The feeling of struggling with procrastination and productivity in general is, in my humble opinion, a quite common one. Some people deal with it by not leaving bed anymore, some do “seemingly” important mini tasks that don’t get them anywhere, some start incorporating a lot of cakes in their daily diets. The common nominator on all of these? The really important stuff won’t be finished.
Now, as always – personal experience here. That means those tips worked absolutely perfect for me. No matter what the project and how high the temptation of doing it a bit sluggishly, applying this 3-stepped-idea works. Always. For me. For me then too, one of the worst things after a long day of procrastination is the feeling of lying in bed, feeling miserable, like a failure.
While even the most motivated souls I know get this outcome every once in a while, we probably agree that we should keep it as low as possible.
And I can promise one thing: even if it doesn’t help you it definitely won’t hurt you.
Note: The following tips are related to any project where you actually have time to finish it. I hate people who say that it is aaabsolutely fine to aaalways pull an all-nighter. That’s not the place that will advocate this. Sleeping enough is therefore the side-pro-tip number 1!
3 quick tips to improve your productivity on the next project
- The “three-pages-a-day”-er – this one is definitely the most valuable for me when it comes to long writing projects. It’s application is easy: Write three pages a day (as I said, no tips for rushed projects). You will want to write three pages of great content, sure, but focus primarily on writing those three pages. It doesn’t matter if you are tired, if you don’t have ideas, if you think it’s rubbish – chances are that at least 1,5 pages of it is great content, and that brings you closer to your goal than fretting over half a page to be perfect. You will work through it again anyways, so why not write an unpolished first draft. Sure, this can range from taking an hour to up to 3,4 or even 5 hours. Maybe you still got to read some material on it. Maybe you are unsure about the structure. But if your goal is to write three pages it is a) not too much to ask of one day and b) a considerable advance in your project.
- The “no-guilt”-er – Your brain needs rest. So do you. But how relaxing is it really when you roll around on the couch or in your bed, stressing over the little amount of work you’ve done today, getting anxious over the days to come. If you set a goal (as, for example, the 3 pages in Tip #1), be happy when you achieve it. You have accomplished something. you have earned your time off. Don’t poison your well deserved relaxation time with guilt infused worries! Now I know this sounds easier as it is, but being aware of what you lose through being guilty all the time already is a step in the right direction.
- The “organize-everything”-er – the conclusion to the two above mentioned ideas. Organize your project in the beginning. Set a clear goal of how much you want to accomplish each day. If you are not a fan of the 3 pages make them 2, or make them 4. Take care however that you neither make it too easy nor too hard for yourself! “Ima just gonna write 50 pages a day” is not the right approach! With this sort of organization at hand, step 1 and 2 just have become even easier!
Essentially it’s a 3 step plan – You know your guidelines. You know your capacities. You know the outcome you want to achieve. With the right organization, the better mindset and the approach of using your capacities without stressing hell out of you and, above all, with relying on your future self to save it all, not only your productivity, but also your ease of my mind and well-being will be enhanced!