Whether its doing your homework, studying for an exam or simply carrying out day to day tasks one of the main challenges people face is how to stay focused on the task ahead without getting distracted by the thousands of others things you need or want to do.
In today’s day and age it is so easy to get distracted with the world at our fingertips. Doing research for an assignment, I'll just quickly check Facebook. Before you know it an hour has passed and no research has been done (but you are all up to date with what everyone has been up to over the weekend).
Here are 3 simple ways to avoid procrastination and get your work done.
1. Make a list of everything you need to do. Writing it down as a checklist so you can see it visually makes a huge difference. I remember when I had to do my homework I would get very overwhelmed and not know where to start. I thought there was too much to do and as I was freaking out about it I would end up doing nothing. I decided to start writing lists of all my work and once it was down on paper it no longer appeared so overwhelming. I saw that it was all manageable and I could allocate an amount of time per task and what order I would do it in. By seeing it visually I had a plan of action and always managed to complete each task in the allocated time.
2. Make an internal checklist discovering what you are anxious about. I hear from many clients that exam study makes them extremely anxious. It all seems like too much, they are confused by concepts and are worried they wont be prepared by the time the exam comes. Well we all know that when you are feeling anxious it is very difficult to concentrate on anything else. So by taking a few minutes to acknowledge what you are anxious about, you can do something about it and get on with your work. Whether you talk to someone about your worries, write it down, go for a walk or do some deep breathing. Simply acknowledging that you are anxious and figuring out why allows you to move past it so that you can focus on your studies ahead.
3. Give yourself a deadline. Back at school I had a friend Louise who would always leave every assignment until the last minute and stay up late the night before it was due completing it. She simply could not organise herself enough to get it done in advance. At the time I could not understand this but now it makes complete sense. If you don’t have a deadline then there is no motivation to complete the task. I was simply giving myself an earlier deadline than Louise. I wanted to finish my work by the weekend before so that I didn’t have to worry about it during the week and could focus on other things. I would tell myself that I needed to complete the assignment by the end of the weekend and so I did. Once we have a deadline, it motivated us to do the work, as we know it must be done soon. By completing small amount of the work regularly rather than sitting down to a huge, overwhelming assignment that needs to be finished by the end of the day you will reduce your stress levels, complete the work in time and do a more thorough job.
So if you are the type to procrastinate (which most of us are) try these three tools. Make a visual list of what needs to be done, create an internal checklist of what you are anxious about and give yourself a deadline.