Procrastination is a trap that many of us fall into. In fact, according to researcher and speaker, 95 percent of us procrastinate to some degree. While it may be comforting to know that you’re not alone, it can be sobering to realize just how much it can hold you back. Even if you want to accomplish or finish a task, you’re likely having trouble getting started in the first place! There are several strategies that can help you stop procrastinating right now (so read fast!), as well as lifestyle changes you can make to avoid future procrastination.
Stop punishing yourself for procrastinating:
The more stressed out you are, the harder it’ll be to get your work done. Don’t be angry with yourself. Move on and focus on what you’ve got to do instead. Guilt and regret are draining emotions. Wasting time yelling at yourself for not starting that 2,000-word essay two weeks ago will only make you extra tired and frustrated. It will also stress you out, likely making it impossible for you to finish your assignment at that time.
Tackle your most important task for 15 minutes:
Instead of thinking about the total number of hours you’re about to work for, just start. Tell yourself you’ve only got to do it for 15 minutes. This will deal with the intimidation factor, and you’ll likely spend much longer than 15 minutes on your task before you stop working again. Once you come up for air, take a two-minute break. Then start up on another set of 15 minutes of work.
Break tasks down into small chunks:
It can be overwhelming to think about finishing a whole essay or getting through an entire week’s worth of tasks. Instead of thinking about everything you have to do like one big obstacle, break it all down into tiny pieces. You’ll be able to get started on the smallest crumb and go forward from there.Avoid making a long, disorganized to-do list. This is just setting yourself up for failure. Instead, create subcategories like “Home,” “Work,” “Family,” and “Fun” and just try to cross off a few entries from each list every day.
Start your day with the hardest tasks:
Make yourself a plan in the morning and pick the hardest task first. You’ll be most energized in the morning once you’ve eaten breakfast and woken up fully. Tackle the hardest thing on your docket right then. You’ll feel better once it’s done, and then you can move on to a few easier tasks for the rest of the day.
Give yourself a pep talk for motivation:
“Self-talking” is a great way to calm yourself down, get focused, and meet your goals. Talk to yourself, using your name. Tell yourself that you can (and will) do this.Self-talk out loud if you can. It’ll also work in your head if you’re in a public place.
Download an app to avoid phone distraction:
Smartphones are usually the black holes that suck up all of our time and attention. Of course, there’s an app for that! Quickly download whichever app sounds like it will best address your particular procrastination problem. Download iFocusMode app to stop procrastination.
Use a program or browser add-on to avoid internet distraction:
If constant browsing is your biggest issue, download an application to address your internet addiction. There are a variety of programs available for both Windows and Mac operating systems.If you have more self-control, set a timer before you go on time-wasting websites and get back to work when it rings.For all devices and operating systems, try Freedom.