Beat Procrastination, Be Productive
Updated: Aug 21, 2018
Procrastination is something that gets the best of many of us. It is often believed that procrastinators are people who are lazy and unmotivated. While this may be true, I have another theory.
I'm a perfectionist and in my efforts to make everything I do and put out in the world 'perfect', I often find myself getting discouraged and, eventually, just putting them off to a later time. I remember writing essays back in high school and college and taking way more time than actually needed just because I always wanted the writing to flow perfectly.
Whether perfectionism, lack of drive, unclear values/priorities, or anything else. Here are a few tips that I use to help me beat procrastination and, instead, be productive.
These tips are inspired by J.D Roth of Get Rich Slowly.
The best way to be productive is pretty basic: do the things you need to do NOW - not later.
Here are some steps you can take to increase your productivity and minimise procrastination:
1. Set time to get things done
Make the time for things that are important to you, like exercise, as well as, the things that aren’t so important but just need to happen; like cleaning up your kitchen pantry .
2. Don't multitask
We’re all good at starting many tasks at once, but none of us are actually good at multitasking. In order to get something done, you have to focus all your energy on it. Otherwise, you’re guaranteed to have many uncompleted tasks.
3. If it comes to mind, do it
If something you need to do comes to mind, just do it now. Needless to say, if you're already in the middle of doing something, maybe writing this task down may be the way to go, in order to not break the aforementioned 'rule'.
Just be honest with yourself, oftentimes, when we write things down we never really get to them. This may be because other things have come up... or because maybe we even procrastinated the act of writing the thing down.
4. Use a timer to bring you back to reality
With social media and smart phones, it’s SO easy to become distracted, now-a-days. We are all constantly thinking about so many things at once. Use a timer to serve as a reality check to see whether or not you’re actually doing what you’re meant to be doing. This timer can be set to every 5 minutes or 45 minutes. You know your attention span best. Let the timer serve you as you see fit. I'd probably set my timer every 15 minutes.
5. Limit or Remove Distractions
Remove clutter and snack items from your space. When working on your computer, only leave the tabs/programs you need open (I feel guilty recommending this seeing as I currently have 34 tabs and 6 programs open…) If you know your phone distracts you, keep it away.
Music may actually help your focus but remove any other background noise that may be distracting, like the news from TV or radio.
6. Compare your actions with your personal values
How does what you do mesh with what you believe? Is eating that extra serving of chocolate helping you move towards your goal of shedding 10 pounds? If giving back to the community is important to you, make sure that value is seen somewhere on your schedule. What you care about should align with what you do.
Hope these tips have helped!