The feeling you get after being productive is an extremely relieving and satisfying feeling. But, if that’s the case, why is it SO hard to just get stuff done?
Here are some tips on how to actually be productive whether it’s school related, work related, chore related, or just anything you really tend to push off to the last possible second.
- Make a list of what you want to accomplish every day, week, month, etc. I have a white board hanging up in my room where I will write everything I need to do for that particular day and also assignments I have due in the next week or so. This forces me to see what I want/need to accomplish. I don’t erase something unless it’s 100% complete.
- Get a good start to your day. If you wake up and are laying in bed for 30 minutes checking your phone, it can set the mood for the day. At least it does for me! I always get out of bed feeling lazy and tired. When I skip checking my phone, I can take more time to get ready and feel a lot less rushed and more comfortable. I can even grab a snack to eat before class which definitely helps me feel more refreshed and ready to get on with the day. I always am able to catch up with social media at other times in the day.
- Just start it! Sometimes, the biggest task is just starting something. Once you get over that hump, things tend to get quite a bit easier.
- If you find yourself working on something for a long time and feel like you should take a break, but really don’t need one, DON’T BREAK JUST GO. I get very rare motivational bursts. I assume some of you are the same, you can’t waste the burst! Once you take a break you might end up losing that motivation.
- Weigh the pros and cons. When I have a project due that I really don’t want to do, I usually weigh the pros and cons of procrastinating it. My cons usually include, rushed work could affect my grade, I’ll have a day or a few days even where I’m unbelievably stressed, I’ll get stress acne, I won’t be able to have any time to hang out with friends, I may have to miss The Bachelor. The pros are typically, I don’t have to worry about it now. ‘Future me’ is usually able to convince ‘present me’ that it’s not worth it!
- Smaller, simpler tasks. If I have a 5 page essay due (I may or may not actually have a 5 page essay due…), it’s so tedious. When I know I should be getting started on it, I make small portions of it my daily tasks. So instead of saying “Write essay,” because that can be scary and intimidating, I will say “Find article to research and read article.” Then maybe the next day I can do “Write page one,” etc. until I complete the paper (on time!) It’s SO much easier to separate things into chunks. This way, your social life/free-time won’t be sucked away by mass amount of work at one time, you will be able to afford a couple nice study breaks.
- Take occasional breaks. If your task is time consuming, take breaks. Breaks that I like to do are writing blog posts (Yes, I am taking a study break now), taking a shower, eating dinner, watching an episode of a show on Netflix, watching YouTube videos, or even just switching to a different task. Personally, I try to avoid social media breaks because I get too sucked in and my 30 minute break turns into 2 hours. Some of you may feel the same about Netflix or YouTube, so it’s really up to you to figure out what kind of breaks are beneficial for you. Same with the length of your breaks. I can’t tell you what’s best! It really just depends on what you need to get done and how long you plan to work on it.
The world is full of distractions, but with some hard work you can definitely beat them! Don’t let yourself fall into the deep dark pit of procrastination!!! (At least, not ALL the time).
Always remember though that some days you may just not be in well enough health (mentally, emotionally, physically, etc.) to complete a task. That’s perfectly okay. Pushing yourself over your limit is never a good thing either. Be understanding of your body’s needs.
Anyway, I hope some of these tips are helpful! I definitely am a procrastinator at times, but I was feeling very productive today so I thought that I’d share my tips. Back to studying for me!
How do you beat procrastination? What do you do for your breaks?
Also feel free to suggest any topics for the next post on this series! You can let me know down in the comments or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading!