I admit it it, I am a serious procrastinator. I tell my self it is all part of the creative process, but in reality I know it is just a bad habit. As summer is in full swing, there seems to be so many more activities, plans, and fun to be had–all of which are even more reason to procrastinate. But as the to-dos begin to be pushed aside in favor of sunshine, I have had to take a serious look at how to be more productive so work does not start to pile up. Here are some ways that I have found help me to limit my procrastination and get things done, so when adventure calls, I am ready to go! Do you have any go-to productivity tips?
Touch it once – This is a favorite mantra of mine as mentioned before. The idea is that you touch something once, so you receive an email, read it and respond. No rereading it later, drafting the email and letting it sit around taking up mental space. This can be pretty powerful when taken into every area of your life (here’s looking at you, laundry!)
Do what you don’t want to first – When looking at your to-do lists for the day, is there one task that you are dreading? Do it. By getting it off your list you will not only feel more accomplished for having done it, but it will also cease to take up the mental space and that sense of nagging will be gone, letting yourself focus on the next to-do!
4 o’clock fire drill – I wish I could remember where I read this one! The idea is that at 4pm, take a look at what is left on your to-do list, and if there were a fire drill, what would be the absolute necessary items you need to get done? If they aren’t that dire, they can wait until the next day! This can be hard as we live in an age where constant communication can put more pressure on our schedules, but in reality, most things can wait a day or two if necessary!
Break up your work – By breaking up you work into productivity ‘blocks’, you are more likely to really stick with it for that hour or two. During that chunk of time, close your internet browser, hide your phone, and do what ever else you need to have an uninterrupted period of time to crank out work. Once that time passes, reward yourself by stepping away for a walk, get a coffee, and recharge for the next productive block!
Make your procrastination count – If you are constantly struggling with procrastination, it might be something to take a closer look at. Are you burnt out, working too many hours, or not doing what you love? Taking a step back from work and indulging in some procrastination may be what you need, but make it count! Get off facebook and go for a hike, talk with a friend, or take a half day off to go see a movie. Do something that will help you see things from another perspective and inspire you, and leave you ready to refocus on your work.
Image of Diane Keaton / via /