Procrastination: How to Stay on Track

Procrastination. We know this word all too well (some of us more than others). Procrastination can be useful, to an extent. People argue that they do better under pressure, and while that may be true for some, sometimes you just have to get started on something immediately. Other times, your procrastination (or avoidance behavior) takes over and all of a sudden something is due, but you still can't get started. If any of this sounds like you, this post is for you. 

seriously struggle with procrastination and initiating tasks (did I mention I have executive functioning difficulties?). Over the years I've read lots of articles and tried out a variety of ways to help manage my procrastination. Here are some things that work for me:

Setting Timers. This is helpful for times when I need limits on my breaks, and to stick with a task. For example, at the start of a busy day, I may set a 15 minutes timer, that sllows me to do whatever I want on the computer for 15 minutes. Once that timer goes off, it's time to tackle my To-Do list. Alternatively, I use timers to stick with my work, and when that timer goes off, I can "earn" my break!

Do Not Disturb. Turning your phone to Do Not Disturb (if it's an iPhone) is a miracle. This way, I don't see or hear any alerts pop up on my phone so I don't feel tempted to check and respond to everything. Once my work is done (or my timer goes off), I can switch off the "Do Not Disturb" and check my messages/alerts.

Closing the Door (or Put on Headphones). Depending on where you work, you may need to adjust this a bit. I have an office, so when I really want zero distractions, I can shut the door to alert people that I am not available. This cuts down on the small talk that I just do not have time for when I'm crunched for time. It also helps to keep me from people watching from the window to the hall in my office. If you don't have the luxury of closing a door, pop in some head phones to show others you are not available for chit-chat.

Listening to Neutral Music. If you employ the above strategy, the music you choose is important. I've found that if I'm listening to a radio station, or playlist with new or intriguing music, I am less productive at work. I'd rather be listening to the music than thinking about the task at hand. I can sometimes listen to a playlist from a band I love, because I'm not concentrating on the lyrics or sound as much, but I like to stick to more neutral music, such as instrumental jazz or classical music. The music in this case is serving as some background noise to help you focus, not introducing you to new, hit bands. You're trying to work, not find your next concert to attend.

Close Your Browser. If you don't need the internet, turn off WiFi, or close your internet browser. If you do  need the internet for your work, then close all the unnecessary tabs and do not open until your timer goes off and it's time for a break!

ABA at Play: antecedent manipulations, escape-maintained behaviors, prompting, evidence-based practices, socially significant behavior

What tips do you have to help stay on track? Leave a comment below!

You might also like: Executive Functioning

1 comment

  1. This is a great post! I'm terrible with procrastination so I'll definitely have to try some of these tips. Thanks for sharing!


Thanks for the comments! I look forward to reading them :)

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