You’ve typed up your to-do list, you’ve de-cluttered your work space, you’ve even turned off new email notifications so you can’t get distracted…Yet somehow you still just can’t seem to get started on the task or project at hand.
Whatever form it takes, there’s no denying that procrastination can be a real productivity threat, so whether you’re studying, or already on the career ladder, here’s some sound advice on how to overcome it.
If you’re studying, distractions are probably going to be the number one reason stopping you from getting started, so prepare yourself mentally by switching the phone to silent, finding a quiet space and setting a timer to mark your pre-decided allocated study time, this will help you get in the zone.
Setting timelines and deadlines is crucial, do you ever find yourself rearranging your stationery in the middle of an exam? Probably not, because you have a fixed amount of time in which to finish – so apply this technique to your revision too. Set yourself specific and time-sensitive deadlines, to stop delaying and start doing.
Another great procrastination-killer is to set goals and then separate these goals into smaller, more manageable tasks. A perfect example of this could be if you’re considering taking on a new career – your ultimate goal may be to work in Early Childhood Education, but while sitting at your desk in your data admin role, this may seem like a distant dream.
But by splitting this goal into actionable tasks, such as enrolling in an Early Childhood Education training program, or researching local job opportunities in this industry, the end goal will then seem much more attainable.
Prioritising your tasks can really help to drum up that much needed productivity boost, many of the most successful people recommend doing the tasks you least want to at the start of the day. By getting them out of the way early, you’ll be fired up to power through the rest of your to-dos, and the more you cross off, the more your motivation keeps building.
A huge part of productivity is about timing, firstly, allowing time slots for each of your tasks will ensure you keep on track and accountable, but at the time of day you are at your most productive, is particularly important when it comes to learning. Are you an early riser or a night owl? It pays to know and work to your own schedule.
Remember that you’re never going to stop procrastinating completely, it’s human nature, but knowing the signals and having an arsenal of tactics up your sleeve to overcome it, is the key to success.