8 Brilliant Ways To Beat Procrastination Once And For All
If you’re like me, you’ve been procrastinating as long as you can remember. Buying groceries, project deadlines, monthly reports, filling the car up with gas; if you can put it off, it remains unfinished until the last minute. But fear not, fellow procrastinator! I’ve compiled a list of ways to finally beat procrastination. Use one method, or combine them to conquer your to-do list.
With this technique, you break your time into 25-minute intervals, with five minute breaks in between each sprint. The science behind this technique suggests that we can only concentrate on a task for about 25 minutes before we start to lose focus. So breaking up our work this way means you can stay on task, and still have a few minutes to grab water, get up and stretch, or check emails. If you want to add some tech to this method, there’s an app for that! Try the Flat Tomato, which actually lets you add your own to-do list or projects and track time for each individually.
2. The 1-3-5 List.
A minimalist productivity technique, the 1-3-5 list has you prioritize your to-do list so that you can get the biggest things done, instead of leaving you with a list 25 lines long and no idea where to start. Start by writing down one big item you need to get done, three medium-sized tasks, and five smaller projects. With this technique you can easily see what you need to get done, and can parcel out your time accordingly. If you want to add some tech to this method, there’s an app for that! 135 List is a supercharged checklist app that lets you see which tasks you’ve assigned each day, and check them off as you go along.
This sounds unpleasant, but this method is just to encourage you to figure out the biggest task that needs to get done, and do it first. No putting it off, no procrastinating, just eat the frog!
Are you dealing with priority blindness? Can’t tell the difference between important, and urgent, when it comes to the tasks ahead? Try the method made famous by President Eisenhower, and bring clarity to the chaos. Create a square, and divide that square into four boxes. Label the boxes “Important and urgent”, “Important but not urgent”, “Not important, but urgent”, and “Not important, not urgent”. Place all of your to-do list under one of the titles, and work from the first to the last in each box. With time, you should be able to eliminate more of the “Important and urgent” list by working ahead and finishing the task/project before it moves to that box.
5. The Action Method.
Instead of just a straight “to-do” list, this method suggests that you break up your list into the following categories: action steps, references, and back-burners. Action items are things that you can get done immediately or within a quick timeframe; easy to cross off the list. References are items that need more follow-up, perhaps a phone call or more research needs to be done. This will be a little more time consuming than the actionable items. Back-burners are exactly what they sound like: tasks or projects that can be put on the back-burner because they do not need to be done immediately.
6. The Seinfeld Method.
Do you have a long-term project you’d like to finally complete? Or something you’d like to learn, but never make time for, like a new language or an instrument? The Seinfeld method aims to keep you on track with learning by making your accomplishments visual. Set aside time each day for whatever you want to focus on, and then mark your calendar or planner with a check mark every day you make progress. The trick to this method is not to break the pattern! You’re challenging yourself to never skip a day. The longer you manage with this new routine, the more it will become a habit.
7. 30/30 technique.
If you prefer to assign tasks based on how much time it will take you to do them, this technique is for you. Each project or item on your to-do list gets a time slot, and you work on completing each item before moving on to the next one. If you want to add some tech to this method, there’s an app for that! With a built-in timer, you can customize and divide up your time based on work sessions, right inside the app.
8. The Weekly Plan.
Perhaps the most straightforward method, this idea has you compile all of your to-do items in one place for the day, week, and month ahead. It makes you look a little further beyond the day-to-day so that you can plan ahead and no deadlines sneak up on you. As your days progress, you can move the items around on the lists, making some higher priorities as you look at the week/month ahead. This is a great method for those who want a comprehensive view of the month to come and won’t get stressed by looking ahead.