How to Stop Procrastinating – Proven Life Hacks to Boost Productivity

Do you feel like you struggle to complete tasks or stay on top of projects? This may be a byproduct of feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or in a place of executive dysfunction. Whatever the source of your struggles may be, you can implement these proven strategies to become more productive.

Don’t Focus on the Size of the Project

Some studies show that 88% of workers procrastinate for over an hour each day on the job. Much of that time may be spent staring at a computer screen or a calendar on the wall, just trying to figure out how to approach a task.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you’re looking at a large task that feels insurmountable, so don’t get wrapped up in that. Instead, pick out something you know you can achieve right away and start there. If you start the day with the mindset of “I’m never going to finish this,” you’re approaching the project from a place of defeat. Give yourself the benefit of the doubt and you might be surprised by how much you can accomplish.

Break Large Projects into Small, Manageable Chunks

How do you eat a full plate of nachos? One bite at a time. You can use that same mentality to take on just about any task, especially when it feels overwhelming. If you don’t have the headspace to break up the whole project into smaller chunks, identify something you can work on right now. Once you finish that chunk, identify a new one to move onto. Focus less on planning and more on doing. You can use that momentum to fuel future productivity.

Use Block Scheduling to Dedicate Time to Individual Tasks

Rather than saying you have to finish X task by Y time, block your day into sections for different tasks. Whatever you accomplish in that time is what you accomplish. This works well for people who struggle to find a balance between work life, personal life, or multiple projects within one area of their lives. If you don’t finish cleaning the entire kitchen in an hour, that’s OK! What you finished within that hour is more than what you started with.

Using this mentality can give you the grace to work at your speed and prevent feeling burnt out later on.

Stop the Cycle of “I’ll Do It Later”

If you’re a routine procrastinator, you may have a habit of saying, “I’ll start that at noon” or “I’ll get to that this evening when I get home.” Then, when noon or the evening comes, you find a new excuse to push off the project. When you catch yourself thinking that, stop yourself. Replace the thought with, “I don’t want to do this now, but I’m going to do it anyway.” There will always be a later for you to fall back on, so don’t give yourself the opportunity to do so.

Prioritize Getting Something Done, Even If It’s Not Perfect

Progress is better than perfection. You should always strive to do a job well, but that doesn’t mean you cannot complete it if it’s not perfect. If you let go of that need for perfection, you may find yourself getting much more accomplished throughout the day. Best of all, you can build your skills to get closer to perfection over time.

Breaking the habit of procrastination takes time, but you now have some tools to lean on. Take baby steps towards improvement, and you’ll soon feel much more productive.