This article was originally posted by Halyna in 2020.
Keeping on top of all the things you have to do is hard work. Whether it’s remembering to take your clothes out the washing machine, doing your homework or even making food, it’s easy to get overwhelmed, forget, or simply feel that you can’t be bothered to do any of it.
I used to struggle with putting off tasks till the last minute because I was daunted by what I had to do. Seeing a finish line seemed almost impossible and so I chose to ignore all my must-do’s until I could ignore them no longer. This obviously made me more stressed and negatively affected my sleep and my mood drastically. After getting over my slump, I decided that enough was enough. I’d try all the things I could to be more organised.
If you’re also struggling with staying motivated, getting organised and battling your procrastination, try these 5 tips!
Write a list
Whether you’d like to make a list on your phone or write it in a little notebook, ensuring you keep on track of everything you need to do is really important. It’s so easy to tell yourself “I’ll do that later” and within 5 minutes, you’ve forgotten what it is you need to do. Keeping a list will help you remember it all, which is the first step to getting what you need to do done. Ticking tasks of your list is also a really useful motivational boost.
Chunk your tasks
Sometimes I look at the things I must do and am so overwhelmed that I just pretend it doesn’t exist. One thing that’s really helped me to get over this bad habit is chunking my tasks by making large daunting tasks into more manageable, smaller ones. Once I’ve completed one small task, I’m more likely to feel a boost and continue to do other small tasks. Winning!
If you’d like to go one step further than writing a list and chunking, prioritising your work really makes an impact. Reflecting on how urgent the tasks are, how long they’ll take and how important they are will really help you to figure out what it is that you need to do first.
Schedule your time
If you’re still struggling to get going, I recommend you set aside some time to do certain things. Instead of saying “I’ll start this later”, plan a time that you’ll start and don’t budge. Being strict with yourself is super important here. If you said you’d start at 4 PM, do just that! Give yourself a block of time to do what you need, whether that’s 30 minutes or an hour. Remember, you can always extend your time if you’re feeling productive.
Set a timer
According to research, setting a timer for 25 minutes to do work is the optimal amount of time to be productive. After this time, you start to lag as your brain needs a break. Try this 25-minute working method, with a 5-minute break afterwards to grab a snack, listen to your favourite song or have a bit of yoga. Then have a go at another 25 minutes. You’ll have done way more than you think and be feeling pretty proud of yourself.
At first, I really struggled to stick to this timer, so I downloaded a free time management app called Flora. It worked for me as you set a duration and if you complete the timer without going off the app, it rewards you with a cute little plant for your virtual plant garden. There are so many more interesting elements to this app to help with productivity, so give it a try, and let me know in the comments what you think! And no… this is not an ad.
If you’d like some more information on mental health, check out TheSprout’s mental health information page.