We’re all guilty of it. Leaving things to the last minute and convincing yourself it will be fine because you have pleeeenty of time to get it done. Then it’s a mad scramble to get whatever it is you needed to do done. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve sat up until the early hours of the morning working on an assignment and eventually handing it in knowing I could’ve done way better. That I would’ve done way better had I started it earlier.
But why do we always fall into this trap? I think in part because there is always something else that is far more fun to do like watching Netflix or going for coffee with your friends, and on the other hand it’s because working hard is hard work.
But fear not. Here’s four things I do to leave the comfort of procrastination station and get on the graft train.
1. Understand WHY you procrastinate
Figure out why you are procrastinating. Procrastination station is a comfy place to be, it’s a place where you can scroll through Facebook or get sucked into youtube videos for hours. But why are you doing this when you know you should be working? Either you’re unmotivated or don’t know where to start. Figuring this out will give you a place to start. If you’re unmotivated or do’t know where to begin, the following steps will help you solve it.
2. Plan Plan Plan
Planning your work and social life out will help you beat procrastination. I often don’t want to work because I more fun things to do and I am generally unmotivated to sit at my desk for a few hours to get my work done. I mean to just sit and write this has taken me a while to get to.
Make a list. First things first, you need to make a list of what you need to do for the day and the following. Or even the whole week. I use a bullet journal system (which you can read more about here) to get all my tasks in order. This will give you an idea of what needs to be accomplish.
Prioritise. Look at all your tasks and see which ones are the most important and prioritise your time accordingly.
80/20 split. If you split your list into an 80/20 ratio. Where 20% is dedicated to your priorities and the other 80% is general tasks which are flexible and can be moved around within the week.
3. Set a Time Limit
Give yourself a time limit to get something done. This will help you focus on a task and put 100% effort into getting it done. Set a timer if you need to. There are also some great app’s out there that will help you. I use an app called 30/30 which is a fantastic task manager that works the best for me and is super easy (and free) to use.
4. Treat yo self
Incentives always work. Give yourself a little reward after a task or once you get everything for the day done. I am a firm believer in treating my self, but it feels so much better when it’s because you deserved it after a hard day of work. I love going for coffee and a croissant so I use that as a way to treat myself. Or getting a cute washi tape here and there. It can be little things like watching an episode of your new favourite series or having a little chocolate. Whatever it is use it to motivate you to be disciplined. And if you have little self control, leave it up to someone else to allow you the ‘treat’ once you’ve shown them that you’ve accomplished XYZ.
5. Stop thinking and start doing.
Take a page out of Nike’s book and just do it. Take that first step by sitting down and just starting. Stop putting it off and tap into your determined side. You know what your goals are and what you need to do to accomplish them. Remember why you need to work hard and use that to motivate yourself yourself. Only you can accomplish your goals, so just do it.