When we read posts on how to prevent procrastination or improve productivity, the solutions are often big processes that we have to put into place in order to succeed. By the sheer effort of putting it all in place, we often get distracted and fall at the last hurdle.
Let’s not let that happen again, OK?
Let’s talk about quick and easy things we can do TODAY to blast procrastination and prevent distractions.
Let’s not talk strategy, let’s talk doing. NOW!
Let’s prevent procrastination and become more productive today!
There are also the day-to-day aspects of managing your business, and yourself!
If you do only ONE thing on this list of 21 amazingly easy hacks to prevent procrastination and get you more focused and productive, you will save time, energy, money, AND your sanity!
Allez, c’est parti!
1. Use full screen when working on applications – not viewing other shiny objects in the background will help with distractions.
2. Disable bouncy, springy notifications and mute your sound to reduce distractions.
3. Use a timer and set 5 mins to begin a small task towards finishing a bigger task, you will keep going once the timer goes off. Getting started is often more difficult than following through. I use this technique to cut the lawn – works every time!
4. Block distracting websites using a simple app like StayFocusd or Nanny to curtail your desire to open those sites.
5. Curtail the amount of browser windows and tabs open during the day. They simply build clutter.
6. Shut down your computer every night. This will help you finish small tasks (like FB scheduling) and not keep multiple tabs open for the following day.
7. Set your OS to start fresh each day, and not have applications like Mail/Outlook, browsers, or Skype to open automatically on startup. They will pull your focus immediately before you actually begin your other tasks.
8. Bookmark your FB Page or Group, and use that bookmark rather than arriving on your FB newsfeed on your profile, and realising 20 minutes later you opened FB to schedule a post!
9. Bookmark other similar sites to arrive exactly where you need to be and prevent procrastination really taking hold.
10. USE your filing system to keep your desktop clear – don’t use your desktop to store stuff – like your physical desktop, clutter clutters the mind.
11. Simple – PUT IT OUT OF REACH!
12. Have a second space for creative work like reading, writing, brainstorming, mind mapping. A quiet, conducive corner of your office, or even somewhere else in the house/building.
13. Organise your desk – and remove clutter. Get a cupboard, press, or shelving system to store media, files, books, stationery, accessories, in/out trays (do they even exist anymore?)
14. Close your door! Put up a “do not disturb” sign if you must. Ask others in the house to leave you alone for a block of time. This is easy when you have a skype call, but not so easy when you need to focus on a task.
15. ASK for disturbance! If, like me, you could sit at your PC for 6 hours solid, ask someone to openly distract you every hour or so. Prolonged periods of sitting at the same task can take its toll. My husband arrives at my office door with one of my two cats, just before lunch (for all of us.) He knows I cannot refuse a cat cuddle so they tempt me at the door until I follow them into the kitchen 🙂
‘App’ your time
16. Download the Pomodoro extension, and use it! You can choose which sites to block for 25 minutes, and allow access for 5 mins. You can also use the 5 mins to NOT check Facebook, but take a walk, stretch your muscles, feed your cat, play with your dog, or make another cup of tea.
17. Install Rescuetime to track your time on the computer, tablet, phone. It will tell you what apps you are using, for how long. More importantly, with the correct settings, it will highlight your distracting time and productive time.
18. Use another timer like Toggl for a week, and time your activities! You will be amazed how long certain tasks take, and it can even help highlight areas where you are losing money!
19. Review your working space – is it friendly, comfortable, well-lit, and warm enough? If your working area is not conducive to working, you will struggle with focus, energy, and willpower.
20. Put tablets and phone just out of reach. If you have Facebook blocked on your PC, you may be tempted to reach for your tablet, just for a quick check. If you have to physically get up, you may reconsider. Your phone out of reach will also help reduce distraction, and when it rings, you have to get up to answer it (which you will) and forces you to either take a break from sitting down or at least move your body.
Now you can easily prevent procrastination!
Did you look up my French phrase above?
If so, you are a classic ‘distractee.’ You are naughty for leaving this page, but well done on initiative!
There are no easy answers for improving your productivity and reducing procrastination UNLESS you decide so. Then it becomes easy because you have buy-in mentally and emotionally.
Decide what you will do today and in the future, and commit to it. Try it for a week and see if it made any difference for you physically, mentally, or emotionally.
Are you wondering where No. 21 is? It is simply – commit right now to the tip that resonated with you the most. It will be a game changer for you.
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Thanks for reading!
Links to apps mentioned above: