It’s time to stop procrastinating! We know what we’re supposed to be doing, but something else is just more appealing. Instagram. Solitaire. Your Facebook feed. Even simply chatting about your weekend with your colleagues. Chances are we’re putting off our work because it’s challenging or tedious or time-consuming. But we’ll pay the price in the end. If we procrastinate today, it means even more work tomorrow. Fortunately, there are some effective tips on how to stop procrastinating that you can use immediately. Here are six of them.
Use a planner to track your assignments and due dates. You’re more likely to procrastinate when you have no idea when something’s due. Then, create a timeline for when you’ll do your assignments and set deadlines you can stick to. If your boss isn’t expecting an assignment until Friday, get it to them early. That way you have a little breathing room if something goes wrong. Plus, your boss will be impressed with your diligence and discipline, which might be useful later when you need an extension for a valid reason. They’re a lot more likely to forgive you if you have a stellar history and they can trust you to get it to them as soon as possible.
Be honest – your phone is a distraction. Whether it’s Snapchat, Candy Crush or group texts that ding repeatedly, each time you glance at your phone is several additional seconds it will take you to find your focus again. Try listening to music instead, or if it really comes down to it, pure silence. Other people can be distractions, too. If you have co–workers who come around to chat right when you’re in the middle of things, find a secluded, quiet place to work. Or use the headphone trick—listen to music or pretend you’re on a call that’s so captivating, you can’t even glance up to make eye contact.
Your daily tasks are probably monotonous and exhausting, so energize yourself with a short break. Grab coffee with a colleague, take a quick walk around the building, go outside or allow yourself a few minutes to check your phone. Time it and stay disciplined. Then, return to work with renewed energy!
Give yourself an incentive to stay motivated and stop procrastinating. If you meet your goal by your deadline or even just put in a certain amount of hard work without getting distracted, treat yourself to something. Coffee. Lunch with a friend. Ten minutes on your favorite website—whatever keeps you moving forward.
Start with the hard part
The hard part is probably the part you’re avoiding, so if you do it first, when you tend to have more focus and energy, it’ll soon be over. Then you can advance to the easier tasks, move more quickly and really feel accomplished.
Tell someone your goal
Sometimes telling someone else about your goals or deadlines is a good way to keep yourself accountable. Ask that person to check in on your progress. Then you’ll have another person to celebrate with when you finish! A little support from your friends can be really motivating.
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