Overcoming procrastination and boosting productivity
I bet you're procrastinating right now, aren't you?! It's okay, I'm procrastinating too. I was supposed to write this a few days ago but here I am writing it on the day it's to be posted. Sigh.
This post stems from the most unproductive start to the week I've ever had. Each day has improved slightly and I should be back at my full 100% in no time! So Let's not kid ourselves, we all do it. At home when we're on our own? We know our friends do it. Hey even our folks do it occasionally! But nobody likes to admit they do it, in fact it's become the butt of many jokes. I'm talking about procrastination.
It helps to tackle the problem before you've even started to help focus and overcome any potential distractions or problems. So we'll start from the top shall we?
Before you sit down to work, take some time to focus and plan your attack. This way you can totally avoid procrastinating.
>Start off by changing your environment. If you typically work in front of the TV or one earphone on YouTube in the background then hey! Your not alone! But that needs to stop. I spent my first 4 years at school doing my homework in front of the TV (as much as my parents nagged not to). My homework took waaaay longer to complete than it should and was done half-assed and this reflected in my grades. By changing my work space to the Library or my quiet bedroom I was able to actually take in the work I was doing. My grades took a huge leap, as did my focus in school and I left school with an incredible Leaving Certificate. What should your work space be?
- Quiet. Away from people who will talk to you.
- Organised. Everything you will need should already be in your space to save you from getting up later.
- Distraction-free. No phones, no WiFi, no laptops, you know what I'm talking about! Make sure things are on airplane mode, silent and out of your reach. Use old-fashioned tools such as a watch or a calculator to help you out.
COMPLETING THE TASK:
Don't start procrastinating now! Let's jump into the tasks and complete them ASAP!
>Next, once your in your zone, we're gonna focus on your goals and workload. Start of my making a detailed list of everything you need to do- you may not get it all done in one day but we'll come to that. Then, make a specific and detailed list of your deadlines as well as activities that may obstruct your work. Set yourself targets like Complete essay by next Tuesday, 1 day before deadline. This give you things to work towards. But remember, don't over complicate things. Also, keep a list near you where you can jot down sudden thoughts of tasks you need to do later.
>Break down your workload and set Time Boxes for them. For example 9am to 10.30am Revise Mitosis. Have you ever used the Pomodoro Technique? Google it. Lifesaver. Basically you work your hardest for 25 mins (if another task pops into your head, just make a note and move on) then take a short break (ideally 5 mins but no longer than 10 mins) to leave your work space. After you've completed four 25 minute blocks of work you can take a niiiice long 30 min break. Then the routine starts again until you've breezed through all your work. How simple is that? Time flies so quickly and you get some much done you don' even realize it.
So now you've blown through that to do list and you got loads done! Let's not call into old habits just yet.
>After you've put in your work and checked off your tasks, It's time to go back to your list of goals and deadlines to update and re-clarify them. This helps you see how much you've done and what you've got left to do.
>Set up your work space for the next time you use it. Throw away rubbish make sure you have lots of pens and paper or any other bits 'n' bobs you need. Clearly display your task lists and deadlines somewhere you will see them everyday.
>Update your calendar or planner with your deadlines and schedule in your next Study Time or Project Time just as you would a meeting or a class or appointment. This way you won't miss it or double-book it with something else. With really important things like exams, you should schedule your life activities around your study time. It's only for the meantime!
Remember to surround yourself with inspiring, motivational people. Anyone who gives you crap about your dreams just cut 'em right out of your life.Tell your friends and family about your goals and your dreams. Maybe one of them is going through something similar and you could work together to help each other out. Just keep things simple and don't over complicate things.
And one last thing? Just get a grip and do what ever it is you're putting off!!
I hope you found this in someway useful! Got any tips of your own? Why not add them in the comments for others to use. Also if you're looking to reinvent yourself and work out any bad habits or even just to learn something new about yourself then why not sign up to my 12 Weeks to a Better You program (for free) which will be starting on the 1st of February. You can find out more and sign up for it here!
I hope you have a wonderfully productive day!