5 Tips to Beat Procrastination and Meet Deadlines
At some point in our lives, we deal with procrastination. For some of this, it’s a daily struggle. You know what needs to be done, but for some reason, you allow yourself to get distracted and end up waiting until the very last minute to get the job done. This brings on unnecessary stress and pressure, and there’s no guarantee you will have enough time.
What is procrastination?
There are two main types of procrastination: active and passive. You either semi-choose to procrastinate because you think you work better under pressure or you get sucked into a rabbit hole of self-doubt and indecision, so you wait until the very last second.
Here are some other common ways we procrastinate.
- Anxiety Procrastination: Being so anxious about doing something that you keep putting it off.
- Productive Procrastination: Working on anything else.
- Revenge Bedtime Procrastination: Staying up really late just to get as much free time as you can.
What are some tips to beat procrastination?
1. Just start working. One thing you may do is to just force yourself to start and to make the smallest first step possible. After you take a small step, you are more likely to continue. Keep telling yourself you can keep going for another 15 minutes, and you will naturally keep wanting to keep at it.
2. Make sure you don’t have unreasonably big goals and expectations. By reducing the number of decisions, you need to make throughout the tasks become manageable instead of overwhelming. Make a list and cross items off as you do them rewarding yourself each time.
3. Give yourself visual clues. A visual cue is something you can see (a visual reminder) that prompts you to take action. As the visual evidence of your progress mounts, it is natural to become more motivated to continue the habit. Try the paperclip strategy explained here.
4. Change Your Environment. By making your environment more inspiring, you may become more focused. Sometimes simply changing things around and putting your phone in a drawer in another space can help to keep you on task. If you have to, put your phone on do-not-disturb.
5. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines. Sometimes planning the day before helps to eliminate procrastination. When you think about the plan, it can increase your mental energy. Grab a pen and paper and make 1. a master list 2. a monthly list 3. a weekly list.
What are some tools to beat procrastination?
Task manager tools can help you stay on task and meet deadlines. Check out these apps and choose the one that fits your needs best.
- Todoist - “Become focused, organized, and calm with Todoist. The world’s #1 task manager and to-do list app.”
- Usemotion - “The Motion Task Manager doesn’t just manage and organize your tasks. It prioritizes and adds tasks to your schedule to make sure you complete everything by deadline.”
- Asana - “Task management is more than a to-do list. It means tracking tasks from beginning to end, delegating subtasks to teammates, and setting deadlines to make sure projects get done on time.“
- Monday.com - “Stay organized and efficient with a powerful task management platform. Plan, manage and track all your team's tasks in one flexible software.”
“The only difference between success and failure is the ability to take action.”
-Alexander Graham Bell