Being a procrastinator may seem like it’s directly at odds with being productive. To procrastinate is the opposite of being productive – right? Wrong. Procrastination can actually be a driving force for (last-minute) productivity – if it’s channeled properly. The following productivity boosters can help procrastinators take hold of their fleeting motivation and harness it to get more work done. Productivity boosters provide a way for procrastinators to work smarter, not harder.
3 Productivity Boosters for Procrastinators
Procrastinators can take advantage of the following productivity boosters to change the way they work and get more done. Productivity boosters shouldn’t take additional time out of your day; rather, they should give you additional time. Here are 3 productivity boosters for procrastinators.
1. Make a public commitment
Deadlines have a way of making even the most seasoned procrastinators get in gear. If yours is a position where deadlines don’t naturally occur and work happens mostly on your personal timeline (many entrepreneurs can relate), setting deadlines and making public commitments to them can be a really effective productivity booster. It makes you accountable for your work and the timeline you’ve set to get it done.
Even if it’s just telling your spouse, “I need to have this document finished by tomorrow at 3pm,” making your commitment to a deadline public and having some outside accountability will help ensure that the “tomorrow at 3pm” deadline doesn’t pass unnoticed by you.
2. Start small – do the minimum
It sounds counter-productive to start small and do the minimum work required, but it works for procrastinators. Often, the reason we put off a project is because we’re imagining it to be larger and more complex than it really is. It’s like looking at a large pizza you’re expected to eat alone and being overwhelmed by the idea.
Instead of sitting down in front of the whole pizza and watching in dismay as you slowly work your way through it, try sitting down with just one slice of the pizza and make yourself finish it before moving on to the next. Not only will this quell panicked feelings in procrastinators, but it will also help you get a jump start on big projects that are intimidating at first.
3. Get rid of distractions
Distractions are the death of productivity, and any procrastinator knows that distractions are an essential tool in the time-wasting tool belt. The trick is learning how to isolate yourself from distractions in order to achieve better productivity. Research has shown that adults, on average, check their smartphones 150 times per day.
The New York Times reported that it takes an average of 25 minutes to get fully “back to work” after a distraction, adding to their time-wasting power. Get rid of distractions by committing to put your phone away while working, not visiting social media sites, turning off the TV, etc. This is one of the most effective productivity boosters for procrastinators, who are particularly prone to falling victim to distractions throughout the day.
Procrastination isn’t necessarily the enemy of productivity. If you can channel your procrastination tendencies into the 3 productivity boosters above, you’ll get more work done (on time!) and you’ll feel less pressured and stressed around deadlines. Give them a try!