We’ve all been there: you go to sleep one night with a pristine plan for all of tomorrow’s tasks and brimming with pride at how organized you are, then when you wake up the next morning you would rather be anywhere else, doing anything else.
By the end of the day, you’ve half-finished one task and scrolled through a mile’s worth of social media posts.
So here’s how you can change your procrastination into productivity.
Clear Your Mind
It’s not possible to be productive when your thoughts are everywhere. You have to be focused on the task to be able to complete it well: therefore, you need a clear mind before you begin. To obtain this, you could try meditation to help clear your head of unnecessary thoughts, or turning off your phone/closing your tabs so you won’t be able to be distracted easily.
Set Realistic, Limited Goals
A common mistake most of us make is starting off the day expecting to have finished our week’s workload with enough time for a two-hour workout and redecorating the spare bedroom before lunch. Evidently, our to-do lists can be overly optimistic or just plain unachievable. By setting yourself a list of 3-4 realistic tasks, you limit the possibility of ending the day feeling disappointed.
Keep to a Timetable
Now, keeping to a timetable doesn’t mean you have to rigorously plan out every minute of your day. Often, your plans change, emergencies crop up, something takes a half hour longer than you expected it to, so expecting to have a consistent plan you stick to without wavering is laughable. But ordering your tasks and dedicating a suitable amount of time to each of them is always a good idea.
Factor in Breaks (and Rewards!)
It would be nice if completing whatever you set out to achieve was satisfying enough without gifting yourself extra rewards. But on those days where you have to drag yourself out of bed to your desk, it just doesn’t quite cut it. So give yourself a chance to relax and enjoy a chat with a friend or a chapter of a book between tasks, and you’ll be more motivated to complete the next one!
Reflect on Your Achievements
The most likely scenario is that you will complete most of your tasks, but there’s always going to be one or two little things niggling at your sense of achievement. So before relaxing for the evening, take a moment to review what you’ve accomplished and allow yourself to take satisfaction from that. After all, even if your biggest deadline is still looming, at least you didn’t spend all day mindlessly scrolling!