Everybody does it at some point: Finds every other task infinitely more interesting than the one that needs to be done, or gets intimidated by a project or assignment to the point that you just don’t know where to start. If you’re a serial procrastinator you’ve probably tried every trick in the book too (while putting off homework, of course!). Recently I came across a few lesser-known ways of beating procrastination and rounded them up for you—here they are:

How to Get Past Procrastination

Break up your tasks. The first thing to do is divide your project into smaller, more manageable pieces. Even though you’ll be doing the same amount of work in the end, studies have shown that it’s more effective to look at a task in small chunks that you can accomplish without feeling stressed.

Start with an outline. Often the task at hand is something we haven’t quite worked out in our minds. If it requires critical thinking – like most tasks do – it can be intimidating to actually put pen to paper. Start with a brainstorm or outline, that way you can begin to organize your thoughts in a way that makes progress without all the anxiety of beginning a project.

Raise the stakes. A lot of times, people put things off until the last minute because it’s not until the end result that they’re held accountable. But if you had to get something done on a different timeline, you’d probably complete the task more quickly. StickK is an app for setting and achieving goals, and it creates accountability by allowing you to put money on the line for a goal. You can put in money that will go to a friend, charity (or more fun: a foe or charity that you don’t support) if you lose. Raising the stakes makes the price of failure higher, so you’re least likely to abandon your goal.

Look to the (near) future. Another small but helpful trick is to think about how you’ll feel directly after you complete your project. Chances are that right now you feel anxious or uncomfortable with getting started. But there’s nothing better than that feeling of accomplishment and relief that comes with taking that to-do list by storm! So visualize the end-result for a minute, but don’t get too caught up in it… The most important part of beating procrastination is actually doing the work!

Do you consider yourself a procrastinator? I think everyone does at some point!

<3 Mish


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