It’s Monday afternoon and the merciless clock on your desk keeps ticking. You’re trying to finish a less than desirable task but email, Youtube and even Netflix prove too much to resist. Hours pass and that sense of not getting it done hangs over you like a guilty shroud.
It’s true that procrastination affects everyone to some degree. The issue is that once you get into the habit of giving the avoidance-demon free rein, it gets harder and harder to shake off.
Although the most productive people face the same challenges when it comes to putting something off, they’ve learned coping strategies to move past them and get down to the task at hand.
Beating procrastination often starts with taking control of your overall frame of mind. If you have the right strategies in place for you – that shift your particular state, you can often get through the valley of the deep-stall and get back on track. Here are 10 proven ways on how to stop procrastinating.
1. Move. Get up from your desk and do whatever it takes to get the cognitive juices flowing. Change your location. Instead of sitting in front of your computer prolonging the agony, get up regularly and stretch, walk around the block, head to the local coffee shop with your laptop.
2. Set Your Reminder. Set up a daily or even an hourly reminder to yourself of the task at hand.
3. Create Something New. This works as a way to refresh your energy levels, reduce repetitive thoughts and gain a sense of accomplishment. Create something every day, no matter what it is. It can be a journal, a photo, a video, an artwork — anything that shifts you into a creative, non-linear state, gets you going, and frees up blockages.
4. Wake Up Early. Everything is quiet and still. It’s a fresh start. Birds singing, sun rising, brain ticking. You can concentrate on the big tasks as soon as you get up. A friend of mine says that eating the frog is more bearable before the sun hits the horizon. Try it and you may be surprised that you get a bunch of your work done without even noticing and that it’s been relatively painless.
5. Sleep Early. You need to recharge. Some adults need as much as 9 hours of sleep a night.
6. Clear Your Table. Clean and clear the things as you go – like physically dealing with your clutter, taking note of your tasks, and more. Miraculously, your mind will also be noticeably free of accumulated debris.
7. Schedule a Specific Time Block. Break daunting tasks into sub-tasks that are more manageable. List them out in detail – for some people, writing them down is more effective than using an online calendar. Once you have your list, cross off completed tasks. This is very satisfying.
8. Rewards are Motivating. Whether it’s a Cafe Viennese at your local java stand, a Netflix episode you’ve been resisting or an hour at the gym, tell yourself that the pleasure point is waiting once you get that task checked off and done.
9. Limit Time on Social Networks. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube — These are major time-drainers. Use them as a reward once specific tasks are done and definitely turn notifications off your devices.
10. Give Yourself a Break. Remember that this is a process with its own rewards and consider small steps a victory. Keep a journal of goals and intentions for the day, and at night, take note of what worked and what didn’t.
Contact us at Dissertation Complete Coaching to find out how we can help you deal with the obstacles holding you back from completing your writing project. Completion is within reach!