We’ve all had days when all we wanted to do was lay in bed and sleep the whole day away. It’s not uncommon. But what happens when you have that feeling paired with due assignments and tests? Or you have that super important presentation to show your boss but you haven’t done anything yet?
Here are some steps that I’ve personally tried and tested and swear by when I feel like death reincarnated. It might take a little practise, I’m not going to lie, but if you push hard enough, this could definitely work in your favour.
Step One: Set an Alarm
What’s more annoying and traumatising than your pesky alarm screaming at you at 7.30am to get up?
I use this as a scare technique. The knowledge that I have an alarm set and have to finish a task before a specific time really gets me to move more and be more productive. It’s as if, if I didn’t finish it before the alarm went off, I would have been punished or something. I may be a procrastinator, but I have a violent fear of being late, so this works for me.
You can also use alarms as a way to begin your task. Set up an alarm that says “Wake Up” or “Do assignment now!” to help you get started. I have over 10 alarms set and they all do their jobs pretty well.
I understand that it might get overwhelming for the first time with so many alarms, so try out one or two first before you get the hang of it. Then, when you’re a pro like me, the alarms just come naturally and they’re easier to follow.
Step Two: Try Out Simple Exercises to Get Your Mind Moving
I know what you’re thinking. Ugh exercise? Ew, no thanks. But a little exercise goes a long way. Say you’ve been staring at a screen for 5 hours trying to reach the deadline of a report or something but your brain is basically jello by now. It needs a little bit of oxygen so that it can relax and get your gears working again. Take a step away from your books or your computers and do some simple exercises!
I recommend some jumping jacks or try running around your house for a bit. It might sound a tad bit ridiculous but hey, if it works, might as well give it a shot.
If you’re unwilling, at least stretch a little. Yes, stretching counts as exercise, don’t come at me.
Step Three: EAT!
Besides oxygen to the brain, your body also needs fuel to recharge. You can’t do your best if your stomach is empty and half the time you’re just getting angrier and more frustrated at what you’re doing. I’m not saying eat full blown meals. Maybe just have a few snacks in between your tasks. That would help quite a bit.
Of course, during Ramadan is a different story. Because you can’t have snacks or drinks in between, it’s better for you to have a balanced and hearty sahur so you won’t suffer through the whole day.
Step Four: Do NOT Multitask
When you’re unsure that you’ll be able to finish a task at a certain time, make sure to delegate your time wisely. I’m not saying you can’t do it, of course you can! But that causes too much stress on your person to be focusing on multiple tasks at once.
What I tend to do is make a list of things that need to be done on a specific day. I always have it displayed where I can see them so I don’t miss out on anything. And I arrange them by order of importance. I get that you would find this a hassle but it’s really not that hard to do and it only takes about five to 10 minutes of your time before you start on the list. For people who can’t recall what they need to do and when they need to do it (like me), writing it down helps a whole lot!
Step Five: So… Plan B?
Okay, so maybe all those previous steps didn’t work for you. But that’s okay. There’s always plan B. What’s Plan B, you might ask?
Maybe you could try switching up the steps? Or you could come up with another set of steps that could fit you better. It’ll take time, but if you’re actively trying to better yourself and be less inactive, it could totally work! Take the time to experiment and find out what works better for you.
So What’s The Verdict, Doc?
What happens if you’ve done all those steps but still manage to procrastinate? Buddy, you need to get your priorities straight.
But also, if it’s your first time trying these steps out, you’re not going to excel straight away. Old habits die hard, after all. You can restart or find other ways that would suit you. Maybe doing the task the moment it’s handed over to you could work better or at least draft out what you need to do so that you won’t run around like a headless chicken when the due date slowly creeps in.
I also find that manifesting ideas and writing it down helps with figuring out what works for me.
If all else fails, don’t be too hard on yourself. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Take it easy and take slow steps. It’s understandable that things get harder sometimes. May your journey to less procrastinating start today!