15 Habits to Beat Procrastination
Procrastination is a problem that everyone will deal with – some more often than others. The quickest way to increase productivity is to beat procrastination. This list may have only one or two techniques for you – choose what works best in your situation. At times, it may be worth trying a different habit, but avoid implementing all at the same time, or the techniques would be too overwhelming or even contradicting.
- Make Do It Now a Habit. Change the procrastination habit by replacing it with a positive habit – the habit of Do It Now.
- Most Important Task Done First. At the end of each day, choose the Most Important Task for tomorrow. In the morning, pledge to have that finished before anything else.
- Break It Down. An overwhelming task can be broken down into smaller, easier to handle tasks. Making numerous tasks can help you feel that it can be done one task at a time.
- 30 – 10. Set a timer for 30 minutes, and work diligently until the timer goes off. Then set the timer for 10 minutes and do something you really enjoy.
- Set A Deadline. For many people a deadline is the best tool for getting something done.
- Reward Yourself. This will give you something to look forward to, and will make the process more enjoyable.
- Consider Un-Tasking. If it is something that is genuinely dreaded, perhaps it isn’t worth doing. This is not always an option, but may be worth asking the requester if it is really necessary.
- Eliminate Distractions. Remove the constant interruptions of email, instant messages, or other unnecessary notifications.
- Time Journal. Track your time, every activity, for one day. See where your time is spent – this eye opening exercise can really help to get procrastination under control.
- Prepare Yourself. Get the research done, tools ready and distractions cleared. The task is more likely to get started when you’re ready.
- Procrastination Dash. Emit a short burst of focused energy on the task at hand, for one minute. A good trick to get started.
- Schedule It Last-Minute. A 2 hour project would be started 3 hours before it is due. Thereby eliminating any opportunity to procrastinate.
- Overcome Fear. If fear is holding back progress, consider the worst case scenario. Often just considering the situation can conquer the fear and allow you to get moving.
- Enlist a Task-master. Find a co-worker or friend to push you and make sure you stop procrastinating. Choose wisely, since a lenient helper won’t be much help.
- Structured Procrastination. On the task list, start with the most important first, but allow yourself to procrastinate while completing the other items on the list. As other items come along, add to the top. Eventually the one you were avoiding will also get done.