How to Beat Procrastination and Get Stuff Done

We all have those days where we have work to do, reviews to write, deadlines to make, homework to do …

The problem? We can’t get anything done!

We keep procrastinating and putting everything off, which only makes things worse because now you have even more things to do the next day and it’s all chaos and panic and self-destruction from there on out.

giphy (13)

Do you want to stay happy and not be reduced to a puddle of stress?

No worries. I’ve got you covered. Here are my top ten tips for beating procrastination.

1. Make a To-Do List

This is so simple it’s almost ridiculous. Do you feel like you’ve got a million and one things to do? Do you think you’ll forget to do about a 107 of those things?

Well, there’s an easy solution: make a to-do list.

It’s a surefire way to remember everything you’re supposed to do. It also helps beat procristantion because there’s nothing more satisfying than being able to scratch off an item on your list. 

There are several ways you can make a to-do list. You can use a pen and a piece of paper and simply write down everything you want or need to do that day.

Or, you can be a bit fancier and use pretty stationary (such as a bullet journal!) or an app. Since I’m too much of a perfectionist to keep a bullet journal (not to mention there’s not an artistic bone in my body) I usually opt for pen and paper or an app / tool.

Apps and tools I recommend: Todoist, Trello, and good old Google Calendar. I advise you to make different categories for each task. For example, I use Google Calendar and have categories such as Blogging, Writing, Work, Free Time, and a few others. Here’s a screenshot

Calendar

2. Do the Easy Stuff First

This might seem counterintuitive, but I promise it works. If you have an essay or a book review to write but also have emails to answer, do the email first. Go for the tasks that are quick and easy first and build some momentum. Before you know it, you can scratch off several items on your to-do list and you can start on the harder stuff.

3. Break the Hard Tasks up into Tiny Parts

Speaking of, how to handle say “Learn French” or “Write 5 reviews and 2 blog posts” ? Obviously, these are tasks that will take a lot of time and effort or are simply too big and overwhelming to handle. To make sure you don’t bail out, try breaking up the big, scary tasks into small ones. Take babysteps.

Don’t say, “I want to learn French”. Instead, say, “I want to learn twenty new words today.” Don’t say “I need to write 5 review.” Instead, say, “I’m going to write one review.” (Tip: start with the one you’re most excited about! That’ll get the ball rolling)

4. Use the Pomodoro Technique

There are some days you just know you’re going to have to work or study all day to get things done and you’ll hardly have any free time. This might stop you from even doing one thing on your list, so you need a different approach.

Don’t think: “Oh, I’m going to be stuck at this desk the whole day and it’s going to suck.

Think: “I’m going to work for 25 minutes and then I’ll take a break.

This is the Pomodoro Technique. If 25 minutes is too challenging, start with 15. I’m telling you, this is a great time management technique. You know why? Because it tricks you into starting and chances are that once you’ve started, you won’t need a break every 15 or 25 minutes. You’ll be in the groove and getting A LOT work done.

giphy (14)
Sorry. I had to include this one. Never gets old for me xD

5. Stay Away from the Internet

This doesn’t need any explanation. We all check Facebook or Instagram or Goodreads or watch cat videos. Basically, the internet is one giant distraction and it’s getting in your way of getting things done.

The solution? Turn off the internet and leave your phone on the other side of the room.

Pro Tip: Use StayFocusd. “StayFocusd is a productivity extension for Google Chrome that helps you stay focused on work by restricting the amount of time you can spend on time-wasting websites. Once your allotted time has been used up, the sites you have blocked will be inaccessible for the rest of the day.” It’s kind of evil but also genius.

stayfocused

6. Set a Goal and Tell Someone About It

This works great for me because I HATE FAILING as do most people. It’s the reason why I set up a Goodreads Challenge at the beginning of the year; I just knew it would motivate me to read more… and it has (I’ve almost reached my goal!)

This works for writing too. (Just think of NaNoWriMo)

And running. (Sign up for a race)

And literally everything else.

7. Treat Yo Self

Have you finished an item on your list?

Time for a reward!

This can be literally anything (5 minutes of Facebook, cake, 10 minutes of reading, cake …) but don’t go overboard. Don’t reward yourself for doing five minutes of work by taking 50 minutes off.

8. Don’t be Too Hard on Yourself

Don’t feel bad if you haven’t done as much as you would’ve liked. Tomorrow is another day and you can try again. Feeling guilty will only increase your chances of procrastinating. So take it easy and start with renewed energy the next day!

9. Go Hardcore: Ask Yourself Why You’re Procrastinating

I’m not a psychiatrist, but it’s been proven that this works. If you ask yourself why you’re procrastinating, it might help you work through your issues and start doing the thing you’re avoiding doing. (I hope that made sense)

For example, I know that I procrastinate writing because I’m afraid whatever I write will never be good enough. This stops me from writing in the first place, which is bad. The obvious solution is to…

10. Just Start!!

Stop doubting yourself. Stop being a perfectionist.

START and DO IT.

giphy (12)

You got this.

Do you procrastinate? How do you get things done? Will you be using one of my tips? Let me know in the comments!

Add heading (6)

 

32 thoughts on “How to Beat Procrastination and Get Stuff Done

  1. LOVE this post ❤ Making to-do lists is the only way I ever get anything done. I also really like using an internet blocker (I use one called SelfControl), especially when I'm at school trying to write a paper or do research. I'm so much more productive that way!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is so useful! It’s nothing I wasn’t already aware of but just having all these tips in one place and reading thorugh them made me motivated and ready to get some work done! Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love it 💖 great tips 🙂 I totally agree with everything you’ve just written – one of my always is making to do lists, whether it’d be for work, or blogging or day to day house chores there’s always a to do list and a pretty marker to cross the items off of that list 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post! Currently I’m procrastinating what I need to do by reading through blogs I follow, haha 🙂 I’m a strong believer in making lists: I have a set of colored pens/markers and a little journal where I constantly make various lists. Blog post ideas, books to review, books to read, things to buy, etc. It’s so satisfying to cross off something you’ve done, and I like to put really simple tasks on the list to motivate me to do more, like “do laundry” or “wash my makeup brushes”. Those tasks take very little time, but it’s a task nonetheless, and I’m gonna cross it off my list!

    Liked by 1 person

    • YES! I include very small tasks too because it feels like you’ve done a ton of work (even though in reality it didn’t take very long). Still, it’s very motivating to see all those items crossed off your list 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. AMAZING! I think we’re all procrastinators at heart. It just depends on how you procrastinate or even if you accept it! To do lists are so helpful and I’ve seen some blogger friends writing how much time each task will take so they can be really organised! I’m so drawn to that idea and I really want to try it out. I don’t think I’d use stay focuses because…WELL, It’s SCARY? I definitely agree with ‘JUST START’ because we do so much and prepare ourselves when sometimes we just need to dive in. I watched a TED talk on procrastinating (can’t find the link atm) and it was hilariously realistic and amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • StayFocusd is definitely scary. It’s kind of a last resort measure if I’m really behind and I need to get stuff done 😀
      I think I saw that TED Talk! It was great 🙂

      Like

  6. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOOOOOU. Lauren, you are my savior because school has just started for me and I’ve DEFINITELY been procrastinating. I SO agree that having a to-do list/goals are definitely helpful! I use a to-do list in my planner, but also Google Keep because once you check the task off, IT SCRATCHES ITSELF OFF LIKE WHOA. XD The Pomodoro technique sounds great! And I’d totally get little extensions that limit your time on specific sites, but I just think that it wouldn’t work right for me. 😛 love this post, tho!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I definitely find myself procrastinating from time to time. I actually do the hard stuff first rather than the easy, that way I can get it out of the way then during breaks I work on the easy stuff (like responding to an e-mail). Listening to uplifting music helps me to concentrate at times as well as drinking my favorite tea or eating my favorite snack.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh my LAWD. GUuuuuuuuRRRRrrrllll. You are one helluva life saver. I’d never heard of the technique you mentioned in #4 or the Chrome extension in #5. This is going to help me A. LOT.

    THANK YOOUUUU!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Impressive and easy understanding article on overcoming procrastination! Making a to-do list is always the first step to increase efficiency. Sometimes people start to procrastinate because there are too many things to deal with and things get messed up without a clear plan. Staying away from the Internet is also important. The Internet could be one of the main reasons that account for people’s distraction. Sometimes we just cannot stop checking social media, replying messages and playing games on mobile phones or on computers. Other than StayFocusd which you have mentioned in the post, there is an app called Forest that is designed to help users stop playing mobile phones and concentrate on their work. When you turn on the working mode, there will be a tree growing in the app. Once you leave the app and start to check your Facebook or play a game, your tree will wither away. And if you grow certain amount of trees in the app, they will plant a real tree for you, which sounds amazing! Anyone who feels addicted to his phone can have a try!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s