5 Procrastination Tips
We all procrastinate, we just do, it's natural. I could go into how it's all about satisfying our brain's pleasure centre with dopamine bursts to relieve the constantly compounding negative emotions we're feeling about procrastinating. But that feels like old news, we all know it but is there an actual way to beat it? Nope.
Procrastination is something that seems to plague all creative types, it's often easy to assign tasks to the future you and regret it later. Many people are going to tell you that procrastination is just laziness or bad time management and they're probably right. We can waste a lot of time checking e-mails or scrolling through feeds for no real gain.
Sometimes there's productive procrastination where you finish little menial tasks instead of completing a looming deadline. This can be helpful for clearing your mind or getting all those important vacation photos in the proper albums, but ultimately it's still putting off the task at hand.
However, I think there are good aspects of procrastination like how long you sit on an idea and have a chance to think about it. You may not be putting pen to paper yet but you can think through a lot of different possibilities before you even technically 'start'. This still doesn't compare to actually starting but I find it's often overlooked when mapping out the process of completing something.
We've all read the top ten stop procrastination lists out there, they're abundant. But I thought I'd share some of the ones I think actually work to curve my production.
- Lists. Everybody always says make a list. I think they're helpful but can also be intimidating. I make a general list for the day which usually has 4 or 5 things on it. I'll get them done because there's something about crossing off words on a list that really pushes me to finish.
- Do the biggest, worst, most dreaded thing first. Just get it out of the way and the other little tasks just seem to do themselves. (It seriously might be magic, I'm looking into it)
- Just start. Pretty simple, right? It's so hard though. You'll basically never be in the 'right mood' to want to work, but you need to just sit down and do it. Start slow, open a blank page, put your name, the date, a title, see now things don't look so daunting, you've already started!
- Pre-commitment can often help in getting things done, stat public deadlines or expectations of yourself where peers can see and you'll often follow through on them if they're realistic.
- Change of scenery. Sometimes working at your desk gets too comfortable, you ease into that familiar lull and don't seem to be very creative or productive! It might sound cliche, but go to a coffee shop or a library, often times the lack of personal distractions can help. There's something about being around strangers doing things that makes you want to do things too. Plus when you finish you get to go home, everybody loves going home.