Volunteer writer, Leah Langley, gives five tips on how to manage and stop procrastinating.
We’re all guilty of giving into procrastination from time to time. We actively choose to do something else although we know we have more pressing tasks that we should be undertaking. Even when we’re aware of the fact that we are procrastinating, it can be difficult to know what to do about it. Here are 5 tips that you could try to help you manage your procrastination:
1. Break work down into little steps and commit to one task at a time.
When we are overwhelmed with a lot of work, it can sometimes feel impossible to know where to start. By writing down the tasks that need completing in smaller steps, it enables us to manage them more effectively. Designating a certain time to each step allows us to proactively tackle the work that we have ahead of us. It’s important to only focus on the immediate tasks at hand and not worry about the steps that will follow as this will take away from the point of the exercise. It’s also important to reward yourself for the completion of each step. The rewards don’t have to be anything too extravagant and could be something as simple as tucking into that slice of cake you’ve been avoiding.
2. Change the environment that you’re working in.
With the current global situation this might not be as easy as it sounds, but just changing the room that you are in could help. Different environments have different impacts on productivity and areas that used to be inspiring can lose their impact over time. If you cannot change the room that you’re in, try changing the features of the room you’re in. Stick new pictures on the wall or change your bedding so that objects in your immediate vicinity are different.
3. Get rid of distractions.
It’s easy to become needlessly side-tracked by everything when you’re trying to put off doing something. Whether it’s scrolling through social media or rearranging your bookshelves, anything becomes more intriguing than the work that you are meant to be completing. If you get distracted by your phone, then try and put it out of sight whilst you complete some work. If your bookshelves really can’t wait, then use that as a reward for finishing some of the work that you have to do.
4. Get a buddy.
Having someone else to work with can be hugely beneficial to productivity. If there is no one in your house that you can work with, why not arrange Teams calls or FaceTime calls with friends in which you work together? You can start the conversation with a quick catch-up and then get to it. Just having someone to hold you accountable for your plans and goals can be helpful and it also makes the process a little more fun as you’ll be in it together.
5. Take breaks.
This is perhaps one of the most important steps to remember. If you schedule breaks throughout your day, then it can be easier to work through your tasks as you know that you’ll have some down time in between. Make sure that you step away from your work area during these breaktimes as it will allow for you to return feeling refreshed.
Header image by Christos Alamaniotis.