As much as we try to deny it, the truth is, we all struggle with procrastination from time to time, and for many of us, procrastination is a serious issue that affects our relationships, career, habits, and life.
While there’s no way to cut out procrastination entirely, there are a few tips and strategies to help you gain more control of your time and energy throughout the day.
Here are five tips you can try:
Make It Difficult To Procrastinate
It’s no secret that from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to bed, we are bombarded with distractions. Ads, commercials, social media, texts, popups, family responsibilities, all pounce for our attention throughout the day.
You can have every intention to have a productive day but have a single tweet distract you for hours.
While the likes of social media and modern communication certainly have their place, one of the easiest ways to reduce your procrastination is to make it difficult to procrastinate.
For example, our founder Maneesh recently removed his Facebook app from his phone and has found it to improve his peace of mind and productivity substantially.
Maybe you love spending hours upon hours on Reddit or can play CandyCrush until your battery dies.
Maybe you like playing a few rounds of Call of Duty or like to stock up on cleaning supplies instead of getting things done.
Make it as difficult as possible for you to partake in the habits that affect you most.
Remove Twitter from your phone. Disconnect from the internet when writing. Commit to cleaning the home only on Sunday’s and not any other day of the week.
Of course, there will always be things to tempt you throughout the day no matter what measures you put in place, but making it difficult for you to fall into your bad habits can make all the difference in the world.
Commit To Just Five Minutes
Many times, the reason we procrastinate is that we are overwhelmed with all the things we have to do.
Writing a 20-page paper for work is enough to scare anyone who is sane. Trying a new complex workout with exercises you can’t even pronounce is a sure way to ensure you won’t follow through.
An easy trick to get yourself to stop procrastinating is to commit to doing a task for five minutes. After five minutes feel free to browse Reddit or watch Netflix for as long as your heart desires.
Many times, however, once you’ve overcome the initial resistance of starting, it’s not that bad. You’ll often notice those five minutes quickly turn into an hour of highly productive work. Sometimes, five minutes is all you can do — and that’s perfectly okay.
The goal is to get moving and see where your action taking gets you. While simple on the surface, the five-minute trick is a powerful way to get more things done and have plenty of time to enjoy the rest of your day in peace.
Sometimes all you need is a push in the right direction, which is why thousands of people around the world have used the Pavlok wearable to help them fight procrastination and improve their productivity. With dozens of customizable ways to help keep you on track, Pavlok can help even if you’re a self-defined “lifelong procrastinator.”
You can use services such as the Pavlok Chrome extension, IFTTT, Alexa, and more to ensure you are giving yourself the best chance to succeed.
Have your Pavlok buzz, beep, or zap you when you open too many tabs.
Have your Pavlok zap you if you aren’t at the gym by 6 PM.
Using the Pavlok to bring awareness to your distracting habits and behaviors will give you the tools and data needed to change your environment and routine.
If you need an extra boost to help you quit procrastinating, Pavlok can help.
Procrastinate With Purpose
While procrastination does tend to get a bad rap, and for a good reason, it’s not always the end of the world to spend an hour or two doing nothing “productive.”
The best way to fight procrastination is by procrastinating with purpose. It’s perfectly okay to spend an hour or two watching Netflix.
You don’t always have to be go-go-go productive for every second that you’re awake.
The secret to procrastinating with purpose is to hit your defined goals for the day and then allow yourself to do what you please; this typically can be done by establishing your three “MIT’s” for the day.
In the morning define your three most important tasks for the day, the ones that you would feel great about accomplishing and once those are done and checked off your list, feel free to continue you working or curl up on the couch and watch your favorite sitcom. The choice is yours.
Okay. That might sound extreme, but for many, having a specific and slightly painful ‘consequence’ for procrastinating is just enough motivation to get things done.
Maybe you’ve been putting off cleaning your garage for a year. Bet your friend $100 bucks it will be done by the weekend.
Maybe you’ve put off updating your resume despite the urgent need. Have your friend send it out incomplete to your three favorite companies if you don’t get it finished.
You get the idea. While the self-punish method to avoid procrastination doesn’t work for everyone if you continue to struggle with procrastination no matter what you try, give this a go, we promise the results will surprise you.
Another reason we tend to procrastinate is that we fall into the trap of overthinking. What if I do a bad job on the presentation? What no one reads the blog post I’m about to write?
What will my friends and family say about me trying to the write a book?
If you find yourself procrastinating, especially on tasks you typically enjoy, perhaps you’re letting outside influence hold you back from getting to work.
The first step to overcome overthinking is to become aware that it happens. Are you too concerned with what others will think? Are you worried you might come up short?
Don’t let the fear of mistakes and not being perfect prevent you from getting started in the first place.
No matter what project, habit, or task you’re trying to tackle, have a basic plan and do your best to execute it. You can’t improve or grow by living on the sidelines.
Don’t let the sneaky overthinking trap keep you stuck in the same procrastination loop.
Putting It All Together
While procrastination will never go away, you can always learn how to manage it more efficiently; if you’re tired of procrastinating on a regular basis and ready to change your approach, give one of our six suggested strategies a try.
Don’t let procrastination prevent you from being your best self.