This article will share you with some of the most effective and less commonly known tips on how to stop procrastinating and actually focus on the task you have at hand.
Instead of the typical, set a goal and planning a schedule, here are some tips that you can try adopting to help you ACTUALLy get started on your tasks.
But, before we dive into how to stop ourselves from wasting time and procrastinating, let’s understand why we procrastinate.
Why do we procrastinate?
Procrastination is due to our brains knowing that doing that particular task causes us to feel pain and discomfort. In other words, our brains anticipate pain and discomfort from doing a particular task, hence would prevent us from doing it.
A quick example of procrastination would be skipping workouts, working out means tiring ourselves, feeling the burn in our muscles, sweating, and more! Our brains, knowing that we are anticipating such discomfort, would do anything to stop us from executing the task.
So, here are 4 ways to help you focus on your task better and stop wasting time!
4 Tips on how to stop procrastinating and focus on the task on hand
1 – Reviewing your progress
Looking at all the unfinished tasks that you have on your to-do list can really turn you off and cause you to procrastinate.
So, instead of focusing on the things that you have yet to finish, why not take a look at the things that you have completed or accomplished?
This way not only helps to motivate you to keep going but also serves as a reminder of why you started in the first place. This is similar to the concept of viewing the glass as half full rather than half empty.
It is likely that you have come a long way and telling yourself that you are actually so close to completing the task already.
Here is one illustration:
Hence, instead of thinking of it as a single homework, think of it as you coming to the end of this subject, and you will find your motivation again!
Once you find your motivation, you may use our free IGCSE or PSLE notes and worksheets to get a head start on your studying.
2 – The 2-minute rule
Coined by David Alle, the 2-minute rule is simply simplifying the main task into something that can be done in 2 minutes.
Here’s a quick example of what it means –
Reading for 30 minutes before bed becomes reading one page of the book before bed
Going for a run becomes tying my running shoes
Folding the laundry becomes folding only one t-shirt
Attempting the long question in your homework becomes spending only 2 minutes on the question
You get the idea, you basically trick your brain into thinking that you are only going to do the task for a short period of time, or rather, just 2 minutes. Your brain will simply comply because 2 minutes would not hurt.
After 2 minutes, you might find yourself wanting to continue what you started. You might want to continue folding more laundry, reading another page of the book, and actually finishing the long question. What a win!
This 2-minute rule is a great way of helping you get started and get into the flow of things.
3 – Just one step at a time
Is your task overwhelming and daunting and making you procrastinate from starting it? Be reminded that you CAN take one step at a time.
Break your task into smaller concrete steps, and start one at a time. This makes your task seem less daunting and easier to accomplish. It also provides you an overview of what to anticipate from the task. When broken down into smaller steps, it may become easier to start working on it.
4 – Do the easy things first
When you are feeling unmotivated to start on your task, find easier things to complete first. It could be setting up your space for work, or attempting the easier part of the task first.
Doing the easy things can help you to get into the flow of working, so try it out!
In a nutshell, procrastination is normal human behavior, but it is important to know when you are procrastinating and when you are tired. Always remember that you are entitled to take a break and you should take a break when you are exhausted!