It can be easy to fall into the cycle of not being motivated enough to complete tasks, and the ‘not completing tasks’ de-motivating us further. The only way to beat this cycle is to tackle the lack of motivation and learn how to beat procrastination once and for all.
It’s something most of us have been plagued with throughout our lives. Now more than ever it’s easier to get sucked into something we shouldn’t be doing; like surfing the net or browsing on our smart phones.
If you feel you’re spending way too much time on the things that aren’t important, and aren’t concentrating on the things that will better your life, then you need to know how to beat procrastination and focus on getting yourself motivated once again.
Below are 4 simple techniques that will allow you to focus on the tasks that are really important.
Large Goals are Broken Down into Smaller Goals
This has many benefits. When we look at a large task, there are so many unknowns that it seems like a mammoth task to get there. However, when we break these larger goals into smaller ones, we’re laying out a path with the exact steps we need to take to reach our goals.
It also has the benefit of allowing you to tick of smaller tasks on the road to the larger ones. Every time you do this, you have accomplished something and this is a fantastic motivating tool. Watching yourself tick off a task will make you more excited about moving onto the next and getting that finished too.
You know this already but the vast majority of time wasted is spent online, surfing random pages with no idea how you actually ended up there. If you need to get something done, switch your Wi-Fi off, or if you need it for what you’re doing, learn to be strict about the sites you visit.
If you don’t think you spend much time surfing, then I suggest you try DeskTime. This application helps to track exactly how much time you’re spending online, on which websites, and how much time you’re actually spending on the tasks you need to complete.
It’s a useful tool to understand our habits and try to change them into more productive ones.
Use Time Effectively
When you look ahead at the start of the day, it can feel a little demotivating to think of spending so much time working on what needs to be done.
This is where good use of time-slots can be really beneficial. After all we can only be productive for so long.
Break your time down into 1 hour and half an hour slots. Spend the 1 hour slots entirely focussing on getting a specific task completed. Then take a half an hour break. Try to step away from your work area, go for a walk, grab a coffee, do a little exercise etc.
Then come back and do another 1 hour slot, completing another task. If you plan this well you can get 5 hours of complete focus and 5 tasks finished. That’s a lot more than most people get done in a day.
Our brains aren’t wired to concentrate intensely for eight hours straight. They get tired. Working to time-slots is far more productive and far more enjoyable.
Keep Schedules Instead of To-Do Lists
To-do lists can grow into never ending lists that make us feel worse when we don’t get everything crossed off. Instead, make a schedule in the evening and identify your 3 most important tasks for the next day. Having a plan of action in place for the following day allows us to sleep easier, which is also essential for productivity.
Using the time-slot method above, use you first three, one hour slots on your priority tasks. This means if you don’t quite get things finished you still have another 1-2 time-slots free and if you do get done, you have time to get even more done.
Not only accomplishing what you set out to do for the day, but surpassing it, is super motivating. Remember, it is this heightened level of motivation that allows us to really beat procrastination, for good.