Procrastination is the thief of time. Procrastination is not laziness, in fact, it can often
suggest the opposite. It suggests that those of us who struggle with it, also struggle with
perfectionism. We want things to be so well done and perfect that we get scared that we
are not going to be able to reach that standard so we trick ourselves into thinking- if we
don’t even start then we don’t have to confront ourselves and disappoint anyone if it’s not
perfect. But this is counter intuitive, right? We end up disappointing ourselves even more by
not getting started! It can take its toll on our self-worth and it can be a repetitive cycle.
C’mon perfectionists! We have the smarts and the potential, let’s apply ourselves. Easier
said than done I know so here’s some exact ways I’ve learned to overcome my debilitating
procrastinating habits over the years that I want to share to help someone else too.
1. Write it as an email to yourself
Sometimes the blank word document staring you in the face is the worst part about getting
started. If you’re like me then you like to get it perfect first try because something about it
in that format makes it feel official. This is why typing in the compose window in your own
emails takes a lot of the pressure off I find! You can actually make a start this way as that
inner critic is that little bit quieter. You can allow yourself to be imperfect and do it anyway
which is the main thing!
2. Try the Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro Technique is a time management system that encourages people to work
with the time they have. The thinking behind this technique is that the timer adds a sense of
urgency and encourages focussed bursts of high quality work rather than thinking you have
the whole day to finish something. Using this method, you are to break your workday into
25-minute chunks separated by five-minute breaks. These intervals are referred to as
pomodoros. After about four pomodoros, you take a longer break of about 15 to 20
minutes. This works well to tackle my procrastination when used in tandem with the next 3
ways that I’m going to mention.
3. Live study with me streams
Okay, most, if not all of us, are out of school and studying, but! Bear with me here- studying
really just means an amount of time we are to focus on something. One of the hardest
things about starting a task is that it can feel isolating and you know you could sit and
network with your circle if you weren’t having to do this task. Or you think, everyone else is
having a good time outside and I’m stuck in here needing to do this. That is why study with
me live streams on YouTube are so great because it takes the loneliness out of it AND the
distractions. Open it up in a window in the corner of your screen and you’ll have a study
buddy with you that is also studying and keeping you accountable to your Pomodoro
method. The best part about it is that they are so super disciplined and it’s inspiring and
motivating for you to get the work done- no distractions! Here are some of my favourite
4. Eat the frog first method
This phrase means to get the most important thing done first, even if you don’t necessarily
want to do it- dread it even. This habit helps us prioritize and manage our time so that
we focus on and complete the most important things in our lives. Putting first things
first also means learning to overcome fears and being strong during difficult times. It’s living
life according to what matters most.
5. Get a focus app
If you really struggle with going on your phone doing non-work related things when you’re
trying to get stuff done, this option is for YOU. So, the only focus app out there that has
actually helped me is the Forest app. Once you set a timer, it plants a virtual tree and if you
go off the app to procrastinate then it kills the virtual tree! Its surprisingly motivating
because the aim is to complete the whole timer you set without being distracted and you
can collect the virtual trees in a virtual garden and share with friends! Highly recommend
planting the trees with friends for that extra accountability.
Here is the link to the app: https://www.forestapp.cc/
Using these tricks and methods allows us to get over that hurdle of starting and gets us into
our focus groove, there can be no better feeling than that! Remember, doing it imperfectly
is better than wanting it to be perfect and not doing it at all. Let me know if you try any of
them and how you get on! Throw yourself into things. I’d love to hear if it works for you too.
By Farlan- netwomen ambassador