- Understand why you procrastinate. When you dislike certain tasks, you’ll tend to deprioritize them in favor of activities you enjoy. For those habitually flirting with deadlines, it helps to come to terms with why you avoid specific activities. Cold, calculated analysis of these triggers can help overcome the emotions driving procrastination.
- Use a kitchen timer. Use a wind-up timer, one that rings when it’s finished, and set it for 25 minutes. While it ticks away, work on one and only one task. When the timer rings, reward yourself with a three-minute break, then repeat the process with a new task. Knowing an activity will last only 25 minutes at a time can make even the most procrastination-inducing task manageable.
- Develop a routine. Once you associate winding up the timer with diving into a stack of work, the action itself will put you into a state ready for productivity. Developing a consistent routine is a powerful trigger you can use to unconsciously get yourself cranking. Those not winding up kitchen timers can use other triggers, such as listening to a specific kind of music, putting on headphones or using a favorite pen or notebook.
- Eliminate distractions. Once you’re in the zone, you need to stay in it. Do what you must to avoid losing the tenuous thread of concentration and avoid interruptions as much as possible. Task focusing programs like RescueTime are available to track your Web usage, and you can run weekly reports to see how much time you spent on YouTube versus Westlaw, and even restrict access to time-sucking social media sites.
The above items are excerpts from his suggestions, and you can read the full article by clicking here. I hope that his tips are as helpful to you as they have been to me.