Why do we procrastinate? Quite honestly, because there’s a task we don’t enjoy doing, we don’t want to do, or it is not a priority at the time. People will find many other ways to fill their time rather than focusing on that dreaded task. The activity you are procrastinating on may be overwhelming, boring, or something you need help doing. All of us procrastinate, even professional organizers, but there are several resources and techniques available to help us stay focused and avoid procrastination.
Here are some ways to stay focused and avoid procrastination:
Use apps and reminders
Technology such as productivity apps, alerts in our email, and alarms and timers on our phones can help us stay on task.
Adjust social media settings
If social media is your preferred time waster/procrastination tool, adjust settings on your mobile device, web browser or inside the individual apps to alert you (or log you off of those social media apps) after you’ve been logged in for a predetermined amount of time.
Write to-do lists
There are many options here, both paper and digitally, such as digital calendars, bullet journals, or simply writing down everything you need to do on a piece of paper.
Prioritize your to-do list
Determine what task you need to do first, what is most important to you. Organize your to-do list based on your own priorities.
Tackle that “procrastinating task” at a time of day when you have the most energy.
If you’re a morning person, do it first thing when you wake up, if you’re a night owl, plan to work on it later in the evening. Work on that task during your high-energy time of day.
Eliminate distractions in your surroundings
Look at your surroundings and determine if there are any distractions or interruptions that frequently take you away from focusing. Do you work best in a coffee shop? Do you need to go to a co-working space, or a library? Do you need to close your office door and hang up a “do-not-disturb” sign? Do you need to turn off your phone ringer, text alerts, email alerts, etc.? Do you need to have someone watch your children? Ask yourself these questions, and do what you can to eliminate distractions.
Ask for accountability
Tell a friend or family member what you are doing, and when you’ll get it done. Then tell them that you will check in with them at a certain day and time to report on what you’ve accomplished. Just knowing that someone is going to hold you accountable can make you finally get things done.
If you would like guidance and assistance with time management from a certified professional organizer, I’d love to help you! I offer time management consultations virtually via FaceTime and Skype, and in person in the Raleigh, North Carolina area. Please contact me for a free phone consultation to learn more or get started.