Procrastination is a problem most Millennials like us have, especially freelancers or the work at home folks. This is the problem we’re focusing on and trying to fix, today.
Let me start by talking a little bit about procrastination and what that means. The actual definition of procrastination on Wikipedia is: “Procrastination is the avoidance of doing a task that needs to be accomplished”, aka browsing Facebook, watching Youtube vlogs and so on.
It’s nothing important or that could actually teach you something, like farming for no reason in World of Warcraft or anything else that is not urgent, and postponing doing actual important stuff, like an essay or an important task at work ( or publishing a new blog post, Maya!).
Procrastination is fun, let’s face it. But what is not fun, is the guilt that comes after you’ve wasted so much time on unimportant activities. It’s so much easier to just sit on your butt and do anything else but what you actually need to do.
I remember when I was in high-school ( now it feels like it was about 100 years ago :)), and all I wanted was to do everything else besides my homework. When I had homework to do, I suddenly had an interest in deep cleaning my room, organizing everything to the smallest detail, and cook.
Even today, it happens that I could easily fall into the procrastination trap that I’ve worked so hard to get out of. Instead of finishing this article I could read the Harry Potter books again, just because I miss feeling like a kid, or watch a movie, even start watching a series – then I’m totally screwed.
It’s the worst thing anyone could do instead of something actually productive.
The fun thing is that you can call “procrastination” any activity that keeps you from your important task, including reading this blog post. Ha! So, gorgeous, if you have something more important to do, go do that and then, when you are free, continue reading this and relax.
Thankfully, there are a few simple tricks that can help with the problem that we all have with procrastination, like the following:
1. Have goals
But easy ones, depending on your task. For example, now the time is 14:12. I will finish writing and publish this article at 15:30. That is my goal. Simple, realistic, doable.
It’s important to set realistic goals for yourself so that you can actually visualize you achieving them.
For example, I know I have to write this article, but I won’t say I will write 5000 words because I’ll never do that, I’ll give up, and then I’ll turn on Netflix and my day will be over. I’ll keep it between 500 and 1000 – a realistic number, achievable.
2. Reward yourself
It’s like dog training. We’re just simple animals that need rewards for every good action we make in a day. My reward, for example, will be my lunch. I am hungry now, thinking about the soup that awaits for me in the kitchen, but I will not eat until I finish the task at hand.
You need to train yourself to do more important tasks first, and the easiest way is through rewarding your actions.
3. Alarms, alarms, alarms
One way to keep yourself in check is to set up alarms throughout the day, every few hours. I usually have one every 3 hours, but sometimes, when I feel a little lazy, I set up one every 2 hours. This way, it’s simple to know how much time I’ve spent on certain tasks and what to improve in the future.
Another thing that you could do is to approximate how much time will it take to do the task at hand and set alarms every 20 minutes into the job until you finish it. That’s a great way to keep track of your progress.
4. Music playlists
A fun way to do everything is to listen to good music while tackling your daily tasks. Set up playlists for anything you need to do that help you keep track of time and make the activity fun.
For example, whenever I have to vacuum, and I absolutely hate doing that, the only thing that makes it better is listening to Queen – “I want to break free” and reenacting the music video.
5. Cut off social media
At least for the time, if you have to do something that requires your full attention, turn off every social media you have, even the internet, if you think it might get in the way. Focus on the task at hand, and your reward can be to check your Facebook messages, for example.
Hopefully, you will get inspired by this blog to get off your butt and retrain yourself to battle procrastination and win!
Now, my question for you is: What do you do to deal with procrastination?