I’m really great at procrastinating until the very last minute. I do it with everything- my schoolwork, my housework, important errands; the list goes on. While procrastination is initially really satisfying, in the end I just end up being a hot mess who’s all over the place and super unprepared. To combat this I’ve been trying to be more present and to focus on things that need to get done. That includes things that don’t need to get done right this second.
I’ve made a list of some of the things that help me stay efficient and avoid procrastination. If you’re anything like me and put things off, this list is for you.
- Get organized the night before. Whether that means picking up the night before or laying out everything you need, organize yourself in a way that makes things quick and easy for you immediately upon waking up.
- Sleep! This is huge. If you’re exhausted chances are you’re not going to feel like your best self. This might not be an easy thing for you, but sometimes all you need is to change your bedtime habits! (But I’m also not a doctor, so if you’re having serious sleep issues that affect your health and mental well-being please go see someone who can help!)
- Get up and active. It’s tempting to lay in bed for as long as possible in the morning, but to be your most efficient self you need to get up and throw yourself into whatever it is you need to do. You can lay in bed another day!
- Set time limits on things that don’t benefit what you need to be doing. You know you don’t need to spend half an hour in the shower and another 30 minutes picking out what to wear- especially if you’re not leaving the house. Be quick and make decisions without overthinking things.
- Eat a balanced meal. This one might be a lot easier said than done and a lot of us don’t have time to jump out of bed and cook a gourmet breakfast but eat something that makes you feel full and isn’t high in sugar for breakfast. It will keep you at your best for a lot longer than a poptart would!
- Put your phone down! Phones are the worst distractors when you need to get something done. The only way to fight it is to unplug. Tell yourself no while you’re working/cleaning/tackling that project.
- Take a break and get physical. Sometimes when you’re really not feeling it, it can help to get up and move. Go for a walk, do some pushups, even just dance for a few minutes. When you get out some of your extra energy you’ll be able to refocus your attention better.
- Plan ahead and write down reminders, then put those somewhere you can see them. List making can only help you if you remember to look at the list. Same goes with having a planner or a calendar. Don’t just throw something into your phone calendar and never look at it again. Get organized. Set timers if you prefer to be digital and if you’re old fashioned buy a wall calendar you can see on a regular basis!
- Ask for help when you need it. If you’re stuck on something and the only way to get around it is to get help, do it! Even if you don’t want to get help or it makes you feel silly, you’ll feel much better when it’s over.
- Treat yo’ self. When you’ve been your most productive self over and over again for days at a time you can get worn out easily and fall back into the cycle of procrastination. Don’t forget to reward yourself once in a while with nights off, some shopping, vacations, a spa trip, or even just a few hours with a good book!