Mastering Productivity: Techniques for Overcoming Procrastination

It always feels as if there’s a thousand reasons not to do something. Distractions, commitments, or an endless series of preparations that push projects back and back until the very last minute. The process of procrastination often touches every portion of our lives, delaying decisions and progress. While these reasons may feel valid in the moment, they’re frequently tangled up with anxiety, fear and even a deep-seated need for perfection.

Let’s explore a few techniques to short circuit your desire to procrastinate and master productivity.

Create Realistic Goals

One of the first steps in overcoming procrastination is ensuring that the goals you’re setting for yourself are realistic. It’s important to start small and gain momentum before committing to a grand design that could leave you feeling overwhelmed before you even get started.

Focus on keeping your goals achievable. Once you accomplish them, it’s time to look at what you can do to build on those successes.

Inertia and Procrastination

Newton’s First Law of Motion suggests that it takes more force to get an object moving than it does to keep an object moving. Accordingly, the most hardest part of completing any task is often starting it.

Building on the last tip to create realistic goals for yourself—consider breaking your task up into smaller, easily manageable steps. Each time you accomplish one of those smaller tasks, it’ll give you a little jolt of satisfaction that will keep you going.

Limit Distractions

Many writers and artists have a routine that involves taking creative space; holing up in an isolated hotel to write for a weekend, or disappearing to an art studio where distractions are limited. It may help to take a page from their proverbial books by changing your environment to be more suitable for focus.

Turn off the internet, or make use of a productivity app to limit or cap your ability to browse the web outside certain hours.

Seek Accountability

Another hack that benefits some people is letting others know about the projects you’re working on. Keeping them in the loop, especially if they’re a positive individual, can help keep you motivated to make progress.

While it may feel uncomfortable, it can be helpful to let someone know that you’re struggling to stay on task and need their help. Having someone touch base with you on your progress helps in two ways: it keeps you motivated in making progress, and it gives you someone to celebrate your victories with.

man working on computerPrioritizing Tasks

In addition to setting reasonable goals for yourself, it’s helpful to prioritize your tasks so that the most important ones are at the top of the list.

This process may be difficult, as the tasks that feel necessary are not always the ones that are emotionally or creatively important to you—so try to prioritize based on desire as well as need.

Positive Reinforcement

It is hard to overstate the importance of positive reinforcement. Avoid spending too much time beating yourself up over missed deadlines and opportunities.

Instead, practice treating yourself the way you would treat a friend you wanted to encourage to succeed. Being proud of yourself is key to feeling empowered to tackle and complete even the most daunting challenges.

Get Support

Procrastination can be a complex problem to tackle on your own. If you’re struggling to complete tasks and stay productive, consider seeking out a support group or therapist who can help.

Sometimes conquering procrastination requires self reflection to understand what fears and anxieties you might be carrying with you that are holding you back from accomplishing your goals.

Please feel free to reach out to learn more about anxiety therapy and how it fuels procrastination. Together, let’s figure out the next steps in getting your life moving in high gear.