I have always been a bit lazy when it comes to getting things done when a deadline is not involved. Most of the time I would say let me just watch one episode or read just a chapter ( yes there’s something as reading too much), and I’ll get back to this later and up binging the whole series/book.
I would often feel so bad and question my lack of self-discipline and go on a long guilt trip before coming back up and repeating the whole process yet again. Fortunately, in the past few months, I have been trying to change this pattern, and it seems to be working.
Here are some tips to stay motivated and avoid procrastination:
Establish a routine
I try doing my tasks at around the same time and place daily. This creates a habit that sticks. For instance, I try writing my posts and journal every day from 9 pm, and exercise around 7 am
My biggest distractions are social media and movies/series, so I make sure I have limited access to either. I disconnect my laptop and phone from the internet/data on most days then get it back when done. I also try watching on weekends only as that’s when I’m free.
Set daily goals
This is still a bit harder for me up to date because I’m so used to doing whatever I can rather than following set goals. I still try to write between 1000 to 2000 words daily and when I cant, I use the Pomodoro technique where I set a timer for 30 minutes do work then highlight time take a break and do it again.
Visualize your success
This has been the most successful one for me, and I started using it while working out. It is the don’t break the chain method where you try crossing off every day from your calendar that you’ve done your task ensuring no blank days.
Focusing on one task at a time
I never used to do this, but it is the most efficient way to avoid procrastination. I don’t like being overwhelmed as that would make me stop what I’m doing and turn to useless things. I try accomplishing one task a day instead of parts of 5 tasks and none complete.
Have an accountability partner
My brother has been my accountability partner as he follows up to see if I wrote a chapter that or even a page and I check if he read on his highschool stuff. It is a very good productivity tool to use.
Follow your own time.
I never force myself to wake up at 6 am because I just can’t. Instead, I schedule my tasks between the times that I can, like I earlier said, I work out at 11 am mostly which to someone else may sound absurd, but it works for me.
Instigation habits (the habit before the main habit)
This is like a mind trick that I sometimes use when I feel lazy, tired or unmotivated. It is like taking baby steps on your way to grown ones. For example, putting a book in front of you, open your laptop, setting a timer, putting on your workout wear. This technique has worked for me for a month now.
Writing prompts and journaling.
I have been journaling for a while now, and it helps put my mind into focus and motivates me to keep going on. When I lack creativity, I use prompts as guidance just so I do something productive on said day. An example of a prompts, are: ‘write a letter to your future self.’
Such courses can help keep you busy and especially with the quarantine and loss of jobs it is important to stay busy. I have been taking a writing course alongside my schoolwork, and it seems to be working.
Be honest and gentle with yourself.
The worst thing to do is to lie to yourself. I do this when reflecting on what I did that day, I make sure everything I did or didn’t do is accounted for.
Stop when burnt out, don’t stress.
The most important thing for me is to listen to my body. If it says enough is enough, I stop and relax for a while.