Everyone has procrastinated at some point in their lives. If you say you have not, congratulations – you’re either really self-disciplined or just a really good liar. There will definitely be times in your life when you put aside things you’re supposed to do in favour of other things you’d rather be doing. Maybe you’re at work and supposed to be working on that proposal, but it’s boring so you ended up scrolling through Facebook. Or maybe you made the resolution to burn your spare tyre belly away this year, but you’ve been lazy and not hitting the gym like you originally planned to.
The act of procrastinating isn’t exactly a good thing. When you don’t do what you need to, it can spiral out of control and cause some really bad situations. That lump on your back which you didn’t think to check could be cancerous. Putting off work can make your tasks pile up and you might never catch up.
So yes, procrastination is definitely not beneficial to our lives. The question now is, how do we fix it? It’s one thing to say “just do it”, and another thing to actually get down to doing it. Fortunately, all it takes are a few simple changes to your daily habits and some willpower – after all, when there’s a will, there’s a way.
Plan Your Time
When you have a million and one things to do, it can be difficult to keep track of all that you’re supposed to do. You might forget that you have an important deadline to meet, or small things you were supposed to attend to could slip your mind. Writing down your tasks for the week or day can put everything into perspective and make it easier to plan your time. When you have a timetable, you can allocate and plan your time and activities around to fit your schedule.
Prioritize The Important Things
When you start keeping a record, it becomes easier to visualize all that you have to do. Important things, like work tasks or school assignments, should be prioritized to be completed first, especially if they have deadlines. This way, you will be able to settle them as quickly as possible, and once they’re done and out of the way, you will have clarity of mind to sort through the less important tasks, and can afford to goof off a bit without any harsh consequences.
It’s okay to take breaks from doing your tasks. If you’ve been sitting down for hours typing away, stand up and stretch your legs. Take a short walk up and down to get your blood flowing. Look out the window at something far away to give your eyes a break from staring at computer screens all day. Just remember that you have something that needs to get done, so make sure you don’t let a 10-minute break become an hour long siesta.
Multitasking Can Help
A good way to save time is through multitasking – the act of simultaneously handling two or more tasks at a single time. Effective multitasking can help you to clear more off your plate faster, which will then give you more free time to do what you want. For example, reading and replying to emails while you’re commuting to work can lessen ad your daily load at the office.
However, multitasking can be a double-edged sword. Handling more than one task at a time can stretch your focus, which can result in poorer quality of work. Only do what you are able to, and don’t bite off more than you can chew.
You may have seen characters in movies and television shows looking into the mirror and giving themselves a pep talk. While this often leads to hilarious situations, they might be onto something. The mirror technique, as it is known, is a legitimate way to build motivation in oneself. The visual aid of seeing your reflection inspires confidence within, not solely because of what you tell yourself, but your body language and facial expressions as well.
Implementing a reward system is another great way to keep yourself motivated on the tasks at hand. The idea that you can treat yourself with something you like once you’ve completed part of or a full task can really keep you going. For example, if you’re writing an essay for school or an article for work, you’ll have hundreds of words to churn out. It can be draining to write for hours on end, so adding in rewards for completing certain milestones – maybe after 400 words you can reward yourself with a sweet treat, or five minutes of YouTube.
Ask A Buddy For Help
If you know you’re the sort who cannot control themselves from getting distracted, get a buddy to check in on you. It can be anyone – your family, your friends, or even your colleagues. Tell them you have a task that needs to be done by this deadline and ask if they can help to check in and make sure you’re making progress.
Alternatively, there are multiple productivity apps on your smartphone that can help keep you on the right track too. Simply key in the task you need to accomplish, then set a deadline – some apps take it a step further and allow you to add in mini-goals and stat tracking. The app will periodically send you alerts to notify you and see if you are doing what you need to.