How to avoid procrastination and improve productivity

  • “Stop procrastinating”! We’ve all heard it zillion times but still give in to the temptation because as humans we look for the easier path out. With the advent of technology, the distractions have increased significantly making it almost a struggle to be productive. From personal life to a career, procrastination inhibits us to reach our full potential. We feel guilty about our decisions and tend to lose track of our ultimate goals. We have listed down a few tricks backed by science which will certainly get you off your couch to start working.

    Have 17 minute break periods after 52 minutes of work

    Extensive research has been made by psychologists to understand the best possible working time. As for musicians, it’s been suggested that they should practice for 90 minutes before taking a break. However, for people with regular jobs, the most efficient timetable is 52 minutes of work coupled with 17 minutes break.

    The Association for Psychological Science designed an app that studied the behavioural patterns of most efficient people and came out with this timetable. At first sight, it seems like quite a luxurious thought, however, in reality, it helps you be more productive throughout your day.

    Forcing yourself to perform difficult tasks

    According to a recent study by Dr John Bargh, our brain inhibits us to start difficult tasks by stimulating a feeling of productivity. We’ll get superficial thoughts and think about menial things instead of engaging in the real task at hand. So don’t get depressed if you feel this prior to engaging in some work. It’s not that you have less willpower but rather your brain functions in this particular manner. So it’s important to understand this feeling and push through to perform your actual work.

    Nighttime sleep is much better than naps

    Many people recommend short intervals of sleep during the day to increase productivity. In reality, the science is quite hazy with this one. No concrete evidence is present to prove this concept hence taking a good night sleep is the recommended approach. People who engage in more sleep during the night tend to be productivity at their workplace increasing their wages as well. So just sleep through the night and power through the day with full force!

    Identify your symptoms of procrastination

    It’s not possible to take all the distractions away once and for all however you can still help with the symptoms. Be honest and scout for the actual reasons that make you procrastinate. Once you’ve identified the reasons, try changing your environment, so you don’t fall into these traps. Identify the place that you believe can help you be more productive and opt for it. A nice coffee shop or a library can be good recommendations. Don’t be harsh on yourself and permit yourself little breaks where necessary.

    Avoiding procrastination is a state of mind which needs work and commitment. Don’t feel guilty about procrastinating but rather identify the reasons and take necessary steps to overcome them.

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