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How To Stop Procrastinating, Like Now

Procrastination…it happens to all of us. We get assigned a research paper months before the due date, but somehow wait until the night before to get it started. OR putting off your laundry for weeks until it becomes impossible to find something to wear. Procrastination attacks the best of us, but you don’t have to keep the cycle going. Here are some helpful ways to start crushing your to-do list.

Do all the non-work stuff first.

Start off by tackling the non-work-related tasks first, whether it’s taking out the trash, getting the dishes started, or cleaning your room beforehand. This will get you into the working mindset.

Get out of your house.

Try mixing up your workspace, so you can focus more. Get out of the house and go to a coffee shop, cowork space, public university, or a library. Getting out of the house can create a more clear mind-space, it helps signal that it’s time to get to work.

Use apps to help you.

Make productivity your best friend with free organizing apps like Todoist and Any.do. They can help you keep track of time and tasks and send you notifications when a deadline’s approaching. You can also use web blockers like Self Control or Freedom, which let you limit the time you spend on certain sites.

Treat yourself.

Tangible rewards for finishing your tasks can incentivize you to get to work. Whether it’s treating yourself to your favorite dinner, or a glass of wine while watching an episode of your favorite show. Try giving yourself one big reward a day.

Don’t forget to take a break.

A study done by Draugiem Group, a social networking company, found that 10% of employees with the highest productivity didn’t put in longer hours than anyone else. In fact, they didn’t even work full eight-hour days. What they did was take regular breaks – they took 17-minute breaks for every 52 minutes of work. All you need to do is set a timer to keep you on track.

Start small & build up.

Find the minimum reasonable amount of action you can take. Now cut it in half and take that as your starting point. It is essential to start small, unreasonably small, and work your way up. The gradual increase will make it much easier to bust through your natural resistance and follow through. Smaller actions are easier to do, thus less likely to be put off.

Embrace the one-minute rule.

The one-minute rule to fight procrastination is if anything takes less than a minute, do it now. For example, make your bed in the morning, do your dishes right after using them, and try responding to direct texts as soon as you read them. All of this will help you overcome the looming dread of not having done stuff.