Procrastination can be our worst enemy, yet it's one we struggle with regularly. In today's digital age—with screens always at our fingertips and news feeds enticing us to get lost in the internet's offerings for a few casual hours—staying focused on the task at hand is especially hard. The more difficult and demanding the task, the more likely we are to put it off, as we just can't find the energy to even begin.
Overcoming procrastination isn't as easy as just deciding to be more productive and sticking to it. It's a constant challenge we face throughout our work, and even personal, lives, but that doesn't mean there aren't tricks to stop procrastinating. LinkedIn recently listed a handful of hacks one can try to combat procrastination. We've highlighted our favorites here, so before you head into the workweek, study up and commit to doing away with procrastination to take charge of your work and win back precious time.
Take baby steps. If you have something due at the end of the week, chances are you'll put it off until the 11th hour. Knowing your work habits, combat this tendency by breaking down the task into manageable baby steps. If you approach the project as shorter, easier-to-achieve steps, it won't seem so daunting and you're less likely to put it off. You can put in the time here and there until the deadline, and come the night before you won't be completely crushed by an impossible load of unfinished work.
Force yourself for 15 minutes. The hardest part of getting work done is just starting. To make yourself get into the groove (or at least break down that barrier of even starting), force yourself to work at the task for a straight 15 minutes. It's short enough you can convince yourself to power through, but not so long you'll simply suffer and end up wasting more time. You might find that after 15 minutes you're finally in work mode, but at the very least you'll have chipped away a little bit of the work. Sprinkle in these 15-minute sessions here and there before the deadline, and you'll find that getting through the task isn't so bad after all.
Tackle it first thing in the morning. We're freshest and most focused first thing in the morning, so tackle your hardest projects then. The night before, prepare absolutely everything you'll need to complete the task, and the next day head straight to the office and do it first thing. Don't give yourself the time to put it off or fall victim to distraction. If you ever need an extra internal pep talk, just imagine how terrific you'll feel after, basking in the satisfaction that you finally finished it.
Head over to LinkedIn to read the full list of tips, and then let us know in the comments which tips you find most effective.