Procrastination is a common problem that affects many people, but some suffer from it more than others. If you feel that procrastination is negatively affecting your productivity, then it is time to take action. In this article, we will explore why people procrastinate and what you can do to overcome it. We will discuss the importance of setting clear goals, knowing your weaknesses, and using productivity tips and tricks to stay motivated and focused.
Know Your Weaknesses
People procrastinate for different reasons. Some people are disorganized and struggle to manage their time or keep track of their tasks. They get easily distracted and find it hard to concentrate. Others find it difficult to start a task or lose focus after a short period of time. Stress is also a common cause of procrastination, as the fear of failure or producing poor work can lead to time-wasting.
To overcome procrastination, it is essential to identify the reasons behind your behavior and monitor when you are most unproductive. You can use apps like RescueTime to track your behavior and analyze the time you spend on different websites and applications. By understanding your habits, you can make the necessary changes to improve how you spend your time.
Get Clear on Your Goals
When starting a task, it is crucial to be clear on your goals. You need to know why you are undertaking the task and what the end result will be. This will help you stay motivated throughout the task. Consider how you will benefit from completing the task and what is at stake. The reward may be financial or a sense of pride in your work. You may feel less stressed and benefit from free time. Whatever the task, keep in mind the end goal and what you will achieve by finishing the project.
Top Tip: Write down your end goals for the task you are starting and the rewards and benefits of completing the work. Refer to this list when you feel your motivation dwindling.
Distractions are everywhere in this technological age. Emails, social media, and phones can all distract us from our work and make it difficult to stay focused. The internet is also a significant distraction, as we have to work on our laptops. To avoid distractions and stay focused, you can:
– Turn off your phone or leave it in another room.
– Avoid checking emails by turning off notifications or logging out altogether.
– Use internet and social media blockers like Freedom.
– Have a designated workspace away from noise and conversations.
– Use WordPress’ built-in functionality to enable Distraction-Free Writing.
Apart from avoiding distractions, there are many other ways to beat procrastination and stay motivated and focused. Here are some productivity tips:
Write a To-Do List
Procrastination is often caused by poor organization. If you have numerous tasks jumbling around in your mind, write them down. By creating a to-do list, you are taking control of what you need to accomplish. Number each job in order of importance and always start with the most pressing ones.
Finish is a free app that helps you organize all your jobs into a sensible list, with time frames attached. Finish will constantly remind you if a deadline is looming, so you keep on top of outstanding tasks. Then enjoy the satisfaction of ticking off each task as it is completed.
Timetable Your Day
Create a timetable for your day, with a list of what you want to achieve and what each hour is going to be dedicated to. Schedule in breaks and rewards to keep you motivated. Prioritize the hardest tasks at the beginning of the day when your mind is refreshed and firing on all cylinders. Leave the admin and easier tasks to the end of the day.
A well-used trick by many procrastinators is to use a Pomodoro Timer. The Pomodoro technique encourages 25 minutes of work followed by a 5-minute break on a repeated cycle. The idea behind it is to give your mind a break every 25 minutes so it doesn’t become worn out and unproductive.
Tomighty is a free desktop Pomodoro Timer app that works on Windows and Mac computers. There are also lots of Pomodoro apps for iOS and Android.
Schedule in breaks that include rewards for hard work. You could reward yourself after each two hours of solid work. Or treat yourself when you have managed to check three tasks off your to-do list. You can choose the incentives, which could be anything from checking Facebook or having a coffee and a cake to buying something new. You will know what you respond well to, so pick something that you are going to work for.
An accountability partner may help with rewards and consequences. Reporting to a buddy, and comparing progress, may help you keep on track and feel accountable for your behavior. If willpower can be an issue for you, let your partner be in charge of handing out the rewards.
Create an Action Plan for Overwhelming Tasks
Procrastination can be caused by stress. If a task seems overwhelming, break it down into individual steps. Work out roughly how long each task will take and allocate time accordingly. By checking off each task as you go, you will feel in control and will be able to see the progress you have made.
Many of us find music a big distraction when we are working. However, Brain.fm has created music that has been found to focus your mind, make you more productive, and enable you to stay ‘in the flow’ for longer. If you work in a noisy office or busy coffee shops and want to drown out the noise, don’t like the sound of silence, or just need a little boost, then Brain.fm might be a good option to keep you on track.
Beating procrastination is all about creating new routines and good habits. Set clear goals, know your weaknesses, and try to arrange a distraction-free working environment. Try out the different tips and apps suggested in this article and find what works for you. Remember, procrastination is a common problem, but it can be overcome with determination and the right tools.