Do you ever sit down to complete an important task and suddenly find yourself exploring your Instagram feed? Maybe you go on Youtube and tell yourself you’re only going to watch this one video and then you will get your work done. But as soon as the video ends another recommended video on the sidebar catches your attention. Knowing you shouldn’t watch it, but having trouble resisting the urge, you watch it anyways. This is procrastination at its finest and it happens to the best of us. If procrastination happens to everyone then why is it that some people seem to accomplish so much more than others in the same 24 hour timespan? The answer is these people practice being productive. They have studied proven methods to beat procrastination and implemented these strategies into their daily lives. This allows for the boring stuff to get done quicker, which in return opens up more free time to do what you actually like. Here are the 5 tips to beat procrastination:
1. Focus on One Thing
Create a list of all the things that you need to get done and shorten that list down to the single most important task. Tell yourself you cannot do anything else that day until this task gets completed. Sit down, focus in, and eliminate all distractions. By implementing this strategy you will complete this task much faster.
2. Eliminating Distractions
In order to get stuff done efficiently all distractions have to be put aside. If your iPhone is always blowing up with texts put your messages on do not disturb. This way you won’t know when texts are coming in. If the internet is your main distraction there are ways to disable your browser. Visit Freedom. Freedom can block web browsers, social media, and apps. It works for all Apple products (iPhone, iPad, Mac’s) and also on Windows computers. You can have Freedom disable these distractions from anywhere between 1 min-8 hours. The only way to disable Freedom is to restart your laptop, phone, iPad, etc.
3. Tell Yourself No
The more productive person says no more than they say yes. This isn’t the easiest thing to do, but it will improve your efficiency tenfold. If friends are asking to get lunch and you have an important project to work on, say no. If you think saying no is flat out rude then there are alternatives. Say you aren’t able to get lunch, but would love to grab dinner later on once your work is out of the way.
4. Do not Multitask
Multitasking does not improve efficiency no matter what anyone tells you. There are countless studies that prove multitasking is a distraction. The human brain cannot effectively switch from task to task without losing some focus. Do not attempt to complete your task while switching back and forth between work related emails. Finish the task first. Once completed you can check email. This tip goes with tip #1.
Place yourself in an environment that supports your goal. If you are unable to work in places with noise then find yourself a nice quite place to sit down for a couple hours. A great place is the library. For college students, there are countless quiet places around campus. If you take the time to look you will realize there are plenty of empty classrooms in pretty much every building on campus.