Procrastination is the act of delaying or postponing something. I was a chronic procrastinator (it’s funny how I can admit it now)- I would always put things off, no matter how small or big the task was! It could be as little as cleaning our room or as big as starting my freelancing business back then. I think that it’s the biggest reason why I’m not as successful as I want to be. Here are some things that helped me buckle down and get things done.
Make a list
Make a list of the things that you need to get done during that day, week or month. As simple as it sounds, and it is, it will make a huge impact to get things done. First of all, it takes away the stuff in your mind onto the paper. I’m a mom, amongst many other things, and I have a lot of things on my mind on a daily basis. I find that making a list to get things done helps a lot.
Take Baby steps
Do the little things on your list first- those mindless things that are little but takes things out of the way. By doing so it helps in building momentum which will prepare you in attacking the big tasks on your list. Plus, it’s so motivating to check off things on your list because you know that you made things happen.
Breakdown the BIG tasks
Breaking down the big tasks into smaller actions help so much! It makes our brain see the simple things that are needed to be done to accomplish that big stuff. For example, your task is to make a blog post. You can break it down further into bite-size tasks:
- Come up with a topic.
- Make a title.
- Do your research.
- Write your blog post.
- Make corresponding graphics.
- Post your blog entry.
Doesn’t it make things a lot easier to grasp and less intimidating? You can clearly see what you have to do next, making it very manageable.
Let me introduce to you calendar blocking – it’s the act of reserving blocks of time on your calendar for the amount of time that you believe a task is going to take to get done. It’s like making your to-do list an appointment on your calendar to ensure that it gets done. It looks like this for me:
- 5 A.M. – Wake up, say a prayer and do hygienic stuff
- 5:30 A.M. – Go downstairs, make coffee
- 5:45 A.M. – Go at the back porch to drink coffee and enjoy the outside/fresh air
- 6 A.M.- video call Saehee (my daughter in the Philippines)
- 7 A.M. – make breakfast
And so on…
I’m not kidding you when I said to schedule everything! Even the mundane and routine things I schedule on my calendar because it helps a lot in keeping me organized. I even put the schedule on my Google Calendar so it alerts me on my phone five minutes before an assigned task is due.
Turn off all distractions
I find that I easily get distracted when the TV’s on, in fact, I had to tell my husband to turn it off because I’m making this blog entry. I also can’t concentrate when there’s music, so it has to be total silence or minimal background noise if I’m writing. And my phone, yes, it has to be a mile away from me otherwise I’ll keep on checking it. However, I also know people who prefer having a background noise as they’re writing. I guess it’s a matter of preference. Identify your distractions and eliminate them when you’re doing your task.
Pomodoro is doing your tasks in increments of time and also allotting small breaks in-between. The most commonly done in this technique is giving your tasks a laser-focus for twenty five minutes then have a five-minute break after. Repeat the cycle until your task is done.
Rewarding yourself once you finish your task
Humans are naturally born with a craving for rewards. If we get a reward, we feel awesome. We feel like we can do it again and again!
Studies show that people who got a little treat or reward, in the form of receiving a surprise gift or watching a funny video, gained self-control. It’s a Secret of Adulthood: If I give more to myself, I can ask more of myself. Self-regard isn’t selfish.
When we don’t get any treats, we begin to feel burned-out, depleted, and resentful.
So go ahead and indulge. You made it happen; you finished your task and that makes you deserving of a reward.
Over to You
What is something significant that you do to stop procrastinating or when you don’t feel motivated to do anything? Comment below, I’d love to know.