Don’t let 2016 start getting away from you already.
We all suffer from procrastination, but the first month of the new year affords a great excuse to tackle the problem. Make some serious progress toward being free from the pull of Facebook and get some real work done.
Step 1: Use a reward system.
Hey, it works for mice. Set up a schedule or time structure that you can live with and stick to it. You can try the Pomodoro method (25 minutes on, 5 minutes off), or come up with something that works best for you. Set aside reward breaks to fritter around and keep your work time sacrosanct. That way, no matter how dull or difficult the work, you have a finite amount of time before you’re allowed a break. Psychologically, this can make all the difference.
Step 2: Set smaller, manageable goals
Have a daunting task? An insurmountable project? Break it down. Take a hammer to the impossible and chip it into smaller actionable items you can get done in smaller, more manageable chunks of time. Getting a few of these preliminary or minor details taken care of will help you build momentum and start to see the full shape of the finished job. And it’s always so satisfying to cross tasks off a list; the more you have per list the better!
Step 3: Do a mental warm-up first
Treat this one just like the gym. You wouldn’t go right to the heavy dumbbells without doing a bit of prep work first. Start your work day with a bit of reading (no, not Facebook or celebrity gossip blogs!). Seeing well-expressed ideas and well-written words can spark your own drive to do good work—and can even give you the inspiration you need to make your project pop. If reading isn’t your thing, try a crossword puzzle or Sudoku or Luminosity—anything to get your brain going in advance of getting down to work.
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