By: Carley Varley
Learn how to stay focused and productive.
We’ve all been there, deadlines that we keep putting off, goals we have yet to achieve and all because of procrastination. I am constantly having to check in with myself and tell myself not to procrastinate too much, it is a very normal thing and something that if unchecked can put you under a lot of stress and pressure. Today I’m going to be sharing my top tips for beating procrastination, I hope that you become more productive with help from these tips!
1. THE MAGICAL TO DO LIST
Making lists is a great way of keeping yourself on track and setting yourself up for achieving your goals. Everyday I write a list of what I need to do and I make sure I get it done. There’s nothing more satisfying than ticking off a list and visually seeing that you are doing the things that you need to.
It’s a great way to beat procrastination and I recommend getting a white board to write goals/to do lists on too, as then you can reset and wipe it off for the next day.
You don’t have to write down lots of things on a to do list either, it can be 5 things you need to do that day and if you get them done then you’ve done all you need to that day.
2. LEARNING TO TURN OFF YOUR DEVICE
WAIT WHAT? I always get distracted by TV, my phone and even when I play music sometimes I end up wanting to do something completely different to what I need to. Sometimes its better to work with no distractions at all and that way you complete the tasks you’ve been meaning to do.
I really recommend turning your phone off and putting it away in a draw on silent, I did this a few weeks ago when I was writing up blogs and it meant that I got so much more work done. I end up on social media, messaging friends or calling and catching up with people unless I put my phone away for an hour or two whilst I do the tasks that I need to.
If you work better with music, have a music tab whilst you complete your tasks and try not to get distracted by opening other tabs like Youtube, Facebook etc. It’s so easy to get distracted and to procrastinate when you see things that you enjoy more open and infront of you.
I often go into a room without a TV and that way I don’t get tempted to watch a new show because I end up getting bored of focusing on my task. Turning off technology is a sure-fire way to make sure you beat procrastination.
3. HOW TO TRICK YOUR MIND
Try doing the task you are least looking forward to doing first. This might sound a little odd but if you do the task you’ve been dreading first, it makes the others on your list EASY.
Once you’ve got the one that’s been taking up your mind and bothering you finished, it often makes you more productive. If the task you have is making your procrastinate because you really don’t want to do it, the best thing to do is to complete that task and then move on to other ones that aren’t so bad.
I do this quite often and sometimes I even take a break after I’ve done the task I’ve been dreading and then when I go to do the other tasks, I get them completed really quickly. I’d highly recommend this tip!
4. REWARD VS PUNISHMENT
Try to give yourself incentive or rewarding yourself once you’ve completed a goal. This works surprisingly well, it can be something as small as if you have a goal to read a book, leave a sweet at the end of every page and you can eat it once you’ve read the page.
It can be something like if you’ve recorded a music cover/video, treat yourself to a coffee. If you’ve finished a write up, treat yourself to a nice lunch or go meet a friend for lunch. You can also say to yourself ‘once I’ve done this task I’m watching TV for an hour, or playing a game for an hour.’ This works like positive reinforcement, if you complete your goal then you get the reward and this a great way to beat procrastination.
5. KNOWING WHEN TO REST
You can’t work all the time as this leads to burn out and sometimes if you are doing too much this can lead to procrastination too. The best thing to do is to make sure you set aside time for you to relax and do the things that you enjoy.
This will mean that when you do have tasks and goals to complete that you won’t procrastinate because you’ve got to do what you enjoy. I often go for walks or go grab a coffee after I’ve done a task or two, it really does help me focus and I enjoy having some time to myself in the day. I often get caught out by procrastination, especially if I don’t take any breaks, I end up on my phone for hours and then I feel bad because I’ve got nothing useful done and then I end up procrastinating more.
I hope that you found these tips helpful today, they certainly help me beat procrastination and as I said they are great to implement in everyday life. Start by writing a to do list and even a timetable, schedule breaks, rewards, start the with task you like least and finally turn off your phone for a few hours and try not to go on social media. It really will help you focus, I hope you achieve all of your to do’s this week!