Procrastination is a habit that affects most people at some point in their lives. When you have a deadline looming, it can be easy to put off important tasks and instead indulge in miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. However, procrastination can negatively impact your productivity, cause unnecessary stress, and prevent you from achieving your goals. In this article, we’ll guide you through 14 practical ways to stop procrastinating and boost your productivity.
1. Break Your Work into Little Steps
One of the reasons why we procrastinate is that we subconsciously find the work too overwhelming. Breaking it down into little parts and focusing on one thing at a time can make it seem more manageable. If you still procrastinate after breaking down the task, break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will want to do it.
2. Change Your Environment
Your productivity is influenced by the environment you work in. If your workspace is messy or distracting, it can make it harder to focus. Consider making changes to your work desk and room to enhance your productivity. If public places make it hard for you to focus, find a private and quiet place to work.
3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines
When you have only one deadline for your work, it can be difficult to start. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and can push everything back. By breaking down your project into phases and creating a detailed timeline with specific deadlines, you establish urgency and create a sense of accountability.
4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops
If you are prone to procrastinating, you are probably unintentionally making it easy to do so. Identify the browser bookmarks that take up most of your time and shift them to a separate folder. Disable notifications on your email client, and remove distractions from your environment.
5. Reduce the Number of Decisions You Need to Make
Every decision requires energy, and this energy can be drained when deciding what to do every day. By making decisions ahead of time and creating habits around your routine, you can reduce the number of decisions you need to make on a given day, freeing up more energy to focus on meaningful tasks.
6. Finish Your Day Before It Starts
Planning your day in advance is a surefire way of avoiding procrastination. Take a few minutes before you go to bed to plan out the next day. This will help you avoid starting your day without a clear plan and will help you feel more in control of your schedule.
7. Re-Clarify Your Goals
If you find that you have been procrastinating for an extended period, it may be time to re-clarify your goals. Oftentimes, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect this. Reassessing your goals can help you align your actions with your aspirations.
8. Focus on the Task at Hand
It’s easy to get distracted by other things when you are working on a task. Keep reminding yourself of your task and try to focus only on that. Use tools like the Pomodoro Technique to help you stay on task for defined periods of time.
9. Eliminate Distractions
Distractions can be the bane of productivity. If you have to work on your computer, close all unnecessary tabs and disable notifications. If you have to use your phone, turn on “Do Not Disturb” mode, or even better, switch it off completely.
10. Use a Timer
Using a timer can help you stay on task and make good use of your time. Set a timer for a specific amount of time and focus on the task until the timer goes off. Use this technique in conjunction with the Pomodoro Technique mentioned earlier.
11. Be Accountable to Someone
Being accountable to someone can help you stay on track and avoid procrastination. Find someone you trust and share your goals with them. Ask them to hold you accountable, and check in with them regularly to share your progress.
12. Reward Yourself
Rewards can be a great motivator to get things done. Decide on a specific reward that you will give yourself after you complete each task. This can be something as simple as taking a break or indulging in your favorite snack.
13. Build Momentum
Building momentum is key to avoiding procrastination. Focus on the first few minutes of your task, even if you don’t feel like doing it. Once you get going, you may find that you are more motivated than you thought.
14. Forgive Yourself
Remember that procrastination does not define you as a person. If you fall into the trap of procrastination, don’t beat yourself up about it. Forgive yourself and move on. The more you practice forgiveness, the easier it will be to avoid procrastination in the future.
In conclusion, procrastination can be a major roadblock to achieving your goals. By breaking down tasks into smaller parts, changing your environment, creating timelines, eliminating distractions, and focusing on the task at hand, you can overcome procrastination and boost your productivity. Use the tips above to make progress towards achieving your goals and living your best life.