How to Beat Procrastination

Stop procrastinating! Get up and go do things, Reader.

Procrastination is an evil we all have to battle. It’s so, so very easy to put things off for later. I mean, do your shoes really need to be cleaned right now? It can be done next week, when you don’t have a deadline to meet at work. Or must you exercise right now? You have some reading left to do! Besides, the best time to exercise has been scientifically proven to be two hours from now (it hasn’t).

That’s the wrong way to think about it. If you think of chores as onerous tasks, they’ll become a lot harder to do. But that isn’t what this blog is about. You’re here to learn tips and tricks to beat procrastination, and so that’s what you shall have.

  1. Just do it

Sounds unhelpful, doesn’t it? You’re probably thinking that if you could just do it – that if it was that very easy to get off your ass and be productive, you wouldn’t be reading this in the first place. But where you’re going wrong is, you’re thinking. You’re thinking about the task, about how boring it is, how much energy it’ll consume, and how much you don’t want to do it. Don’t. Shut your thoughts off for a moment, and just get up and do it.

  1. Just do one

This will help with the previous tip, although it’s good enough as a standalone tip. A lot of the time, we dread something, but when we actually do it, it isn’t as bad as we’d anticipated. This tip helps overcome that issue. Just do one squat, write one paragraph, reply to one email, or dust one small table – and most of the time, you’ll go ‘Hey, this wasn’t that bad!’ and the momentum will carry you forward.

  1. Get up

Don’t make the decision to do (or not do) something which requires physical activity, when you’re sitting down and feeling cozy. You’ll never want to get up from your comfortable state and go do stuff. Instead, force yourself to get up, pace around a little bit, and then think about the task at hand. Since you’re already up and moving, you’ll feel a lot less lazy and you’ll be a lot more likely to get things done.

  1. Set a timer

For this one you’ll need a timer, so you can use the one on your phone, or just Google “timer”. Set the timer for, say, five minutes, and only do the task for that amount of time. As soon as the time’s up, you dust your hands off and get right back to what you were doing. This trick reduces your inertia, because you know you’ll only be working for a specific time period – and since it’s short, you know you won’t get tired.

One or the other of these should work for you, so test these out to see what floats your boat. Or if these don’t work, you can always get your ‘productivity hat’ out!

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