Are you a procrastinator? Were you the kid that would study for a big test the night before and get homework done on the way to school? Do you always put things off till the deadline is looming? Pack your suitcase for a trip at the last minute? It’s nothing to be proud of, but we all have our moments of procrastination. The bad thing is procrastination adds more stress to your life. It makes you less productive.
Here’s a simple little life hack to stop procrastinating and getting stuff done. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how much more productive this will make you.
Make a To-Do List
To-Do lists stop procrastination better than anything else I know. Get out a piece of paper and a pen, or download a free app on your phone and make out your list. Start by jotting down everything you need to get done today. (Make sure it is a reasonable list that can be completed in a day.) As you work your way through each item on your list, cross it off. It’s a great feeling, isn’t it?
This simple way of doing it will make a huge difference, but we can do even better. Here are some easy tips to help you make the most of your to-do list:
- Write your list the night before. You’ll be ready to get going first thing in the morning.
- Do something quick and easy first. Get it done and cross it off the list. This will set the tone for your entire day.
- Do the most important thing. Do the item that absolutely must be done today completed and you will be on a roll.
- Avoid tasks that take hours to complete. Instead break them up into smaller chunks or baby steps that you can get done and cross off.
- Work on more difficult tasks earlier in the day. You still have the energy to get through them. Save the easy stuff for late afternoon when possible.
One More Rule
There’s one more “rule” and it’s the most important one. Do NOT stop until you’ve crossed every single item off of your to-do list. Get everything done you possibly can. Yes, it’s not always possible to do what you set out to do today because you’re waiting on a part to ship or a report from a colleague. It’s fine to move a task to another day when there’s a valid reason. You need to take bathroom and food breaks. Aside from that though, keep working until each item on your daily to-do list is crossed off.
Here’s your assignment for the next few days:
Before you go to bed at night, make a to-do list for the next day. Check items off the list as you get them accomplished. Add to your list as needed, but make sure you get everything on the list done before you go to bed at night.
It only takes a few days to get in the habit of just getting stuff done. Stick to your to-do list and watch your productivity soar!
Do you have some tips for dealing with procrastination? Please share!