5 Psychological Tips to Help You Stop Procrastinating

amnesiaProcrastinating, we’ve all done it, but there are ways to work around it, and increase productivity. Here are five practical tips to combat procrastination.

  1. Got one big task? Break it down

Breaking your task down into manageable smaller tasks makes it much easier to get started on at least a part of your task. Formulate it in clear, concrete smaller tasks, and you will get there no time. The sense of achievement you get from completing each step will also work as an amazing motivator for the more challenging tasks.

Example: Don’t write down “Finish essay about book X”, it sounds too vague and daunting. Instead write things like “find 3 useable sources for essay”, “map out general structure – minimum 150 words”, “Write at least 200 words of the essay”.

  1. Don’t go on for too long at a time.
    If things are going well it might seem very tempting to just keep going, but this might bite you in the backside eventually. If you don’t stop and take a mental break every once in a while you’re at a risk of mental exhaustion. Don’t work until you can’t go on, take breaks. You can use the pomodoro method for this, but anything that works for you is fine. Try to take a break at least every 2 hours. Your work will be of better quality and you won’t feel as drained after having finished it.
  1. Stop thinking too much

We’re all guilty of this, but sometimes you just gotta stop thinking about it too much. It makes everything much more complicated. Waiting for the perfect moment to start working on that text because you think you’re best work happens between 6 and 10pm? If it’s 11am and you’ve got a few minutes to spare, why not get a small head-start? You’ll be amazed at how much you can do if you take Shia Lebeouf’s advice and JUST DO IT!

  1. But first…

First 15 Minutes For work. A great tip to increase productivity is to start each session with at least 15 minutes of good, hard work. This might sound logical, but most of us start each session with checking their email or social media accounts. It’s better to leave those for when you’ve already gotten through a little bit of work, because very often just checking your email or facebook turns into a 2 hour session of distraction-filled time that could have been spent on the things you were actually planning on doing. Starting with some work before checking emails etc. makes it much easier to quit looking at facebook and makes you feel much more accomplished.

  1. Prioritise

This one is slightly more vague, but at least as important as the previous tips. To stop procrastinating you need become a bit more self aware. It’s hard, that is very true, but you need to ask yourself if you’re spending time on the right things. Are you getting the right things done?

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