Over the last two months I’ve been attempting to increase my productivity and actually get things, like this blog, done.
More than 20% of the population confessed to extreme procrastinating, with up to 95% of students having a problem with procrastination. Postponing tasks can cause behaviours such as; poor diet choices, lack of sleep, memory loss, excessive alcohol consumption, and extreme anxiety. (source)
Now seems like a good time to kick that attitude out of my life for good.
I started writing to-do lists after I picked up a really pretty magnetic list pad from Paperchase. I couldn’t leave it behind once I’d seen it and started using it straight away.
Writing out everything I needed to get done gave me a visual representation of all the work I was putting off, which is much harder to ignore than a mental note. The pad sits on my whiteboard alongside my desk, where my PC is.
Having it here has been another big help for my deadlines. One of the most common causes for procrastination is using time you should be spending working, to complete a more appealing activity. I play quite a few games in my free time and this ominous list of pending tasks often stops me playing another game and pushes me into doing some work instead!
These lists have improved my mental health too. Writing them helps me clear my mind because I don’t have to struggle to remember lots of things at the same time. It’s also really helped to calm my anxiety in stressful situations.
I’ve written multiple different lists about moving Jamie to Manchester, ranging from things we have to do before he goes, to things I need to buy him when he’s there. Planning out the move that way has helped me take control of a situation with so many variables that could throw my whole plan of action into disarray at any time.
On top of this, the lists have also helped me to achieve more long-term goals. Writing something on a weekly list doesn’t mean I have to complete it that week, but having it there keeps the idea fresh in my mind which will help me put steps into place to cross it off.
I use my whiteboard for goals or activities that either don’t have a deadline, or have a deadline far enough away to not require me to worry about it. It started off as a small change and now I’m completely obsessed with writing lists and I couldn’t be happier with the improvements it’s made to my productivity.
If you struggle with procrastination, check out these helpful tips to get yourself a little more organised.