How do you beat procrastination?

I don’t know how many other people get this, I imagine quite a few, but sometimes I get into a mental state where I find it very difficult to get on with things, especially if my task is too easy or repetative.

I’ve found 3 ways to overcome it, depending on how bad it is:

  1. Move location - start working in another room, or different place in the room that seems different. Strange, but it seems to work.
  2. Get a strong cup of tea or coffee - with a mind to tackle the task as soon as I have finished.
  3. Take a hour break doing something to get the mind active - Computer game, a walk, a problem solving task.

Do you suffer from this inertia? And if so, how do you overcome it?

Sadly for me, I don’t. And I suffer from it a lot. But it looks that the only thing I can think of is how to win the lottery.
I wish that I had a little bit more of will power and do the stuff that I have to do. :smiley:

All the things you mentioned do nothing but make me procrastinate more. Because I’ll move my room, but I’ll get it all setup the right way and when I’m done it’s too late to do any work. Or I’ll rearrange my room/server/dev environment and again, by the time I’m done it’s too late. Playing games or anything like that just lead to hours of playing games and stuff…

The only thing that works for me is to do little interesting side projects that don’t mean anything to my project and are easy. Like learn something new or write a little script that does this or that. Hopefully they don’t blow up into something bigger.

I procrastinate a lot when I’m writing testing codes. Thing that helped me was listening to mindless music.

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I use the “salami technique”.

Here’s how it works. Suppose you have to fill in a tax return. It’s a big form to fill in, and you have to gather information about all your income and expenses, and do lots of calculations. Naturally, procrastination rules.

So you simply slice off a tiny piece of the salami: you open a new folder and name it “tax return”.

Next day, you take another thin slice: you open the envelope containing the form, sort through the contents, discard anything that’s not relevant, and put the other stuff in the folder.

Next day, you make a checklist of all the documents you need to collect.

Next day, you collect together the first few documents and place them in the folder.

And so on.

None of those tasks is particularly onerous, is it? But before long, you’ve broken the back of the job. (Of course, if you start doing this the day before the tax deadline, it’s not going to work; but then you’d be in trouble anyway.)



Yeah I find that can work too.

Yeah, I do this as well, although I had never really thought of it as a technique. I tend to procrastinate when I have writing to do. So one day I create the new post, set up the tags, title, SEO stuff, etc. Next day I do the research, next day the shell, etc.

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hmm, It seems I’m with @Mikl and @HAWK on this one.

I noticed I procrastinate most when I feel overwhelmed. So I started taking those long, long ‘to do’ lists and splitting them up into just three major things I need to get through each day; Everything else gets rescheduled.

Then, if it’s one really big task, it gets ‘salamied’ (I’m stealing that phrase, Mikl). So instead of writing, “CODE CUSTOMER INTERFACE !!,” on my task list, it becomes, “Write HTML for interface,” then, “Style interface,” then, “Create database table,” etc. Little, bite-sized chunks.

Oh! And RescueTime!

I love that program!

It logs all of your computer activities during your working hours. So you can challenge yourself to get all blue and green bars (ie, do productive activities) and shy away from red bars (distractions). At the end of the week they give you a score of your productivity and you can work on beating it each week. Good way to stay motivated and keep yourself accountable.

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I do this when I have data entry to do.

No lyrics. Barely a melody. Just a beat.

Might try that

No lyrics. Barely a melody. Just a beat.

I’ve found music in other languages works just as well. I listen to a lot of foreign language rap so I can get the beat, the flow, and all the good parts of the music without it being distracting.

I don’t listen to any particular languages, since I only speak English. :smiley:

@Shaun , try this melody.

So soothing and calming. One of my favorites.

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I use TimeCamp. Then I happily ignore it :smiley:

Nice! Thanks for that!

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Daft Punk also works very well. You could find twelve-hour edits of ‘Technologic’ and long edits of ‘Around the World’ on Youtube.

Speaking of which, I should be doing data entry now. Bye, y’all!

( “Buy it, use it, break it, fix it, trash it, change it, mail-upgrade it…” )


Daft Funk make me wanna dance :slight_smile:

Never heard of it. Sounds cool though!


Thing that helped me was listening to mindless music.

I listen to techno and/or instrumental music while I’m really, really needing to focus on coding at the exclusion of other stuff. It helps. I don’t know exactly why. I listen to neither genre on my own, free time (normally).

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