It is about time we all sit down and admit the truth. We mess about. We put things off. We do not complete our work to our full potential. Don’t settle for this any longer. It is a new year and it is the perfect time to BREAK THAT HABIT.
Here are my top tips.
1) Change of scenery
Are you finding yourself being distracted in your room? Are you playing with things on your desk instead of doing the work? A change of scenery might be in order. The break will kick start your brain into working again. Make sure you pick somewhere where there won’t be too much human traffic. Be it your living room, kitchen, garage or just go to the library. Take what you need and find a new work spot.
2) Log out
Log out of all of your networking sites. All of them. No excuses. Make sure you dont have an automatic sign in, so if you try and distract yourself, you have to type in your full email and password. If you have different passwords for different things, and stuggle to remember which is which, all the better.
An even better tip would be to turn everything off. No, not standby. Off. Television, radio, xbox… everything this is not absolutely essential.
3) No background noise
I know there is evidence that listening to certain types of music can increase your productivity, however, at the moment, anything will increase your productivity if you are doing nothing. No background music to distract you because you do not want to spend ages picking music or flicking through tracks you do not want. Same goes for the tv and the radio. For now, get used to working as quietly as possible.
4) Get ready, the right way
Make sure you have everything you need before you sit down to work. Get all the pens and notebooks and textbooks and references you will need. Get your charger ready for your laptop before it runs out. Make sure you have spare pencils. If you are working for a while, get a large glass of water ready and maybe a snack that doesn’t require mess, e.g a packet of crisps or an apple. Don’t give yourself chances for excuses to get up. Be harsh.
5) List, list, list
The first thing you have to do while actually working, is break up your task into lots of tiny tasks. As you complete them, tick them off your list. This will give you motivation and satisfaction to continue your work and will give you an idea of how far through you are if it is a big task. You can even put an estimated time by each task, however, do not let this discourage you if you go over because some of your tasks will be quicker than expected.
6) Appropriate breaks
If you are doing a big piece of work and sitting at a computer, you need a break every now and again. Your eyes will thank you for it in the long run. However, this is not an excuse to slack off. Five minutes every half hour or ten minutes every hour if that suits you better, is more than enough. Be strict with yourself. Time your breaks. If you are addicted to social networking, this is the time to check your phone however, I would advise you leave that until you are finished. My breaks usually include going to the loo, making another drink and a walk around the house or inside the house, weather depends. Give your muscles a bit of a stretch to avoid cramp and you will feel refreshed and invigorated to continue.
7) Don’t get too comfortable
This sounds counter productive, but if you sit up straight, don’t slouch or lie down, you will feel more awake and get more done. You will be more efficient because your body will be in an alert mode. For this reason, you shouldn’t work in bed. This will make you feel tired as you naturally associate your bed with sleep. It will also disrupt your sleeping pattern as you will start to associate your bed with work and stress sooner or later. Feeling awake is key to efficiency. No doubt some people can do it, but if you are reading this because you keep procrastinating, you can’t.
8) Hold yourself responsible
A good trick is telling other people that you need to get “this thing” done by “this time.” If you tell people, you are more likely to get it done because they can hold you responsible, you will feel more guilty if you don’t finish it because you can’t kid them like you can yourself.
9) Work to an earlier deadline
Do not work to the hour that your work is due. Give yourself a different deadline, set a time well before it is due in. It gives you lee way, and a break to go over it and check everything. If you have technical issues then it will give you time to fix this. You will generally just be less stressed out towards the end and you will avoid that mad rush to finish. If it is a short project, say 24 hours before the deadline. If it is longer, give it a week. Your future self with thank you if you follow through with this. Trust me.
P.S. totally not being ironic and writing a blog post about procrastination instead of doing coursework, nope not at all, sorry not sorry.
Have fun lovelies! 😛