Motivation and a strong work ethic can be hard to find sometimes. We’ve all had the experience of knowing that a deadline is looming, but rather than getting on with the task you find yourself watching pointless YouTube videos, checking email unnecessarily, or scrolling mindlessly through social media. If such procrastination only happens occasionally, it probably won’t cause you too many problems. However, for some people it can result in major issues at college, work, or in relationships. So, if you’re looking for some advice on how to stop procrastinating and boost your productivity, these tips are for you.
What is procrastination?
In a nutshell, procrastination is the act of delaying or avoiding a task in a way that is irrational, unnecessary and/or counterproductive. It doesn’t always involve actions that we think of as lazy, either. For instance, if you have a big project to finish for work but decide to suddenly clean your whole house instead, that too can count as procrastinating.
There are many reasons why we procrastinate. We might be worried that we can’t complete the tasks in question to a high enough standard or be overwhelmed by the amount of work that needs to be done. In other cases, we may just be waiting for some magical burst of inspiration to strike before we get started. Don’t worry – whatever the causes of your procrastination may be, there are ways to overcome this behavior and break the habit!
How can we stop procrastinating and be more productive?
The good news is that there are lots of tips and tricks you can try in order to reduce your tendency to procrastinate and instead boost your productivity. Different techniques work better for different personality types and tasks, so be sure to test out a few of the following and find what’s most effective for you:
- Break up intimidating tasks into smaller ones that are more manageable
- Reward yourself when you reach a milestone or accomplish a goal, whether it’s with a chocolate bar or five minutes browsing judithleiber.com for a new pillbox
- Switch off your cellphone notifications and block your access to social media in order to minimize distractions
- Track your time to help you figure out how to spend it more wisely
- Try the Pomodoro Technique – where you work for 25 minutes and then allow yourself a 5 minute break – to help with focus while simultaneously preventing burnout
- Spend a few hours working in a coffee shop for a change of scenery – the presence of other people around you may help to keep you on track
- Write a clear to-do list every day with the tasks that you want or need to get done, which you can tick off as you go
- Get out for a short walk in the middle of the day to clear your head, reset your brain, and boost your creativity
- Schedule set times for checking your email, and don’t look at your inbox for the remainder of the day
- Prioritize self-care – if you’re overly stressed, your cognitive functions and motivation are sure to suffer
Stop multitasking, it almost never works!