pro-cras-ti-na-tion |prəˌkrastəˈnāSHən, prō-|
is the practice of carrying out less urgent tasks in preference to more urgent ones, or doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable ones, and thus putting off impending tasks to a later time, sometimes to the “last minute” before the deadline.
According to a recent study, the average American worker/hobbyist spends around two hours a day at work on activities not-related to work – in other words, goofing off, messing around, procrastinating or leaving the hard or boring for later. But those pending jobs pile up and become a productivity nightmare.
Here are some suggestions by Etsy sellers on how they stay productive and on task:
- First things first. Tackle the toughest tasks on your agenda first thing in the morning. That way, the rest of your day will be a cakewalk by comparison. As self-improvement expert Dale Carnegie once said, “Do the hard jobs first. The easy jobs will take care of themselves.”
- Eliminate distractions. Can’t stop reading Twitter on your phone? Put it in a drawer. Do you check Facebook every 10 minutes? Use a web tool like Productivity Owl to help you stay on task. If you stray from a productive task and hit the Internet, an animated owl swoops down over your work and tells you to get back on track.
- Minimize distractions by all means necessary. If TV’s a huge problem, remove it from your work room.
- Solicit external support by telling one or more friends or family members about a goal you’re trying to accomplish and asking them to hold you to it.
- If you’re trying to write a consistent blog, put “new post every Tuesday” at the top of the page.
- Leave post-it notes for yourself, reminding you to make good choices.
- Set an alarm to remind yourself to start a task, or to remind you of the stakes.
But old habits die hard, so if you absolutely, positively must procrastinate, at least try to better yourself while you do so, and learn something – pick up books that will help your Etsy shop.
Or try these apps which help you set up your own goals, define tasks better and boost motivation:
- Unstuck (free) is an iPad app. It shows how you procrastinate and what exactly you do to avoid doing tasks. The app helps to figure out what type of procrastinator you are and suggests ways to deal with it.
- MeeTimer is a Firefox add on and it helps you calculate the time that you spent on every single website throughout the day and gives you all the statistics, including percentages of your time spent on specific websites. It is designed to make you feel guilty about all the wasted time on the “wrong” tasks.
- Write or Die will make your writing experience a game. With this app you can define a time-limit and a word count to be achieved. If you fail to reach your goal, then a punishment will be awaiting you … An absolute highlight is a “kamikaze mode”, in which the program starts un-writing your words unless you start writing again.
And just remember that all work and no play aren’t healthy for anyone. One of the best ways to battle procrastination is to give your self some time off. The key here is to make both your work time and free time count.