As I’m sure you know, I’ve been working flat out in order to try and get my business in a more ready state. Unsurprisingly I’ve struggled a bit with focusing. So I’ve had to make a concerted effort to avoid procastinating. I highly doubt I’m alone on this front. Lots of work to do, but ya know, I should probably clean the flat first… Yeah, not the best idea. So here are my top 5 tips for keeping on top of your tasks.
1. Leave your phone out of reach
I could easily spend hours on my phone, either looking at photos, playing games or just checking my social media accounts. If I know I’ve a lot to get on with, I will leave my phone out of reach. The old adage, out of sight, out of mind. That works. So if you can do without, please do.
2. Close unnecessary browser windows
Now this is probably more applicable to those of us that work online, or on a computer. Although I’m sure everyone has to do some admin at some point. Either way, if you are prone to checking your personal email, or facebook, or instagram…. the list goes on. Just don’t open a personal browsing tab at all. I’m a killer for this, I could easily end up in a strange social media loop. Just don’t open it until your done, or it’s an allocated break. Which leads me onto the next tip.
3. Work to a time limit
Now I used to try and make myself work solidly until my lunch break. Nope, nah, no way. That’s 4 hours minimum. Instead, I’ve switched to 25minute slots with 5 minute breaks in between. So if I must check my social media, I will do it within those minutes. Sometimes I will go longer because I’m in the middle of something. It’s just getting in the habit of not checking social media every few minutes. Plus 25minutes is a pretty short period of time. I will sometimes use a timer, or stop watch to count down. I know some people use a kitchen timer. Use whatever suits you.
4. Turn off your internet connection
Now we’ve mentioned putting your phone out of sight and closing browser windows. This is when you have some serious work to get through and are short on time. Turn off any wifi or data connection on your phone and computer. You can work offline until you get sorted. I am currently writing this up on Byword. You can write up anything in a text editor, then copy and paste it onto the online platform. You can edit videos and photos offline. Whatever task you’re trying to achieve, there is a way of doing it offline.
I should also point out, I tend to turn off my internet connections when I’m sorting out the flat too. It’s far too easy to check Instagram for a few minutes, which then turns into 20minutes or longer. Plus those notifications going off can be so distracting! If I have to get stuff done, the internet is turned off.
5. Do it now
This is my last tip and it’s been very useful. If like me, you avoid checking work related emails, or putting off tasks you won’t enjoy, this is a must for you. Do that dreaded task first, just get it out of the way, don’t give yourself a choice about it. Then it’s done and you can move on. Don’t check your facebook, don’t wait until the TV show is over. Just do it now.
I say don’t give yourself a choice, simply because it can wear down your willpower. If you argue with yourself over whether or not you should just do something, you’re using up some of your willpower. That will make it harder for you to hold your resolutions for any other decisions you have to make. It makes sense! We exhaust our willpower and mental capacity. So just get on and do it.
Oh and don’t use that as an excuse for doing all sorts of random things. Don’t decide half way through a task to wander off and clear out your closet, or go for a hike. Finish what you’re doing.
So those are my five tips for dealing with my procrastination. Do you have any you’d like to share? How do you keep yourself on track?