went into their accomplishments.
Nothing is more important than inspiration. Whether you get it for yourself or from other people, it is important to love what you do, and to be motivated to finish the job. Using the tips mentioned here it should be possible to minimize procrastination, and just get it done! For those still not convinced, here is the closely guarded holy grail of procrastination:
The Procrastination Loophole
Ever been doing an important task and then found yourself doing something else which is still productive, but which wasn’t part of the original plan? I used to find myself tidying my room during a project, something that I rarely do when I’m not in the middle of doing something important. A clever tactic, where applicable, is to have a couple of important projects on the go at once. When you find yourself wandering away from one project, take your procrastination and transform it into useful motivation for the other project.
The mind gets bored easily when doing the same task for many hours. Alternating between equally important tasks like this may be something of a procrastination loophole. Genius!