Procrastination can hit many of us all too often. And, if it’s hit you, you might be familiar with the frustrating feeling that you’ve wasted valuable time being less than productive.
Maybe you were supposed to prepare a job application, but then got distracted by a cat video on Facebook. Or, perhaps, you had set aside time to do some ironing, only to notice that your favourite show was on TV and then end up watching that. That’s why I’ve decided to detail three techniques that I’d recommend for keeping procrastination at bay and, in the process, boosting productivity.
Write a short to-do list every day
Have you often put together a lengthy to-do list only to realise that you hardly make your way through it? One reason why is that, as explained by John Chan on the TIME website, seeing all of those responsibilities leaves you overwhelmed – and then, once you’ve put them off, guilty. So, ultimately, you’re setting yourself up for failure. A better idea is to limit each list to just 3-5 items, but make a list daily. This does some neat mental tricks…
These include that you better prioritise, as you take account of what you believe you can get done in a day, rather than in some lengthier and less specified duration of time. Also, you are likelier to make good progress through a short list – and, as each item will make up 20-33% of it, completing even just one item will give you the satisfaction of feeling that you have progressed a lot.
Make each to-do a two-minute task
In writing a to-do list, you mustn’t overlook how crucial it is to think carefully about each task in turn. Sticking to a short list could bring surprisingly benefit if each item on it is along the lines of “get a job”, “design a website” or “go for an hour-long swim”. That’s because you still might not actually be able to fit all of these tasks into a day.
I would advise that, instead, you list only tasks that you expect would each take no more than two minutes to complete. Good examples would be “find a job vacancy online”, “write down some quick ideas for a website” or “list equipment I need for swimming”.
Prevent, rather than interrupt, distractions
A big reason why distractions can be disastrous for your productivity is that, initially, they can seem like little things that actually pose little danger. One small distraction can too easily lead to another, and then that can lead to another… and so you are sent wildly off-course. Therefore, you should stop distractions occurring in the first place through measures like disabling your phone’s notifications and listening to music without lyrics – think classical or meditative music.
Following these productivity hacks can help you through many walks of life, as can the range of professional life coaching services that I offer. Losing weight, improving your health, encouraging further business success and more can be in your grasp with my assistance.