We’ve all been there — you have a project you need to complete, and despite the logical part of your brain telling you it needs to get done, the rest wants to rewatch The Office or take a personality quiz about what type of cupcake matches your cat’s personality. We at Climb Credit understand how strong the pull of procrastination can be, so we put together some helpful tips to fight back.
1. Listen to music
Music can be a great motivation to get stuff done — ask anyone with a workout playlist. No matter what type of music motivates you, find out your power songs and play them in the background to give you the push you need to keep going.
2. Reward yourself
Positive reinforcement can be a powerful tool. After all, why wouldn’t you write 1,000 words if you get ice cream at the end? And if you respond more to the stick than the carrot, you can also go in the opposite direction — you don’t get to go out for dinner with your friends tonight unless you’ve written 1,000 words.
3. Just start
Sometimes you just have to force yourself to start, no matter the result. It doesn’t matter if it’s good, what matters is that it exists — that’s the hardest part. Once something’s on the page, you can make it better. Take this blog post, for instance. It started with sporadic words, which were then shaped into coherent phrases, and finally cogent paragraphs. And voila, we have a blog post!
4. Don’t multitask
It can be tempting to try to do multiple things at once in order to get everything finished. But in the long run, doing so can actually set you back. Not only are you giving less than your full attention to details, and thus probably doing less quality work, but you may make an error that causes you to have to go back and redo things. It’s better to play it safe and focus on one thing at a time.
5. Divide the whole task into microtasks
It’s much easier to accomplish a small task than a large task. Figure out what littles pieces make up the whole, and focus on completing each one by one.
6. Set deadlines for yourself
When you have some nebulous “sometime” to complete your goal, it’s easy to put it off. Deadlines, even ones you set for yourself, can give you the sense of urgency you need to get going. Even better? Create individual deadlines for the microtasks mentioned above. Smaller tasks and smaller timeframes will keep your project moving along nicely.
7. Work in smaller time segments
This goes hand-in-hand with the microtasks mentioned earlier. It’s much easier to work if you don’t have to do it for too long. Set a certain amount of time you have to work and work through that whole time block without stopping.
8. Block distractions while you work
9. Don’t be hard on yourself
We all mess up. Finishing a project is hard enough without beating yourself up because you checked Facebook. Just keep going and work extra hard not to get distracted. You’re fine!