You know those days where you look at your to-do list, and your body starts sliding down your chair, your eyes glaze over, you tune people out and your fingers twitch to click on Facebook, do some Amazon browsing, or in my case, do the latest Buzzfeed Quiz on which Disney Princess I am… It’s hard not to get distracted and lose focus on what you need to be doing with all of the fun shiny things around you constantly calling your name. In honour of National Fight Procrastination Day, we asked the mwah. community for their best tips for biting the bullet and getting shit done! Here is what you said.
(1) Set the scene
Before you even start to work, it is important make sure that the environment you are in is suited to what you are doing and is not going to be a source of interaction or disruption. This means choosing the spot where you are going to do majority of your tasks and get it prepared i.e. clean up, remove any unnecessary distractions (Phones, Fidget Spinners or in my case, any Harry Potter merchandise). Make sure your lighting is right and place yourself in a spot where you won’t be constantly interrupted and you’ll avoid procrastination like a boss.
Here are some words of wisdom from the mwah. community on setting the scene;
- “Make your bed!” (Paul Davis)
- “I turn off email notifications and forward the phone to voicemail for half an hour or so to break the back of something. But sometimes it’s me rather than the distraction, and I need to do something else before I can focus. That’s when I go clean the office microwave, unload the dishwasher, sort out a pile of paper on my desk”… (Rebecca Rushton)
- “Headphones in, Spotify on, let the music act as the white noise while you focus on the task at hand”. (William Cross)
- “Turn off all electronic devices and put them away and use the ‘focus’ mode on Microsoft Office so there’s nothing else on your screen”. (Sarah Brighton-Hall)
- “Put on some music – headphones in and do one easy/quick thing to give you an endorphin boost so that you have ticked something off the list, and then leverage that feeling to knock off one or two things then go for a 5 min walk or stretch”. (Jason Whitty)
- “Close Outlook! I repeat close Outlook. Outlook is the killer of all productivity”. (Darren Murphy)
(2) To Do Lists
Most of the mwah. community have told us that ‘To Do’ lists are the keys to getting things done and not procrastinating! This includes all kinds of lists, ranging from simple hand written notes, post-it’s on your computer, or even using online tools like Wunderlist.
Some of your specific suggestions include;
- “Get a blank sheet of paper and start there. Not sure if its lack of other stimulus on the page or something else. but it gets me moving to fill in the blanks!” (Leo Bowers)
- “Start with the hardest thing on the list, then everything feels simple and do-able!” (Becks McTavish)
- ‘I break down my task into doable focus items.’ (Patria Jafferies)
(3) Reward yourself
So, you have finished some of your tasks and are feeling the need to put your feet up and clock off for the rest of the day. But there is A LOT more to get done and you need to get motivated to get them across the line.
The mwah. community is big on rewarding yourself to stay motivated. When you complete a task, set a mini reward aside for yourself and repeat – one task done, reward. One task done, reward, and repeat until you have completed what you have set out to do. Rewards can range from putting on your favourite soundtrack, having a snack, or even going for a short walk.
Here are some of your suggestions;
- “When I’m avoiding doing something I don’t want to, I try to do something to boost my energy to get through it. Before a difficult conversation, I’ll do something nice for myself like stand in the sunshine. Or I turn into a boring task into a game by setting a timer and seeing how quickly I could do it in the time I have”. (Coleen Fernandez)
- “Eat an Avocado” (ummmm, thanks Chris Mccarren!)
- “I think about how happy I will be when I am done. Every little step you take will bring you closer to finishing, and make the thought of your happiness stronger until it is no longer just a thought”. (Daniel Monley)
Hopefully these brilliant tips from the mwah. community will help you fight procrastination like and pro and get shit done!
P.S I’m totally an Ariel in that Buzzfeed quiz ?