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    5 Tips For Avoiding Procrastination

    5 Tips For Avoiding Procrastination

    Even the most focused people can fall prey to procrastination. One minute, you’re fully engrossed in your work. Next, you’re reading a Wikipedia page about fly-fishing. To help you stay on task, here are 5 tips for avoiding procrastination.

    Manage Motivation

    Motivation is a hard thing to predict and even harder to control. There are two good strategies for controlling motivation:

    1. Find a way to make what you’re doing feel important. To make what you’re doing feel important, ask yourself why it is important to you. If the answer is complex and deep enough, then that should provide sufficient motivation for your work. If the reason really hits home for you, then keep asking why until you find a reason that truly motivates you. Find those reasons, and use them as fuel to push through the tough spots.

    2. Change your perception of what you’re doing so that it doesn’t seem as difficult or boring as it seems to you now. If a task seems too boring or difficult, remember that everyone who’s really good at what they do has engaged in the same work at some point. Today’s top musicians played scales when they got started; it wasn’t fun, but they did it. As they got better at playing scales, they had more fun because they were constantly improving themselves. If you want to be good at what you do, the only alternative is to endure this stage of drudgery.

    Manage Goals, Tasks, and Time

    You’ve heard this one before: divide large tasks into manageable chunks and set deadlines for those chunks. This will reduce the number of things you need to keep track of at once, which can help lower stress levels.

    Manage Tasks

    The next step is figuring out what pieces comprise a task so that you can break it down even further.

    Give yourself Time to Procrastinate

    Don’t try to avoid procrastinating altogether. Everyone needs downtime, so you shouldn’t feel guilty about taking it.


    Just schedule it during specific periods of time, say 20-30 minutes every few hours or so. Allow yourself to play online slots or read the news. Just make sure you know when to stop.

    Create a good Learning Space

    Keeping your learning space clean and uncluttered can keep you in the right frame of mind for learning. If it’s easier, find a specific spot in your house to work.

    Clean Workspace

    For example, if you study in your bedroom, don’t hop into bed when you grow tired or bored with studying – reserve that space for sleeping.

    Eliminate Distractions

    This one’s easy: silence your phone and turn off the TV. If you work in an office that doesn’t understand why working requires focus, then wear headphones to block out noise.

    Or learn how to take productive breaks by shutting down your computer for a while. Let your co-workers know that you need some time to focus. They’ll probably respect you more for it in the long run because they know what they can expect from you when you are working.

    David Novak
    David Novak
    For the last 20 years, David Novak has appeared in newspapers, magazines, radio, and TV around the world, reviewing the latest in consumer technology. His byline has appeared in Popular Science, PC Magazine, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Electronic House Magazine, GQ, Men’s Journal, National Geographic, Newsweek, Popular Mechanics, Forbes Technology, Readers Digest, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Glamour Magazine, T3 Technology Magazine, Stuff Magazine, Maxim Magazine, Wired Magazine, Laptop Magazine, Indianapolis Monthly, Indiana Business Journal, Better Homes and Garden, CNET, Engadget, InfoWorld, Information Week, Yahoo Technology and Mobile Magazine. He has also made radio appearances on the The Mark Levin Radio Show, The Laura Ingraham Talk Show, Bob & Tom Show, and the Paul Harvey RadioShow. He’s also made TV appearances on The Today Show and The CBS Morning Show. His nationally syndicated newspaper column called the GadgetGUY, appears in over 100 newspapers around the world each week, where Novak enjoys over 3 million in readership. David is also a contributing writer fro Men’s Journal, GQ, Popular Mechanics, T3 Magazine and Electronic House here in the U.S.

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