We have all done it; sat down knowing you have work to do, planning to get so much done but then there is the procrastination. We end up scrolling through Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr or end up watching youtube videos for hours… the day’s over, it’s way past your bed time and you think “wow I got nothing accomplished today”. Well my dear friends I am here to help you (cue superman theme). Here are some tips and tricks on how to stay productive.
It might be obvious, but the first thing you should do when you need to get things done is write a to do list. This can be done on paper, in your phone, on your computer, anywhere that you can see what you have to get done and can cross off or delete as you go. Actually seeing all of the tasks in a list is a constant reminder of what you are doing; it also allows you not to accidentally forget about something that you were meaning to do.
It also makes creating a realistic amount of things you can get done that day a lot easier. If you were to just go off the top of your head you might think you’ll be able to get 25 things done but realistically that might not be possible depending on how big each task is. I personally like to write lists physically because I can make them cute and also make little boxes that I can check off once a task is complete (which makes it like an accomplishment when you see them all checked off together on the page).
This one might be hard depending on the task you are doing (if you are posting a photo on Instagram obviously you can’t not go on Instagram) but avoiding unnecessary Social Media is a must. As I said before, Social Media sites can suck you in for hours without you ever noticing, so the best way to avoid that happening is to avoid going on Social Media sites during the time you want to get work done.
If you can’t avoid going on all together and need to post something, the best thing to do is to literally just get on and get off; post what you need to and close the web browser or app immediately after. If you absolutely have to go on though to see what’s going on in the world, use one of your scheduled breaks to do this ( I will talk more about that in a second ) and give yourself a time limit so you don’t loose yourself in the abyss that is the inter-webs. Once again these might seem like obvious things to do but being more conscious of avoiding time-suckers will make you more productive, I promise.
The best way I have found to refocus on the task at hand is to take scheduled breaks, this doesn’t have to be literal time frames where you are allotted a break ( that does work though ) it can also be just every once in a while; say, when you are done one of the tasks on your list depending on how long that will take you. I personally like to take breaks about every one to two hours; it is good to get away from the computer screen for a few minutes just to give your eyes a break but also to let yourself be distracted by other things for a little bit.
On my breaks I like to grab a drink of some sort ( coffee anyone ?) , maybe a snack, go to the washroom and check my social media for a bit. This is also a great time to do things like laundry if you need to get that done during the day as well (if you’re at home). I like my breaks to be around 15 minutes long and after that with my snack and drink, I am ready to bunker down and work for another one to two hours uninterrupted; your energy is refocused into your work and you might even come back with new ideas and inspiration.
Be realistic, and give yourself enough time to get things done; but get them done. Make a deadline and stick to it. If you don’t have a deadline you will push it off until tomorrow, and the next day and next thing you know it is a week later and it is still not done. I am the worst for this; I am procrastinator of the year, but each time I have set myself a deadline ( right now for example ) I usually get things done and feel a lot more accomplished and happy with myself. When you get things done on time and on a set schedule (cough, blogging for example) not only will you be more proud of the goals you have achieved but it will soon turn into a habit and you will be more productive in everything that you do.
Or tea… or water… whatever floats your goat…but really drink coffee.