Procrastination is the mortal enemy of productivity, and a lot of us have succumbed to its sweet temptation at one point or another. But whether you’re procrastinating because you don’t want to get out of bed, or because the task seems too daunting and you don’t know where to start, remember that running away from your responsibilities won't help you–in fact, you’re only making matters worse by wasting away precious time that could have been used to actually finish the job.
If you’re pencil biting and can’t seem to get the gears in your head to start turning, here are a few tried-and-tested tips that can hopefully help you get your work groove on.
1. Write down your schedule.
It’s one thing to mark your smart phone’s calendar, and it’s another thing to literally take note of your schedule. Many scientific studies, including one featured on Scientific American, have attested that writing helps you learn and remember better than typing or tapping things down. So if you want be on top of your deadlines, it’s best to rely on your good ol’ pen and paper.
2. Take a shower.
Taking a shower doesn’t only get you squeaky clean, but also helps you clear your head so that you’ll be able to prepare for the next task without all the mental clutter from the previous.
3. Work in an area with few to no distractions.
Move far away from the couch, the television set, and the refrigerator, and settle on a clean table where you can focus on nothing but what you have to do. If you can find a place that has good lighting and windows that can help you rest your eyes and take momentary breaks, then all the better.
4. Avoid working in bed.
Your bed is for resting, not for revving up your laptop for a nightcap with your sales figures. Aside from it being unhealthy for your posture, working in bed will make you more prone to sleeping on the job.
5. Plug in some good tunes.
Music can help you immensely when you want to focus. Wear a pair of noise-canceling headphones if you work in an environment with distractions that you can’t get away from.
6. Try not to look at your phone unless it’s necessary.
As much as smart phones are a great help with work, they can also be one of your biggest distractions. That one game of Hearthstone or that quick post on Instagram can actually take you 10 to 20 minutes, and that’s a lot of time gone from what you’re supposed to do. So unless you’re waiting for an official call, push your phone as far away from you as possible
7. Give yourself a reward after once you finish your task.
Nothing makes finishing the job more satisfying than a good incentive. If you’re having a hard time focusing, promise yourself an afternoon at the spa or an all-day shopping spree once you’re done with work. Trust us–a bit of a push can go a very long way.