We all fall victim to procrastination from time to time, but it’s never a habit you want to get trapped into. Procrastination is filled with distractions that prevent you from being productive, leaving your work to suffer. But to stay on track and continue ticking off your goals you need to learn to avoid it when it starts creeping in. Therefore, here are some of my personal tips and tricks to shrugging it off and staying focused:
1. Digital Detox
When working, it is easy to give in to the temptation to check your texts or social media, so unless you absolutely have to keep check, turn it off. Restrict yourself to only the technology you need, such as your tablet for research. If it’s not needed put it away, out of sight and out of mind.
2. Clear Space, Clear Mind
Following on from step one, hideaway anything else that could possibly distract you. Or, to make things easier, find yourself a clear working space and only place helpful resources on there. Try to be minimalistic, but at the same time make sure everything you need is there so you don’t have to keep getting up to explore your office/house.
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3. Set Yourself Deadlines
Have strict, non-negotiable deadlines that you can aim for. This will make you realise how much time you’re wasting when you cannot afford to. Although, where this may work for some people, not everyone is able to be as strict on themselves. Which is okay, but also something to work on.
Consider the benefits and consequences of meeting your deadline. For example, if you’re writing an essay for your university course, think of all the stress that will be released if you get it completed early compared to last minute. Then think about the effects it will have on your grades if you aren’t strict and get it completed on time.
4. Surround Yourself With Hard Workers
If you surround yourself with a group of people who understand the importance of hard work and have goals just like you, you’re will be more motivated. Share your goals with them and then instead of being around people who will just distract you, you will be surrounded by people who will encourage you.
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5. Stop Over-Thinking Things
Over analysing your tasks can exhaust you. Constantly overthinking what you need to do can often lead to confusion, stress and eventually procrastination to avoid the situation altogether. If it helps, write down all your thoughts on a piece of paper. Get it all out in ink, all of it. Then, screw it up and throw it away, take a deep breath and get out a new piece of paper.
So next time you go to procrastinate, reflect on your goals and why you’re working hard in the first place. Don’t let small distractions make your road to success a bumpy one. It may take time, but train yourself the classic practice of “work hard, play hard”. Get what you need to be done completed and then reward yourself.