Procrastination is probably one of the biggest obstacles to productivity. It affects everyone differently, but some people seem to struggle more than others. This has become such a common problem that psychologists have coined a term for it: “presenteeism.” Which means that someone who feels overwhelmed or stressed out decides to stay at their desk instead of going home early. According to the experts from Virtue Map, time management is key to beating procrastination. You’ll never get anything done if you don’t manage your time well. The good news is that you don’t have to spend hours every day planning your schedule. You only need 15 minutes per week to start seeing positive results.
What Causes Us To Procrastinate?
According to Psychology Today, procrastination occurs when someone feels they should start something but instead gives some excuse as to why they shouldn’t. Usually, these excuses are like, “I don’t know where to begin,” or “It might take a while before I feel confident enough to complete it.” These reasons are completely valid, and if we followed them, we would never ever get anything done.
However, the problem comes when we use those excuses to avoid doing what we want to do. When we put off starting something until later, we often end up feeling guilty about not accomplishing it sooner. We may think we are just delaying the inevitable, but the truth is that we are putting ourselves in a worse position than we started.
The Best Ways to Manage Your Time
The problem with being busy is that you never really stop working. And even though you may have a long list of tasks to complete, you don’t seem to be able to prioritize them properly. It leads to constant stress and frustration.
Time management can be achieved in a number of ways. In this article, Virtue Map shared its eight major strategies to manage time.
1. Create A Realistic Schedule
One of the biggest problems people have with managing their time effectively is making unrealistic schedules. People often overestimate how much they will accomplish in a day. If they don’t manage their expectations properly, they feel overwhelmed and underwhelmed.
2. Focus on Just One Task
When working on projects, focus on getting things done rather than thinking about what will happen later. You’ll feel satisfied and completed when you complete one task at a time. You won’t need to worry about if you’ve accomplished everything or not.
3. Don’t Multitask
Multitasking is a myth. When you try to do two or more things at once, you’re doing them less efficiently than if you did each separately. Multitasking can make things even worse for you in terms of productivity.
4. Make Sure You’re Well Rested
It’s hard to focus when you haven’t slept well the night before. So if you want to start working on your tasks immediately, give yourself plenty of sleep the night before. It would help if you tried to go to bed early enough to wake up naturally without forcing yourself awake.
5. Set Regular Hours To Work
There’s no point trying to do everything in one day. Even though it may seem tempting to take on big projects all at once, you should set aside some time to work on smaller jobs throughout the week instead. By setting specific times to work, you’ll know exactly what you’re supposed to do and when. If you stick to these deadlines, you’ll feel proud of yourself and your accomplishments.
6. Reward Yourself Along The Way
Your reward shouldn’t come after completing your project. Rather, it should come before you get started. Give yourself small rewards throughout a larger project. These little treats are known as positive reinforcement, and they help motivate you towards your goals.
7. Take Breaks
Sometimes we forget to stop and rest. But you can use breaks to boost your productivity. Getting your body moving and taking deep breaths will refresh you physically and mentally.
8. Don’t Let Distractions Derail Your Goals!
You’ll inevitably encounter obstacles along the way. There will always be things that take away from your focus. Maybe it’s a friend who wants to hang out or someone who asks you to go to lunch with them. Whatever the distraction is, try not to let it derail you. Instead, use these moments to reflect on where you were before you became distracted and where you’d like to be now.
In the end, don’t let yourself spend too much time thinking about tasks that aren’t important because it will only waste your valuable time. Rather, concentrate on one task at a moment, stay focused, and finish each job before moving on to the next as well.
Additionally, you can learn how to overcome your procrastination tendencies by setting up a system to stay focused and productive, claims Virtue Map’s experts.