Oh, productivity… that elusive state of mind we all aim for.
We’ve all experienced what it’s like to be unproductive. There are times where I sit on my desk, probably dumbfounded, and figuring out what I’d do to make the day productive. Even when I feel like I have plenty of energy to get through the day, it doesn’t make sense that I have more time to procrastinate than I have to really work.
Something else would draw my attention away from the task at hand.
It’s no secret that nowadays, more than ever before, it’s far too simple to become distracted. Thanks to social media, emails, text messages, and the millions of other notifications we receive on a daily basis, our productivity is severely hampered.
But our smartphones are not the only thing to blame… some research says that our minds are wired to be distracted at all times — and it’s something most of us are guilty of.
So, how do I do it? How do I stop myself from procrastinating?
Recognize That It’s Procrastination
One good way to avoid procrastination is to acknowledge that you’re actually experiencing one.
But you also need to know that procrastination for some may don’t always mean the same thing for you. I personally know that I am procrastinating when I am bombarded with tasks at hand that I don’t feel like doing — or when I’m being rushed to finished something in an unreasonable span of time.
But for you, it may look and sound different. It’s important for you to acknowledge your procrastination so you know better how you can address them.
But what is procrastination anyway?
“Procrastination is an active process – you choose to do something else instead of the task that you know you should be doing. In contrast, laziness + suggests apathy, inactivity and an unwillingness to act.”
Essentially, “Procrastination” is typically defined as ignoring an unpleasant but likely more important task in favor of one that is more enjoyable or easier.
Some of the things that can be signs of procrastination are:
- When you fill your day with low-priority tasks.
- When you leave a task on your To-Do list for a long time, even though it’s important.
- When you’ve been reading emails several times over without making a decision on what to do with them.
- When you start a high-priority task and then go off to make a coffee.
- When you fill your time with unimportant tasks that other people ask you to do, instead of getting on with the important tasks already on your list.
- When you’re waiting to be in the “right mood,” or wait for the “right time” to tackle a task.
Define Why You Procrastinate
Now that you know you’re procrastinating, the next thing you need to do is to define your WHY.
Oftentimes, I find myself procrastinating when I’m overwhelmed with so many tasks — when I no longer have enough time for myself and things that I do outside of work. I admit it, I’m a workaholic and can squeeze a lot of tasks in a day, but I also have some days that I just like to stay in bed, go to a nearby cafe, or talk with a friend. And you have those times too — that’s how you balance your life.
So let’s break down some of the things you can do to avoid procrastination…
You need to understand the reasons why you are procrastinating before you can begin to tackle it. Poor organization is usually one of the things that are associated with procrastination.
What I actually do is I get my journal and jot down my goals for the week and I set an intention of what I look forward to over the weekend — it can a beach getaway with friends or a Kdrama series update. So instead of procrastinating, I get excited to get things done and cap the week.
Time Block Your Day
The key to maximizing your productivity is to find out when you work best! Choose a time of day – morning, afternoon, evening, or night – and then schedule your day accordingly.
This is how I schedule my days: I set aside time for creative inspiration, time for projects and huddles with our team, and a time that I set just for myself to evaluate my progress this day.
Everyone has a different creative time, so start experimenting with your workflow and paying attention to when you’re at your most creative. Then plan everything else around it.
Be Open to Making Mistakes
I’m one of the few people who suffer from wanting to get things done perfectly. A simple text misalignment or having the need to correct everyone else’s grammar is something that I find myself associated with.
But then I realized that we’re all human, and we’re all capable of making mistakes. Stop procrastinating by admitting that you will make mistakes from time to time and that this is unavoidable. Take a deep breath and say, “I make mistakes so that I can better correct them and be better.”
Take it Easy
If you’re overwhelmed with so many tasks already, make sure to take it easy and do light work when you start working.
Finish off easy tasks so it can free up the rest of your day for you to focus on more enjoyable tasks. As I said before, you don’t have to figure everything out, or you don’t always have to finish everything in a swift amount of time — you’re only human.
What you can best do? Break large or overwhelming tasks into small, actionable pieces and from there set deadlines and achieve them little by little.
And there you have it! This is basically my two cents, what works for me might not work best for others too — how I deal with my procrastination is fairly intuitive, and you can implement it based only on what you’ve read in this summary.
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