beyond procrastination: motivating yourself

I’m not much for procrastination.  I have a limited amount of time and I like to get things done as efficiently as possible.

There are the inevitable times, however, when I’m working on a project that I’m just dreading.  Sometimes it just seems too big to complete, or it’s just not up my alley of interest, or I’ve been working on it for months and months and months and I’m just plain tired of it.  In those moments, I find myself checking e-mail and Twitter constantly, getting up to do something every five minutes, or doing a wide variety of things to keep myself from getting down to business.

How do I get beyond procrastination?  How do I motivate myself?

1. Self-Bribing

Sometimes I’ll tell myself, “If I get X words done for this piece, or X chapters written, I will make myself tea, or go out for a 10 minute walk, or [something else I like doing].”  Often the anticipation of the thing I’m promising myself will motivate me to get things done as quickly as possible.

2. Fun Stuff First

If I really can’t focus, I’ll look at my to-do list and finish fun projects first — or at least easy projects.  If I know formatting a post will take me a half hour, I figure that’s a better use of my time than procrastinating for a half hour.

3.Setting Limits

If I can help it, I try to check e-mail and social media only once on the hour.  Sometimes I just can’t resist though or find myself checking without even thinking about it.

4. Leave It

And then sometimes I feel like I just have to let go of the project for a day or two — or even a week.  I once stopped working on a project for a whole MONTH.  When I came back, I was renewed and got so much more work done than I would have if I had chipped away begrudgingly for a month.

  • How do you work beyond procrastination and into motivating yourself?

(Please tell me!  I need more ideas!)

Image by LadyDayDream

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