Procrastination. It’s something that’s become a huge part of many people’s lives. It’s also something I’ve always struggled with and something every student knows all too well. This lack of accountability ultimately widens the gap between where we are and where we want to be. By no means am I a productivity expert, and I don’t think I ever will be, but these are a few tips I’ve found most helpful when I struggle to get things done.
Do something else
Procrastination is essentially doing something else when you should be taking care of a more important task. Try procrastinating on purpose and deliberately switch to another task to clear your mind and realign your focus. If you’re stuck and have hit a road block, give yourself that time and come back to the important task in a few hours or even a couple of days. This is my simplest tip but should only be utilized deliberately!
Plan and schedule everything
Planning out your week is highly recommended if you want to reach your full productive potential. Mapping out each day is essential for completing goals and will ultimately leave you feeling less stressed and more focused on the tasks you need to complete. When I map out my week, I feel instant gratification and a sense of accomplishment. But even after I map my week I find myself failing to follow through with the plans I set out. Holding yourself accountable is key if you want to see results from this tip.
Do something similar
This next tip is one of my favorites, and I first heard about it on Jeff Sander’s podcast, The 5 AM Miracle, and have been using it ever since. Essentially the idea is to dip your feet in the water before you dive right in. If you’ve been putting off replying to emails, start by getting yourself on your computer and possibly taking care of a few other tasks before you’re ready to jump into the main task. Another example is if you’ve been putting off doing the dishes, get yourself in the kitchen and start making your lunch for the next day. The idea here is to make the transition from point a to point b as smooth and easy as possible. This creates less friction and increases your willpower to tackle the important task next.
If you think about it, do it
This last tip is another one of my favorites, and it’s really quite simple! If something you need to do crosses your mind, do it right then and there. Do not put it off to get lost in a black hole somewhere in your mind. Like Nike says, just do it, and spare yourself the trouble later. If you absolutely cannot do the task right then and there, write it down so you don’t forget about it later.
Lastly, here’s a quote that sums it up nicely.
“Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs” – Henry Ford