20 Simple Ways to Defuse Procrastination

For students, as for most people, procrastination can kill your ability to get things done. Being rested, having a good schedule, and following a daily routine all help. But there are still those days when every fiber in your being is resisting the call to work. In these circumstances, you need to throw everything in your mental arsenal at the delay urge. Here are 20 simple things that can go a long way toward defusing the procrastination monster.

20 Simple Ways to Defuse Procrastination

  1. Do something easy but useful to break the barrier and start some momentum.
  2. Change your web browser homepage to a blank screen.
  3. Disconnect your laptop’s wireless network card.
  4. Listen to a song you like to re-energize your mind.
  5. Drink a large glass of cold water.
  6. Turn to your roommate and blurt out: “I have to get X done, if in 1 hour I still haven’t done this, kick my ass.”
  7. Relocate to the quietest nook on campus.
  8. Go for a quick, but intense run.
  9. Turn off your e-mail auto-notifiers.
  10. Identify the first small step in the looming project. Make a deal that if you accomplish this you can go spend 20 minutes doing something you like.
  11. Make a list of the remaining blocks of free time in your day. Plan which blocks will be dedicated to work.
  12. Run up a flight of stairs, get your heart pumping.
  13. Make plans to go drinking later in the day, forcing you to get things done fast or not at all.
  14. While web-surfing, print a few articles or blog posts that seem interesting. Bring them with your books to the library to read. Once you finish, you’ll have nothing left to do but start working.
  15. Change the settings on your IM program so that it doesn’t automatically open on startup.
  16. E-mail a friend to meet you at the library for a work push.
  17. Whenever you head out to work tell your someone your plans. Ask him to check up on you later in the day to see if you got things done or if you’re being a lazy ass.
  18. Do work that doesn’t require a computer away from a computer.
  19. Use a simple activity timer — such as Activity Tracker — to keep a record of how much time you spent doing actual work during the day. The idea you’re being audited can be a powerful motivating force.

9 thoughts on “20 Simple Ways to Defuse Procrastination”

  1. Just came across your website. Love your articles.

    I especially like number 6 in this list.
    Being a terrible procrastinator, I will attempt to employ these strategies.


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