National Procrastination Week was last week (hence why this post is coming out now). So, time to stop trolling the depths of the interweb and start doing those tasks that've been lingering on your trusty old to-do list FOR-EV-ER. Here are some tips to get started (Monday perhaps?).
Get a good night’s sleep. It’s easy to put things off when you're exhausted, so cap your House of Cards binge watching sesh at a reasonable hour and go to bed. Studies show that blue light emitted from an electronic screen can negatively affect sleep patterns (more about that here). If possible avoid looking at your phone, working on your computer, or reading from a tablet, at minimum, an hour before you go to bed. At the least, try to abstain from these devices while in bed.
Make a list. I like to make my list the night before to prevent myself from staying up, worrying about all the tasks I have to complete the following day. But, for all you normal folk, it’s perfectly productive to make your list in the morning before you start your day. Put tasks that you have been procrastinating first on your list.
Jump right in. Stop thinking about the process of completing your task—this just wastes mental energy. Set a timer for 20 minutes and commit to doing whatever it is you’ve been putting off. After 20 minutes, take a five-minute break—no longer. Set your timer again, and get back at it for another 20 minutes. Continue this cycle until you’re task is complete.
Dangle a carrot at the end of your stick…or a martini. Give yourself an incentive for overcoming your procrastination—whether a sweet treat, expensive coffee, or a post-work drink with your friends—and use that for fuel to get through your to-do’s.
Although it’s no fun to do things you don't want to do, sometimes there’s just no way around it. In the end, it’s better to check items off your list and remove the weight of incomplete tasks that bog you down.