We’re all guilty of procrastinating. In fact, I procrastinated even writing this post. In our inundated world of distractions (read; social media) being productive can be increasingly difficult. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say slicing a pen thorough a bullet point on an expansive task list can be one of the most gratifying sensations ever; so here are some tips on how to decrease your procrastination rate, courtesy of happiness magician/author Gretchen Rubin.
So don’t procrastinate, read it now.
- Do it first thing in the morning. If you’re dreading doing something, you’re going to be able to think of more creative excuses as the day goes along.
- If you find yourself putting off a task that you try to do several times a week,try doing it EVERY day, instead. If you’re finding it hard to go for a walk four times a week, try going every day.
- Have someone keep you company. Studies show that we enjoy nearly every activity more when we’re with other people. Having a friend along can be a distraction, a source of reassurance, or just moral support.
- Make preparations, assemble the proper tools. When you’re dreading a task, it helps to feel prepared. Tell yourself, “I don’t have to do X today, but I’ll get everything ready.” Dividing a tough task into preparation and execution makes it easier to tackle.
- Commit. We’ve all heard the advice to write down your goals. This really works, so force yourself to do it. Usually this advice relates to long-term goals, but it works with short-term goals, too.
- First things first. That is, make sure you don’t use little tasks to push off big tasks. Do you find yourself answering emails instead of writing, or reading Twitter instead of logging in research notes? These smaller tasks are important and worthwhile, but don’t use them to delay more taxing work.
- Reflect on the great feeling you’ll get when you’ve finished. Studies show that hitting a goal releases chemicals in the brain that give you pleasure. If you’re feeling blue, although the last thing you feel like doing is something you don’t feel like doing, push yourself.