Ever found yourself inventing things to do to avoid starting an important job? Are there some tasks that seem to refuse to budge from your to-do list?
The dictionary defines procrastination as: Putting off or delaying, especially something requiring immediate attention.
We’ve all done it to varying degrees. I can think of a few instances where I’ve excelled at it. But let’s be honest, it doesn’t feel great. The activities you use to distract yourself don’t even feel as good as they normally do, because you know you’re neglecting the one thing that needs to get done.
So how can we stop ourselves from procrastinating? I’ve spent some time exploring this sneaky little habit, and have identified some simple things you can do today to get yourself moving again:
1. What are your ‘distractables’?
First things first, write a list of the things that you tend to do to when you’re procrastinating. Often we have habitual activities that we are drawn to when we’re looking for something to distract ourselves. It might be that you find yourself aimlessly surfing the net, or turning on the tv. I seem to find random household chores that seem more appealing then the job I should really be focusing on. Yes, believe it or not, there are jobs on my list that are way less fun than folding laundry.
Once you’ve got your list, highlight your worst offenders.
Now see what you can do to banish your ‘distractables.’ One of the greatest inventions I’ve found is a nifty little browser extension called WasteNoTime. It allows me to set time limits for certain websites (I’m proud to say I now spend only ten minutes a day on Facebook) and switch on Instant Lockdown, which blocks all the sites that I have listed.
Install it today (it’s free...yay) and I promise you’ll be blown away. It will give you a little on screen warning when you only have 3 minutes left, and then, when your time is up, your browser won’t open the selected web page and instead, will give you an awesome quote about time management (kind of like a friendly kick up the a$@). Love love love it.
For each of your major ‘distractables’, come up with a solution to stop wasting your time with it and get back to work.
2. Ask yourself why?
Take a good look at your to-do list. Does it feel a little un-inspiring ? Maybe it’s time to align your list with your dreams.
Sound a bit crazy ? Not so much. Imagine having a list that made you excited and passionate.
It’s pretty simple thinking really. Let’s have a look at some examples. Imagine your list looks like this: