A long time ago I was the king of procrastination. I was never getting things done, something had to be done as soon as possible or I would have drown in my to-do’s. Luckly, studying for my thesis during University, I discovered the world of productivity enhancements. Little simple tricks and techniques made my life easier and better, and constantly practicing all these methods I finally reached the zen of productivity. Inbox 0 before the week-end, achieved weekly milestones and time for myself after the work hours.
One of the most common questions young (and older) people who know me or with whom I work with is: “How do I defeat procrastination?”.
Trough experience I find that treating your self with a price is the best way to hack procrastination.
Your mind is like a kid, if you want it be good you need to treat it with candy or gifts.
Here is what I usually do when I understand that I’m not that willing to complete a task and I start procrastinating:
- Find yourself a treat, i.e. something that you cannot resist a day without. Like opening Facebook, Tweet, reading your favourite website, smoke a cigarette, or watch a video on Youtube.
- Embrace the Pomodoro Technique. Set a timer for 25 minutes, and keep working on your tasks with no distractions at all. Once the timer goes off you may stop.
- At this point you can treat yourself with an activity of your choice found in point No. 1 for 5 minutes. Once the 5 minutes are over go back to point No. 2 and start working again. Every 4 breaks take a longer one (have lunch for example).
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”