Procrastination can manifest itself in various forms, most of which are harmful. The most obvious form of procrastination is when you consciously put aside your work and give way to distractions. The subtle ways of procrastination involve you not working on the pretext of the unavailability of perfect working conditions.
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Recent studies have shown that procrastination can also have positive effects – it might lead to improved creativity, productivity and efficiency. However, it still doesn’t negate the need for acknowledging the procrastination problem. Only by accepting the existing problems can potential solutions be found.
Here are a few productivity hacks for procrastinators. Some of them may seem really daunting in the beginning, but with time and practice, they will surely fall into place.
1. Set strict reminders
As long as you are firm about not quitting, you can still get your work done. Break the defeatist cycle and get back to work even if you realise that you have wasted a lot of time already. Set a reminder around mid-day to evaluate how you have fared in terms of getting work done for the day. Use smart apps like Zoment and Remind’em for help. If you haven’t done a good amount of work by mid-day, the reminder will help you with a timely realisation, after which you still have a chance of getting things done.
2. Provide incentives
Set goals for yourself for regular intervals. Ensure that you keep a steady track of these goals in order to assess your progress. Set a reward system for yourself that will allow you to stay motivated effectively. Reward yourself with something that makes you happy if you achieve your goals in due time. After all, setting some appropriate rewards to match goals is a perfectly healthy way to stay motivated.
3. Set deadlines
According to Parkinson’s Law, work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.
What this really means in the context of real life is that the lesser the time left, the faster the work gets done. Set fake deadlines for yourself ahead of the actual deadline for the project. This will help you get less wiggle room for procrastinating, resulting in productive work.
4. Brutally eliminate distractions
We certainly are extremely susceptible to distractions in the form of notifications on our mobiles or even on the internet. Do not treat these distractions with lenience; employ stringent practices to cut off all distractions. Put your phone on silent mode and dodge all unnecessary phone calls. Install applications to disable social media on your mobile phone and computer system during peak hours at work. Allow a friend or a colleague to help you through this process.
5. Rewire your brain
Train your brain to break all projects into actionable tasks and then assign deadlines for each task. Break your day into different chunks of time - each allotted to specific tasks. Ensure that you have a reasonable break time as well. Go out for a walk when you feel that the stress of pending work is starting to sink in badly. Get a good night’s sleep and eat right.
Remember to feel positive about yourself. You have to believe in yourself to let the strategies work well.