Procrastination is something we all struggle with at one point in time. That is something that is in human nature. But it does not necessarily mean that we are lazy.
“Procrastination” is derived from the Latin verb procrastinare — to put off until tomorrow. All humans have tendencies to delay or avoid working on things needed to.
Science claims that the root causes of procrastination are emotions and bad mood. But today we have tools and frameworks that help us minimize the chance of procrastinating.
Follow these 5 easy steps to greatly reduce and stop procrastination.
1. Plan your week like a pro
We often start procrastinating when we don’t have a clear plan of what we need to do today. I often find myself procrastinate if I have a lot of tasks to do but I don’t have a plan and timings.
I don’t know which task I need to do first, feel overwhelmed and I really not in the mood to start doing anything.
This is a fairly easy problem to solve. I recommend that you start planning your day/week in advance—this way, when you start your day, you know exactly what you need to do and when.
One of the best tools for weekly planning is HyperDone.
HyperDone has one feature called “Calendar board“, where you can plan your week in a more natural way where columns represent days of the week. You simply add your tasks into the column for that day.
I usually order the tasks in the column by priority. So what I need to do first in the morning is in the top spot on the column.
Optionally you can categorize your tasks into different categories using tags, then when you run reports, you will have more meaningful insights.
The best way is to plan a night before for tomorrow. This way, when you get up, you know exactly what is your daily schedule.
2. Focus on today’s work early
Know we know what we need to do today and when. But still we can start procrastinating.
That is why I recommend that you try to do the most difficult and important task early in the morning. (eat that frog technique) When you finish this “difficult task”, you will feel more motivated to continue working on other easy tasks.
What I have discovered is that I instead start working on that task in the morning, I often browse through weekly plans and backlogs. What I found helpful to stop doing that and focus on only today’s work is one HyperDone feature called “Today view“.
I click on a link to open my board’s “Today view”. Now I only see tasks planned for today or tasks that are done today. This way, I don’t need to open weekly plans anymore.
Using “Today view” you avoid chance of procrastinating by looking at your future tasks.
3. Do your work in small chunks
We all know that working on some task for a long period of time without resting can affect our health and mood. If we don’t rest properly, our mood will decline.
Remember, procrastination is in direct relation to emotions and mood. To make sure we can nail our daily schedule as planned, the best way is to do large work in smaller 25-minute chunks (Pomodoro technique)
Also, when the timer starts, we will form a habit to start working on tasks immediately.
HyperDone has integrated Pomodoro and Stopwatch timer, which makes working this way very easy.
4. Award yourself for taking action
If possible award yourself for taking action you are delaying or not enjoying. Sometimes you can bundle things you love with things you procrastinate on.
Listen to favorite music while exercising.
I will listen my favorite music if I finish excercise.
5. Review your day/week and celebrate success
An essential thing to avoiding procrastination in the future is to celebrate success. If you have finished some important task or had a productive week, it is a good time to celebrate.
This way, you will have extra motivation when you faced a challenging task and tempted to procrastinate.
I suggest taking time at the end of each day or week and reviewing what you have done successfully. That takes only a few minutes, especially if you use HyperDone reporting.
We all know that fighting procrastination is hard, and we must realize that we all sometimes procrastinate no matter what. That is perfectly fine if it happens from time to time.
Using the techniques described above, you can stop procrastinating so often and focus on finishing your planned work more easily. Make sure you also check HyperDone as tools like this make your life easier and happier.