How to Stop Procrastinating
We’ve all been there. A deadline is looming and you have precisely zero motivation to do what needs doing. Even if you’ve given yourself enough time to complete your task(s), all you seem capable of is lying in bed like a human burrito as episode after episode of Gilmore Girls auto plays on your laptop.
Even if your to-do list is full of things you genuinely like to do, it feels like actually starting will surely kill you. The sun gradually sinks lower and lower in the sky as you suck on your Cheeto stained fingers and wonder when, approximately, you became a human garbage can.
Well wonder no more my little waste receptacle, because there is hope for you. Let’s start simple:
Make Your Bed
It’s just a little thing and it’s very simple, but it will get you up and doing something. First, it will keep you from going back to bed, because let’s be honest, that’s where we’d all spend our lives if we could, and secondly, once you’re in motion, motivation starts creeping in bit by bit, and suddenly “productivity” is your middle name. (Finally you can legally change it. “Towanda” just didn’t fit your vibe, sorry mom and dad)
Make a Comfy Workspace
If your task isn’t a physical chore like cleaning the house, but something that requires you to sit somewhere with focused attention, surround your workspace with pleasant things. Light a candle, sprinkle some essential oils, set up your vision board of your reunion with Harambe; whatever it takes to make you feel relaxed and focused.
Go Somewhere Else
As lovely as your workspace may be, sometimes getting away from it and out of the house is precisely the kick in the pants you need. Go to a groovy neighborhood café by yourself and get some focused work done. Otherwise there will be nothing to do but sip on a lukewarm, overpriced latte and play a game of “who can be more judgmental” with the coffee shop hipsters.
Treat Yo Self
Positive reinforcement is a powerful thing. Maybe there’s a movie you really want to see or a Netflix show you want to binge. Maybe there’s a specific brand of chocolate you usually don’t buy because it’s expensive or a particularly basic person you would like to annihilate. Make a deal with yourself that if you complete your task, you can have your reward. Not only will the weight of worrying about finishing your tasks be lifted, but you will enjoy your reward so much more knowing that you’ve earned it.
Use the 60 Second Rule
Tell yourself you will only do the task for 60 seconds. 60 seconds is nothing, it’s over so fast. However, you will find Newton’s Law taking effect, and things in motion (you) will stay in motion (also you). This is a great way to trick yourself in to being productive because your brain is bad at time.
Mix it Up
If you have several things that need to get done, jot them down on a list. Then read the list and pick the one that makes you feel like dying the least. Begin that task. If you get bored or distracted, pick something else from the list and begin that task. While leaving something incomplete is not ideal, having a head start on multiple tasks can help you get motivated in the future because instead of thinking, “I have to start X, Y, and Z from scratch,” you can think, “X, Y, and Z are nearly finished, I just have to add A, B, and C, and then I can stop using letters to stand in for possible hypothetical scenarios!”
There you have it, you are garbage no more! I now pronounce you Princess Productive! (We’re all princesses today, don’t worry about it. Wear your tiara with pride.)