It isn’t easy to find the energy to get stuff done, when you would rather sit on the couch and watch TV. But unless you live in a world were calling in sick to work, not handing in term papers, and waking up at noon have no consequences, it’s something you must overcome.
If you are not a procrastinator, then this article isn’t for you…go find something productive to do. The rest of us need a litany of motivational boosters that can get us off the couch and into gear.
When passion, habits, and a productive environment have failed you, it’s time to look else were. Here is a short list of 11 tricks than you can use to get leverage on your procrastination.
Start With “Why”
Sometimes doing things mundane is hard, focusing on them doesn’t make them any easier. If you go back to the “why” and ask “why am I doing this can often help refocus your efforts. If you can’t come up with a good answer for why, then maybe you shouldn’t be doing it.
Focus on Right Now
Don’t live in the past on what you accomplished yesterday and don’t worry about what you need to do tomorrow. Be present and find something you can do right now to make one step towards completing you goal.
5 Good Minutes
Start working for 5 minutes. Set a timer if you must. Often 5 minutes is enough to get you moving in the right direction.
Get Up and Move
If you are sitting at a desk, stand up and move as if you were determined to do something. The “fake it” approach always feels silly to do, but in some cases it actually works.
Break Up Your Task
Whatever your task is even if its small, break it up. If you have to enter 100 lines of data into a spread sheet, then do 10 at a time and take a break between each set. Fighting a stack of work and looking at how much needs to be done leads to procrastination. Try bite sized chunks to get it done.
Identify The Issue
Step back and ask yourself what is your problem. Maybe you are tired, angry, restless, or bored. See if you can solve the root cause and resolve the issue.
Lean on a Friend
Find someone who knows how to kick you in the ass when you are dragging your feet. A friend can help you push through your plateaus when you would normally quit if left to your own devices.
Start With a Planned Out Morning
Eliminating decisions early in the day can lead to more productivity later in the day. Layout your clothes and create a to do list the night before. When you build momentum in the morning you can usually carry it forward with you for the afternoon.
Pivot Your Problems
A big motivational killer is small obstacles that come in our path that create endless roadblocks of frustration. Reframe the problem into a challenge instead of an obstacle.
Get a Mantra
Find some quotes that speak to you inner psyche. It doesn’t matter if it’s from a corny movie or Mother Teresa, if it speaks to you and motivates you that’s all that matters. Get a mantra, post it on your fridge, tack it to your cubicle wall, and save it as your computer screen saver.
Success Begets Success
When you accomplish something it’s easy to feel motivated. Emotions aren’t situationally specific, so small victories can make you feel like the king the of the world. It can be as simple as a compliment from a teacher or colleague or getting three quarters of your work done before noon. If you can front load your to do list with straight forward tasks like exercise early in the day, you can often parley these into affirmations that you can succeed later.
What are your best tips? Let me know in the comments below.