Procrastination is one of those things that will prevent you from reaching your goals. It’s basically an act of self-sabotage and in the long term, it can damage your productivity. Psychologists say that procrastination is a way of keeping you in the comfort zone because even though you may not be conscious of it, there is a level of pain that comes from taking action. There are a lot of things that can distract you from your work, but you should know that there are also a lot of things that you can do to increase your productivity. Here are 7 ways to beat procrastination that you should consider, especially if you are a quintessential procrastinator:
1. Do the Most Mentally Challenging Task First
One of the best ways to beat procrastination is by doing the most mentally challenging task first. A lot of studies have shown that people are at their peak alertness and energy within the first few hours of waking up. So, if you have a lot of work to do, start with the most mentally strenuous task and do the easier tasks in the afternoon when your energy typically dips.
2. Use Website Blocking Tools
If you think that you won’t be able to resist the temptation of checking your Facebook account every 5 minutes or watching another cute kitten video on YouTube, you can avoid the procrastination trap by using website blocking tools. This way, you will be able to keep track of your online activity and you will focus on your work.
3. Impose Shorter Deadlines
In order to be more productive and beat procrastination, you can try imposing shorter deadlines on yourself. This way, you will be able to manage your time more efficiently and you won’t leave the largest amount of work to be done closer to the deadline. You will feel less stressed and you will manage to get things done on time.
4. Use the 2-Minute Rule
This technique is adapted from David Allen’s book, “Getting Things Done.” The author explains that we actually spend more time deliberating on whether or not to do a certain task than the time it would take to actually complete it. He says that if a task can be done in around 2 minutes, then we should do it and not postpone it for later.
5. Don’t Forget to Take Breaks
A study performed by DeskTime, a productivity and time-tracking company, found out that the most productive 10 percent of employees worked hard for 52 minutes, then took a break for 17 minutes. You can also use the Pomodoro technique, according to which you should work for 25 minutes, then take a 5-minute break and then do it again, until you get all your work done.
6. Declutter Your Workspace
A lot of studies have shown that mess causes stress and we all know that stress can affect your productivity levels. If you want to avoid becoming nonfunctional or nonproductive, then try to remove the clutter from your desk. In order to be able to focus much better on your work, you should make sure that your workspace is decluttered since this will also give you psychological and mental breathing space.
7. Avoid Multitasking
Even though you might think that you will be more productive by doing a lot of things at the same time, I must tell you that you are wrong. Studies show that multitasking works only on rare occasions when one of the tasks is mundane and is done on autopilot. If you want to be more productive, try to narrow down to three important tasks and then take on one at a time.
In the long term, procrastination can really affect your productivity so it’s best to find ways to get rid of this bad habit, so it won’t sabotage your career and hijack your desired goals. Do you know any other ways to beat procrastination? Please share your tips with us in the comments section!