Being a chronic procrastinator is an issue that many individuals face. The most difficult part of it is finding the motivation to get your tasks started in advance.
Check out these five productivity hacks to keep in mind next time you’re feeling like putting off whatever it is you should be doing now:
1. Complete the most difficult task first
Part of procrastination is psychologically based. For this reason, it is important to fix that mindset that dictates you a given task is terrible and it should be avoided. By tackling the most painful task first, you will make your mind know that the rest of the process will only be easier. And so, by starting out with the biggest challenge you will be able to complete the rest of your tasks more dynamically and definitely not at the last minute.
“It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult task which, more than anything else, will affect its successful outcome.” – William James
2. Set an alarm for noon
Nothing brings you down so much as the realization that you haven’t completed one task by noon, isn’t that right? This is precisely why it is imperative that you set an alarm for the middle of the day to force you to get to work and get your jobs done. Another trick is to set the alarm several hours early to trick yourself to being on schedule. Any of these methods can be quite effective in getting your tasks started – and, as Edmund Spenser famously said, “each goodly thing is hardest to begin.”
3. Organize your tasks on a schedule
One of the primary causes of procrastination is lack of organization. If you truly lay out what you need to get accomplished within your week and set realistic deadlines, you will not only be able to get your tasks done, but also stop dreading the tasks in front of you. Make sure to tick or cross out a position once completed – this little gimmick will set your brain on a ‘reward’ mode and give you a boost of fresh motivation to continue.
4. Set a timer for ten minutes
One great way to break the cycle of procrastination is to set a timer for ten minutes. It will allow you to focus on one task and complete it without the unwanted breaks or delays. The best way to use this tool to your advantage is to make a list of tasks and determine how much time they will likely take to complete. Then, divide the smallest tasks into ten minute periods each. After getting through the list, you will feel empowered and ready to complete even more tasks ahead of schedule.
“Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no laziness, no procrastination: never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.” – Philip Stanhope
5. Divide a larger task into a set of smaller tasks
Tasks that seem too large in size take more time to complete, inspiring procrastination and convincing your brain you’re never going to get it over with. By dividing a larger task into a set of smaller tasks, you will be able to move from one success to another and meet even the tightest of deadlines. Take the nearest task at hand and break it into parts, then approach each one with the thought that it will soon be over – your idle side will definitely appreciate that.
Procrastinating is something that is more related to your mindset than the actual tasks in front of you. If you commit yourself to sit down and organize your affairs at least once every month, you will be able to achieve a great deal of progress on your assignments by completing them on time.