Procrastination is a part of the human condition.
We so often chide each other and ourselves for how much time we spend procrastinating, making light of the fact that we will always wait until the very last moment to desperately complete that task and pull ourselves back from the brink of the abyss of failure and ruin.
The reality is that almost every procrastinates. Most people, if given the opportunity, will put things off for as long as possible before buckling down and finishing it off.
It’s not uncommon to think that you alone have a problem for not being able to self-motivate yourself enough, but in reality it’s usually a matter of how high the stakes are.
External threat or pressure is often all the motivation you need.
But it doesn’t have to be like this.
There are some exceptions, some self-motivators out there. How do they do it? It’s usually a combination of various routines that instill a sense of consistency and clarity.
Here are just a few tips that will help steer you towards a more productive and punctual day.
1. Make a Schedule
As simple as it sounds, creating a detailed “To Do” list or similar visible display of things that you need to work on makes it that much easier to accomplish them.
Everyone has their preferred methods, of course, but whether you write it down on a sticky note or create reminders on your cell phone, putting a list of tasks down somewhere where you can see it helps prioritize and organize things.
Nothing feels better than crossing something off that list.
2. Deal With Things As They Come
The thing about procrastination is that it gets harder to do things the more you put them off. It’s like an evil weed that, the longer you let it grow, the deeper it goes with its expanding network of roots; the harder it is to finally pull out of the ground.
That’s why it’s best to deal with things immediately. Getting something done at the moment it presents itself may require a little extra push of self-discipline, but the effort required only increases exponentially the longer you wait.
The first chance is the best chance you’ll get.
3. Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew
It’s an old adage that you were probably first introduced to by you grandmother, but it’s a timeless classic for a reason. Ambition is good, but reckless ambition can be fatal to your work life.
Being sensible about how much you can realistically accomplish and limiting yourself to this workload if you have a tendency to overburden yourself is crucial to time management and productivity.
4. Try Something New
Although sticking with a routine is generally good for productivity, this obviously only applies if that routine is working. Shaking things up can also give you the jolt you need.
Ever tried meditation?
It’s been shown to dramatically increase cognitive skills and help with focus. Maybe start going for a jog before work, or cutting meat out of your diet.
Maybe try something more practical like getting a phone answer service installed on your company phone so you can spend your lunch break outdoors eating that vegetarian meal.
Maybe put your left shoe on before your right shoe tomorrow morning before work.
It doesn’t always matter what it is; sometimes it’s just best to burst the bubble of your comfort zone bubble and see what happens.
Efficiency is all about your mindset, and any of the above suggestions should help you recreate a new, more productive one.
If your procrastinating mentality at work is debilitating, it means you’ve gotten too comfortable and need to experience the freshness of something new.
Wanted to share how you make your workday more effective, do in the comments!