1. Get organized-Knowing what needs to be done, in what order, and how long it will realistically take is half the battle. Writing out a game plan can help get you started because it may not seem like doing the actual work, but it IS doing something. Don’t assume it’s going to take you 10 minutes to write out that email if it’s really going to take you an hour. If you give yourself more time, it’ll feel good to finish with time to spare (just don’t let that time go to more procrastinating).
2. Find inspiration/get excited-Have a hard time getting to the gym? Look at pictures of people who are fit and imagine what you’ll feel like when you are in shape. This may have to be a daily thing. Keep it fresh. Picture that dream vacation you’re going to take as soon as your project is done.
3. Start simple-You have a game plan, now start at the beginning. Do something simple to get the ball rolling, then don’t stop.
4. Caffeine-Sometimes stimulants are necessary. I am against the daily cup (or pot) of coffee to get moving, but sometimes you need a little pick me up. Yerba Mate is my current drug of choice. Not quite the caffeine content of coffee means I don’t get jittery, and I can drink it all day for a smooth level of alertness without the crashing.
5. Stop Googling “How to overcome procrastination” and reading productivity blogs– I’ve done it before: Googled “how to stop procrastinating” and that in itself was procrastinating from doing any real work.
6. Bore yourself to death-Say to yourself, “okay, well if I’m not going to work on project X, then I’m not allowed to watch tv/surf the internet either.” Get rid of distractions. If you’re forced to sit in a quiet room or cubicle with no form of stimulation, eventually you’ll want to do *something*, even if it’s work.
7. Don’t be a perfectionist-“I’ll do it later when I have more time” is NOT a valid excuse if you’re a procrastinator. I do this all the time with emails. I tell myself I want to write a really well planned and thought out letter, but I’ll have to do it later when I have more time. The outcome is either never writing it, or writing it 2 months later when it really doesn’t matter anymore.
8. JUST DO IT!!! Put everything else aside and just go. Whether it means writing a paper, coding, going to the gym, cleaning, etc. Just do it.