You can be the most organised person in the world, and still be a master procrastinator. My to do lists have lists, and I have budgets within budgets, but I have still been staring at a blank word document for over a week now, and its not because I have writers block. For me, procrastination has a lot to do with concentration. It is so easy to loose your concentration, and once you do, it can be very difficult to get it back.
Five more rule – Whatever it is you are doing, do five more. Five more minutes, five more pages, five more tasks.
Setting aside procrastination time – Setting aside time to let your mind wander helps prevent you from stopping mid task. Getting up every hour to stretch your legs and get away from your computer screen also helps concentration and avoid any headaches.
Keyword technique – Simple but effective. Pick a keyword (something to do with the task at hand) and every time you feel your mind wander, start saying the keyword over and over until your mind is back on your task.
Separating work from home – Bed is for sleeping, desks are for working. If you work in bed, you are more likely to loose concentration and end up online shopping or on Netflix.
Make a note of every time your mind wanders – This will help you keep track of how often and when your mind wanders. If its in the morning, this could be due to lack of sleep. If its after lunch, this could be due to diet. You will also become more aware of when your mind wanders, hopefully meaning it wont wonder so often!
While quick fixes can get you through, if procrastination and lack of concentration is a big problem for you, it may be time to consider some lifestyle changes.
Long Term Solutions:
Diet – Sometimes the need to procrastinate is due to a lack of energy, which is where your diet comes in. Just by making sure I had my five a day every day, I noticed my concentration improve! A lot can be said for eating properly.
Exercise – After joining the gym three weeks ago, I have to admit I have noticed a huge difference in my concentration. Just getting in 30 minutes to an hour of exercise everyday gives you that boots, and engages your brain. If you find yourself feeling sluggish in the afternoon, then hit the gym or go for a quick run at lunch to give you that boost. If you aren’t an active person, then go for a walk instead.
Sleep – Getting a good nights sleep is essential to living a healthy life! You can’t concentrate if your tired… Eight hours sleep is what is recommended.
There are also great websites that can let you know when is the best time for you to sleep (try slepti.me), you can also download a sleep cycle app, they track your sleep, and the alarm will wake you up in your lightest stage of sleep so you aren’t left feeling groggy in the morning.