One of the great challenges of our age, in which the tools of our productivity are also the tools of our leisure, is to figure out how to make more useful those moments of procrastination when we’re idling in front of our computer screens.
Finally, the scientists investigated techniques to combat our 21st century idle inclinations. Thanks owed to technology and its incessant distractions for giving us shorter attention spans than goldfish. No, really.
Below are 6 proven methods to help you reinforce the power of life without procrastination. You’re welcome.
Clever drinkers never mix their spirits. Just like clever workers never mix their tasks. Overwhelming yourself with multiple responsibilities is inefficient and grey hair inducing. If you don’t believe me read this article on Why multi-tasking is worse for your IQ than Marijuana. Start by choosing one task and make a solid commitment to finish that task within the next week.
Once you have selected your poison, start now. Right now. Or at the very least after this blog. Be strict with yourself. Not sticking to this rule can propel you right back into the procrastination hole you’re trying to claw out of.
A power hour consists of removing all distractions and putting 100% effort into one dedicated task or project. This one focused hour per day can generate more results than a distracted eight hour day. Science has found that our brain goes through “peak cycles”. Therefore, it is advised that you balance this concentrated focus hour with no more than 20 minute intervals.
This is the most efficient technique for the professional procrastinator. Simply ask yourself the question “What action can I take in five minutes today that moves me ever so slightly forward?”. Once you have identified your action, set a timer for five minutes and complete the task. Research shows that once you start a task you are much more likely to complete it. Phycologists call this the Zeigarnik effect, which stipulates that unfinished tasks are more likely to be ingrained in our memories. Therefore, what may seem like a five-minute action, is actually a deceiving memory trick that increases your chances of finishing your to-do list. Win/Win.
My personal favourite; the P.P.S. Choose a song that gets you energised, something like,“Eye of The Tiger” and pump this out at the office, whilst shadow boxing in the mirror, when you feel there is mass procrastination. Or you can follow the science backed method and once you select your song – you must listen to it (perhaps in your headphones) whenever you want to tackle a task you’ve been procrastinating. This will cause a trigger effect in your brain. Creating a habit of productivity whenever you hear your P.P.S.
This is on here as a warning. It is advised that you properly test the above tips because if procrastination is still an issue for you – the final stage is to delve into why you’ve been procrastinating a task. Are you afraid of something? Are you unhappy in your job? So unless you are ready to open the doors of self analysis, I suggest you repeat tips 1-5 one more time.
Leila is PCA’s Head Editor and Researcher. She holds a 1st class Law with Business degree and became a published author at 25. Former crime investigator turned business journalist. On a mission to show businesses that presenteeism is a thing of the past. Everything seems impossible until it’s done. Typically found working from a white beach in South-East Asia embracing rapidly changing technology.