I am currently procrastinating. That’s right, I am writing a post about how to overcome procrastination while I procrastinate doing client work. The reason being that procrastination is one of my biggest challenges and I’m ready to take a stand against it.
Everyone procrastinates, it’s 2015, and I think a healthy amount of time spent wandering around the internet can be great for inspiration and/or learning. Having said that, there’s definitely a line you can cross when it starts to take away from productive work time and is therefore losing you potential income.
I did some research and pulled together a list of 5 helpful tools and advice from across the internet that I’m going to employ in order to fight procrastination. Ready to join me?
1. Getting Things Done
The number of courses and programs out there that claim to help improve your productivity can be overwhelming. I always prefer a personal recommendation, and the one that has been recommended to me by multiple people is Getting Things Done. This particular program focuses on designing your workflow and claims to double your productivity in 21 days. Sign me up! You can read the book, or even better, take the course on Skillshare.
2. To Do List App
I’m a to-do list queen, but often end up with post-it notes all over my desk. To help me control the post-it explosion, but more importantly, to ensure I have access to my to-do lists from anywhere on any device, I started using Todoist. It’s a free app (unless you want premium features) that let’s me organize my lists under specific categories, set deadlines and notify me if I’m coming close to a deadline. Trello is another app that has been recommended to me for the same reasons.
3. Eat Your Frog
This comes from a famous Mark Twain quote: “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” The idea here is that you should start your day off with your most difficult and urgent task. Once that task is done, you will feel a sense of accomplishment and can move on to smaller tasks that will feel easy and achievable by comparison. Decide what your frog will be at the end of each day for the next day and set up your work station so that when you arrive to your desk you are ready to dive in until the task is done.
4. Admin Day
Jessica Hische, a freelance design guru, recommends setting aside one day a week for admin tasks, “Setting aside a whole day to catch up on email, bills, paperwork, etc. means the rest of the week you can feel totally fine putting it off.” I love the idea of having one day to do paperwork and/or finances.
5. SelfControl App
This is for the seriously desperate. Though I have not gotten this far myself, I’ve been close and have had many people recommend SelfControl. It’s perfect for anyone who has to be online to do their job, but needs help avoiding specific websites (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc). The app allows you to input the URL’s that you want to block and specify the time you want them to be blocked for. Once it’s set, you will not have access to those sites, even if you restart your computer or delete the app. Genius!
Hopefully my fellow procrastinators have found this helpful. Let me know if there are any other amazing tools or systems that should be on this list.