Fighting procrastination is difficult, especially if you do not know how to break this habit. We’ve gathered the best tips and tricks for overcoming procrastination that will help you form better habits and get your life on track today.
1. Take Walks
Taking a quick walk will allow you to return back to work with a fresh mind and more motivation. As a matter of fact, stepping outside for a breath of fresh air regularly can increase your productivity by 20%!
2. Remove Interruptions
Set aside some time in your work day to completely remove interruptions. Turn your phone on silent, avoid checking emails, wear noise canceling headphones, and do not make calls. Setting this time slot of uninterrupted working time will keep you focused.
3. Start Prioritizing
Examine your daily or weekly tasks and place them in order of priority. Work on the tasks that are larger or more stressful first so you can get them out of the way to focus on other smaller tasks. Aim to achieve at least one priority each day.
4. Eliminate Distractions
Clean your desk or workspace and make sure to close your social media accounts. These simple actions will help prevent distractions throughout the day and allow you to have a clear mind to fully focus on your work.
5. Break Down Large Tasks
Larger tasks can become overwhelming and stressful which will cause you to put it off even more as you try to avoid the stress. Instead of continuing the stressful cycle, break down the large task into several smaller ones and work on them one at a time. This will allow you to accomplish the larger task in timely, stress-free manner.
6. Discover Your Peak Time of the Day
Pay attention to your work day and find out when you are the most productive. This will be your ideal time slot to achieve goals or tasks you need to focus on during the workday.
7. Use the Internet
There are several apps available to help keep you on track. Take advantage of the technology that’s out there. It can only prove to help you achieve your daily or weekly goals with the organization and helpful reminders that these apps can provide. Good news - many of these apps are available for free!
8. Create Challenges
When the tasks you have to do are boring, you will hate doing them and put them off as long as possible. Find out what keeps you motivated and use this to help push yourself and accomplish all the tasks you need to do.
9. Make a ‘Done List’
When you reach the end of your work day, write down all the things you accomplished or completed throughout the day. When you can see everything you’ve done written down in one place, you will see how efficient you have become and how easy it is to reach the goals you’ve set.
10. Allow Yourself to Take Breaks
Taking short breaks will allow your brain to rest and reset for the remaining tasks ahead. This will let you keep working without over-exhausting your brain which will only make your workflow and concentration worse. Use a system such as the Pomodoro technique - you will work for 25-30 minutes and take a 3-5 minute mental break before continuing.
11. Check Emails Once Per Hour
Instead of rushing to your inbox every time you receive a new email notification, set aside a specific time to check the messages. This will keep you on track as you are not constantly checking your emails and becoming distracted and unfocused on the tasks in front of you.
12. Apply the ’10 Minutes or Less’ Rule
Examine the tasks you have for the day. If you see any that will take ten minutes or less, get them done as soon as possible. You’ll stop pushing back these small tasks and you’ll soon find that you can get them done quite quickly.
13. Get Some Sleep
Make sure you are getting plenty of quality rest each day. Not only this is beneficial to your health, you will find that you are no longer fatigued. Fatigue and exhaustion only lead to more procrastination.
14. Start Waking Up Early
Sleeping in occasionally is ok, but you should strive to wake up at least an hour earlier than normal on the days you need to work. The extra waking time will allow you to take your time in the morning while you get ready and you will notice how calm and quiet mornings can be. Moreover, you’ll have extra time in the morning to accomplish more tasks.
15. Go to Sleep Earlier
If you want to wake up earlier, you will need to go to bed earlier. Allow your body to recharge so you can wake up early feeling refreshed and ready to face the day.
16. Clean as You Go
Sometimes you see the mess around you and feel overwhelmed by its presence. Usually, it will seem easier to avoid it and do something else. When you take the effort to commit to ‘cleaning as you go’, whether these are tasks at work or chores around the house, you will find that you avoid the large mess that continues to go undone.
17. Keep Track
Keeping track of your everyday tasks and activities is a great way to monitor your time. There are several apps you can use to manage your time. It is great to compare when you are productive and when you are wasting time. Be honest with yourself and make changes where you need to in order to be fully productive.
18. Use Automation
Applying the automated systems will help you avoid doing mundane tasks that take up too much of your time. When you can automate things, you will be able to draw your attention and focus to more important tasks.
19. Create a Playlist
Listening to music while you work will activate your brain and keep you motivated. The small addition of background music will make you stay away from distractions and keep focused on tasks.
20. Keep Yourself Warm
The proper temperature in the office or workspace allows you to maintain your full focus. Cold offices will keep you distracted since you will be worried about staying warm. Don’t hesitate to turn off the air conditioning or crank up the heat if you need to. If you are working in a large office with a lot of other people, this is not always possible, so bring a sweater or jacket to wear if you find you get cold easily.
21. Give Yourself Reminders
Are you struggling to get started on a project? If so, take a few moments to remind yourself why you are doing the project in the first place. You could find motivation from your personal life, such as your children or saving up for a vacation. Finding the right motivators will remind you why the tasks being completed are so important and it will give you the fuel to keep moving forward.
22. Be Kind
Being kind to others is important, but you must be kind to yourself too. Beating yourself up or feeling bad about yourself will only hinder your motivation and productivity.
23. Get a Friend Involved
Nothing helps you keep on tasks than a trusted friend or co-worker. If you start to slip up and go back into your procrastination habits, your friend or co-worker can help make sure you stay on task by checking up on you and reminding you what needs to be done. The great thing is, you can do the same for them so you both maintain high levels of productivity.
24. Expect Imperfection
Nothing in this world is perfect. Many of us strive to reach perfection and the sooner you can accept that this is impossible, the sooner you will feel happier and stress-free in your work. This goes back to setting realistic goals for yourself, understand perfection is unattainable and you will find reaching your goals is easier.
25. Treat Yourself
Get away from work sometimes by seeing a movie or going to a park. Taking a step away from work will improve your mood, creativity and your overall quality of life.
26. Work a Little Less
One of the major causes of procrastination is taking on too much at one time. Choose the work you can manage in a realistic way. You will avoid feeling overwhelmed and you will be able to accomplish what tasks are in front of you without too much stress or worry about the next one.
Procrastination is a common thing today and it can cause problems in your work and personal life. Rise above your procrastination today by implementing any or all of the tips and tricks for effectively stopping procrastination. Just be sure to start right now so you can continue moving forward to change your lifestyle and your habits for the better.