Procrastination Assassination: 5 Tips For Being More Productive With Your Time

Being productive at school or in the workplace can be difficult in this day and age. Technology, social media, and digital entertainment are all tempting distractions that can set us up to fail. Once our attention is drawn away from the tasks at hand, we start falling deeper and deeper into a hole that we might not be able to get ourselves out of.

It’s a deadly cycle, but it’s also not impossible to overcome. With the right strategy and mindset, we can break free from the chains of procrastination and get ourselves back on track. It’s going to take a lot of willpower and dedication, but eventually, you’ll be able to establish your productive behaviors as a habit. Here are five tips for being more productive with your time:

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#1 Lay out a plan

Being organized is the first step to being productive. When you have multiple responsibilities and you don’t spend the time planning out how you will accomplish them, you will become more prone to falling behind. In most cases, it is helpful to list your tasks in a particular sequence—generally, people are efficient when they work their way down a list.

The sequence is entirely up to you, but a common strategy is to list tasks by either priority or difficulty. Sometimes, it makes more sense to tackle higher-priority tasks first, while in other situations, it would be better to get the easier tasks out of the way so you have more time for the more difficult ones. Assess which would be best for your situation, then make the call.

#2 Set goals before lunch

Split your day into two periods: pre-lunch and post-lunch. The former period is perhaps the more essential of the two because it sets you up for the rest of the day. You should aim to have things accomplished before you go on your lunch break so that you can take off some of the stress when you return to your desk.

Projects with tight deadlines should be prioritized, as well as the quick tasks that you can easily get out of the way. All the other tasks that “would be nice” to get done can be left for later. Once you are able to establish a decent workflow, you are more likely to continue that groove when you come back from your lunch break.

#3 Tackle things in moderation

It’s good to show ambition and initiative, but you also don’t want to put too much on your plate at once. It’s important to assess your projects and figure out which ones you will be able to accomplish for the day. If you try to take on more than you are capable of handling, you could end up burning out quickly and that would just be counterproductive.

That’s why you should always keep things in moderation. Even if you’re behind on some projects, never force yourself to get through everything if there’s a chance that your higher-up will approve an extension on them. Work on your projects one at a time and always keep an open line of communication with your boss in case things get too hectic.

#4 Avoid multi-tasking

Multi-tasking isn’t as efficient as it may seem. When you try to get multiple things done at once, your attention becomes so divided that you’ll end up taking longer to complete your tasks. By giving the proper, individual attention to each task, however, you can keep your mind focused on your tasks long enough to see them through from start to finish.

#5 Get supervision

Sometimes it’s hard to snap out of procrastination on your own, especially if you’ve already established it as a habit. A great way to put pressure on yourself to change is by having someone hold you accountable.  Not only will it help you create some structure in your goal-seeking, but it will also help speed up the process.

Whether you get a coworker, a family member, or a friend to supervise you, you’ll likely have a much easier time achieving your goals with another person’s support. They won’t do your work for you, but they’ll be there to check in on you periodically to see where you’re at and ensure you’re not falling too far off track.