Procrastination. Most of us are guilty of this. Whenever we have something important to do, we just somehow end up doing something else, don’t we? Cleaning your bedroom, organizing your desk, clearing up your emails, and taking a nap feels more important, which leads to the most important things more delayed and we end up wasting long hours not doing what we’re supposed to. There are tasks that I have no trouble starting and completing ahead of time, and then there are others that no matter how hard I try, or how early I start, I still find myself rushing to meet the deadline.
We know to-do lists, right? Whether it is by an app on your phone, in your notebook or on a post-it which you stick on in front of you so that it greets you everyday. How about, you include “procrastination” in your list of tasks?
Email, smartphone, social media, the Internet, food, people. Distraction is the biggest enemy of productivity, especially in this tech world, we’re surrounded by it. Whether it is doing assignments or work documents, we would always find something else to do. So here’s a tip you might not hear so often: include procrastination into your schedule.
There is always this sudden need to check Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Snapchat, and then when you’re done, you’ll start over and keep refreshing. There were times when I’m in front of the laptop and thought that I wanted a two minute break to check my phone. 2 minutes later turned into 10 minutes. However, there were also times when I would be doing my work smooth-sailing without any distractions, having no urge to check anything else, only to end up in a downward productivity spiral when the temptation becomes strong.
You, somehow, find yourself lost in the rabbit hole. You want to productive, not waste time and move on to other tasks. Here is how you can schedule your time to procrastinate.
Method 1: Dedicate a big block of time to procrastinate.
No one likes to waste their time, so schedule your procrastination in an amount of time when you’re usually the least productive. At lunchtime, and then some time around 3 p.m., that’s when we usually hit our mid-afternoon crash. Guiltlessly browse through social media or watch cute cat videos without feeling like you need to check your emails at the same time. When that afternoon slump comes around, do what you can to get you back up again, take a walk or make yourself a cup of tea.
Method 2: Lay out and spread out your time to procrastinate throughout the day
If the first method doesn’t work, switch it to follow your natural tendencies and schedule little procrastination breaks between each tasks. Don’t take too long though, you don’t want to end up procrastinating half the day! Instead of waiting until lunchtime and 3 p.m., have 10 minutes between tasks to do whatever you want. Make weekend plans, tidy up your desk, browse through clothes online. You may end up finishing your work earlier, or better, do extra job tasks that weren’t even on your to-do list! Overachiever much? (It’s a good thing!)
You’d be surprised by how focused you’ll be with your work when you don’t feel bad about ‘procrastinating’. You will later realize that you are more to scheduling breaks, rather than scheduling procrastination. It helps if you have this in mind, “I’ve taken my 10-minute break, now I need to really focus!”. Tell yourself that you deserve a break only once you’ve done so much. So if you struggle from procrastination, and always going off track when doing your work, try to plan your “mini-procrastination” breaks throughout the day, and see if it actually makes you more productive and actually get the job done.