We’ve all probably experienced procrastination whether its at school, at work or in our home lives. Some tasks and chores just seem impossible to keep focused on, and procrastination can seriously hinder our productivity levels.
Here’s 10 ways to help avoid procrastination.
1. Get Organized
You won’t be able to get anything done if you don’t know what actually needs doing! Buy a planner, use apps, or set up your own personal organization system to keep track of all tasks and assignments that need doing, and by when. This will make it easier to stay on track and know what needs doing, and when.
2. Set achievable goals
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the tasks you have to do, it’s easy to let yourself get distracted. An easy way to avoid this type of procrastination is to set yourself simple goals that you know you’ll be able to achieve. Make the goals specific, like ‘I will write 500 words in my essay tonight’ so it’s easy to check off, and less intimidating than ‘I will finish my essay’.
3. Give yourself a schedule
After you have your organization and your small goals, give yourself time to complete them. This could be a schedule or just a regular time each day that you devote to certain tasks. You can keep yourself on schedule with regular reminders and alarms. When you know you only have a certain amount of time to do something, you’ll be more inclined to stay on task.
A good tip for this is to dedicate the first 30 minutes of your day for work - rather than get distracted by social media and go down a black hole of browsing the internet. If you start your schedule with 30 minutes of work, it can be easier to stay focused throughout the rest of the day, and stay on task.
4. Remove distractions
Make sure you rid yourself of any distractions or potential distractions before you start working. This will help avoid you from getting sidetracked halfway through when your concentration starts to wane. This can involve turning off the TV, putting your phone away, going somewhere quiet - try changing your environment to somewhere like a library or a coffee shop if getting things done at home proves too distracting.
5. Take Regular Breaks
Time yourself and take a break every hour to prevent burnout. It’s important to take a mental break every now and then. Give yourself a 10-15 minute break every hour and take your mind off your work, and relax a little. These breaks will make it easier to stay on task when you’re working.
6. Use Incentives
Rewarding yourself for a job well done is a great way to stay on task. Use incentives to reward yourself and help you want to get the job done. It can be something simple, like rewarding yourself with a glass of wine or an episode of your favorite TV show after working on a task for a couple of hours - or it could be a bigger goal, like a weekend away after meeting an important work deadline.
7. Get the Hard Things Out the Way First
With every task there are those big, cumbersome things to check off that everyone always leaves till last because they just seem so hard. But when you check that big difficult task off your to-do list, it’s going to be so much easier to get everything else done on time. It’s best to complete the most challenging tasks first, to free up your time for those little things that need to get done. They’re not going to do themselves, so buckle down, work hard and move onto the easier stuff.
8. Make Yourself Accountable
If you make your goals public, you become accountable for them, giving you the motivation to work hard. Let people know what you are working on, and they’ll start to ask you about your progress - and you’ll want to report back that you have made some!
9. Don’t Take on Too Much
Make sure you’re realistic about what you can achieve and don’t take on more than you can handle. If you’re looking at your plan and there just seems more tasks on there than hours in the day, you’re allowed to say no and move something back, or even cut things altogether.
10. Accept Imperfection
When you have to make a tough choice or deal with a difficult task, you might be aiming for the result to be perfect - this can make it hard to get started because you’re so distracted by that ‘perfect result’ that you can find it hard to make decisions and start working. Accept imperfection, and start working with the ideas you have, rather than waiting for a great idea that may never come. Getting something done is better than nothing, and you can always go back over your work and improve it.
Bonus tip: Yoga and mindfulness can help to keep you focused and on-task. If you feel like you've got lots to do, this week's classes will help get your brain and body focused.
If you enjoy challenging yourself and giving yourself to-do lists and/or work endeavors that require you to show up, be consistent, focus, and utilize your brilliant potential, good for you!
However, sometimes our intentions are out of alignment with our energy levels and vitality, and ability to focus on what it is we desire and are passionate about achieving. Movement, exercise, working up a sweat, stretching, breathing, and the meditative focus of a yoga practice can help boost motivation, productivity, and output. This week's classes will have you moving and ready to focus!
Jackie Casal Mahrou - Yoga for Focus & Concentration
Josey Prior - Heron: Patience & Determination
Erin Wimert - Raising the Barre
Claire Petretti Marti - Yummy Yoga Flow 5
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