Procrastinating, we all do it. Whether you have a looming part-time BSc business management degree essay deadline or an events management course presentation to prepare, chances are you will have done all of the washing up, tidied your desk space (twice) and stared out of the window for a solid 12 minutes before having even picked up a pen.
Heck, we both know that you’re procrastinating just by reading this guide, let’s not kid ourselves, but hopefully by the end of it you may have learnt a thing or two about how to manage it or, at the very least, how to stop procrastinating by force!
First things first, we’ll allow a bit of desk tidying and organisation. There’s a reason we arrange our desks before starting a big project: a clear desk means a clear mind. So start by organising your notes and create a study plan.
Pukka Pad have some great stationery that can help you do just that. Their filing range and various diaries and planners mean that you can keep things neat and tidy and get organised, thus improving your productivity and compensating for any time already taken procrastinating.
For the more tech savvy, Trello is a great desktop organiser that transforms your life (a.k.a. your laptop and mobile) from unorganised chaos into, well, organised chaos. Create different boards for your various individual projects where you can drag and drop all the important information you need into one easy-to-use and manageable space.
Once organised it is time to get tough with yourself and that means improving concentration by force.
Cold Turkey puts an end to the root of all evil – sorry, procrastination – social media. No it doesn’t take it away from you for good, never fret (no one could be without a daily dose of the latest and greatest viral cat video), but it does temporarily block these sites to help you get on with your work. Letting you schedule your block, Cold Turkey is the free and effective way of reducing the extent of your online social procrastination.
People work in many different ways, but music is a common denominator among students. The focus@will application shows its users how to study efficiently and work smarter through the use of music. Developed in partnership with leading neuroscientists Dr. Evian Gordon (www.brainsource.com) and Dr. Stephen Sideroff (UCLA Professor of Psychology), focus@will is actually proven to reduce procrastination and improve work efficiency. Trials show typical 12-15 per cent positive increase in focus biomarker and up to 400 per cent extended session time. Beat procrastination with science!
Now for some wise words by one of the world’s leaders in avoiding procrastination. David Allen created a work-life management system that has helped countless individuals improve their productivity and reduce the stress of procrastinating. The international bestseller Getting Things Done promises to help you “achieve and maintain that optimal condition, by using your mental energies to think about things rather than think of them.”
Studies actually found that a bit of procrastination is actually productive because it allows the mind to step back and better assess the situation – or assignment – at hand. So give your mind time to procrastinate by browsing some websites that may actually be of use and save you time in other areas that procrastination may have eaten into.
Lifehacker UK is based on the American version of the site ‘but with fewer dollars and cents and more pounds and pence.’ It helps you be more efficient and productive with numerous articles on how to live and work without procrastination, but with drive. Putting together all of the UK-relevant content from the US site alongside UK-specific content created by a British editorial team , it also saves you procrastinating time you would have spent sifting through Lifehacker US.
Image Credit: Rennett Stowe (flickr.com), Pukka Pad, Trello, Cold Turkey, focus@will, David Allen Getting Things Done, Lifehacker UK
This content was written by Rachel Smith. Please feel free to visit my Google+ Profile to read more stories.