Procrastinating is, like, the easiest thing to do.
One second you’re checking your email and the next thing you know you’re knee-deep in Tumblr posts, your work nothing more than a whisper in the back of your head.
How do you beat procrastination and use your time more efficiently?
To be honest, we haven’t totally figured it out yet. But these 4 tools help us work a little better, and we bet they’ll work for you, too.
1. Break Big Tasks Into Small Chunks
The blank page (metaphorically or not) is the scariest thing in the world. The task of filling it up and making it perfect seems totally insurmountable — where do you even begin?
That’s why it’s better to take a step back — and take some pressure off yourself. Instead of thinking about the entirety of the task before you, think about it in smaller pieces. Doing so will make it easier for you to conceptualize how to go about your task, and it’ll make it easier for you to just start without being worried and overwhelmed.
I know — you’ve heard this one before but you just really don’t want to meditate. I get it, seriously.
But the thing is that meditating can really help you concentrate.
Meditating first thing in the morning will help you stay on task throughout the day, and meditating during the day can help you get back in the saddle and regain the focus you need to do effective work.
Meditating doesn’t have to be a giant hour-long affair that requires essential oils and a soundbath, although if your setup looks like that we totally support you and also would like to come to your house please.
You can spend just five or ten minutes sitting silently, or you can use an app like Headspace if you prefer a guided meditation.
For a super easy anti-procrastination meditation, try this 5-minute routine — it’ll help you get your brain back in order and your day back on track.
3. Eliminate Distractions
This one is hard because distractions are seriously everywhere. But it’s really difficult to buckle down and concentrate when the world is giving you sensory overload, so it’s worth the effort to create a calm, distraction-free workspace for yourself.
That means eschewing the noisy coffeeshop in favor of the library, a coworking space, or your trusty home office. It also means putting your phone on Do Not Disturb (and maybe leaving it in your bag) and finding a place to work that’s visually calming as well as quiet (that means no messy rooms!!).
4. Take A Break
If you’re trying so hard to stay on task but it’s just not happening, do yourself a favor and take a break.
You’re probably not working very efficiently anyway if you’re feeling totally fried, so give your body and brain the rest they deserve.
Set a time for 15 or 20 minutes and step away from the screen. Do the dishes, take a walk, read, whatever. The important thing is that you’re giving yourself the time you need to recharge and relax so you can perform at your best.
This article is originally published at SundayScaries.