How to fight procrastination? Use these tips and applications

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No more postponing work.

Do you postpone everything? You tend to senselessly waste time, for example, before YouTube or Facebook, unable to get on with your duties? Do you find a lot of excuses to postpone what you have to do for later? This problem, known for undertaking procrastination, affects almost everyone. But where does he come from and how to deal with him? We decided to explain it in this article. What's more, we have prepared for you a short list of applications, programs and browser extensions that will help you in the fight against this behavior.

Procrastination – causes

Before we tell you what the source of procrastination is, we must explain what it certainly is NOT. So it is not laziness, contrary to what some may try to convince you. Lazy people simply do not want to do anything and have no remorse because of it, however procrastinators want to do something useful, but they can't do it. The distinction between these two concepts is important because only when you realize what your problem is you will be able to fight it.

But what causes procrastination? Procrastination is the result of the continuous implementation of two parts of the brain. The first is limbic system, responsible for emotions and impulsiveness, including the pursuit of immediate reward. Second one prefrontal cortexwho is responsible for concentration, self-management, attention and goals, and the perception of time. In brief, the prefrontal cortex tells us: "focus, you have to do this, this and this," and the limbic system cries, "relax, take care of something pleasant". Unfortunately, the limbic system often winsinstead of doing the right thing, we waste time on pointless nonsense.

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In our case, the limbic system wins, it could be influenced by many life factors. The first is childhood. If our parents set too high standards for us, we could have concerns that you will not meet them. That is why to this day we can feel the fear that something will not work out, so we postpone our obligations for later. Perfectionism is also mentioned in the genesis of procrastination. According to some, perfectionists devote so much time to planning and preparing tasks that they do not have time to actually do it. Procrastinates are often procrastinates also because they are troubled by various fears – fear of failure (like the one resulting from the requirements of parents in childhood), success (because success is often associated with responsibility and the need to engage in more tasks, often more difficult) , before loneliness, intimacy or a feeling of helplessness.

How to fight procrastination?

Dealing with procrastination is definitely not easy, just like fighting any bad habit. It requires regularity, determination and understanding of the underlying problem, and not only. Nevertheless, you will certainly be able to exclude procrastination from your life if you so desire. Here are the things you must do to do this:

1. Learn about procrastination as much as possible. Check the causes and think about what causes it for you. Then you will know why you are facing.

2. Start to make lists of tasks to be done, giving them priority. Begin your work by performing the most important sentences – even if they are difficult, and then, later in the day, you'll be able to enjoy simpler activities. If you need several days to complete a task, divide your work into stages, writing down what stages you will accomplish each day (and even at a specific time of the day) and marking what you have already done. Thanks to this, your actions will be ordered. You will start to perform many shorter tasks, not one long task, thanks to which work will be more friendly.

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3. Don't demand too much of yourself. Since you have a habit of habitual putting off everything for later, do not count on the fact that suddenly you will eagerly start to do absolutely all your sentences. So, strongly limit the number of tasks planned for a given day. At the beginning you only need a few, up to three.

4. Reward yourself for each work phase completed on time. Even simple pleasures are enough – a cup of coffee or tea, a short walk, as well as going to the cinema or buying a new book. Thanks to them your motivation will increase. However, it is important not to use penalties, as they reduce motivation. If you did not manage to complete a task today, plan it for the next day and if you do it tomorrow, there will be a reward for you.

5. If you notice that you lose motivation to work, start thinking about the long-term benefits of performing tasks. Remind yourself that honestly fulfilled duties can result in promotion at work or an excellent grade in college or school.

6. Take breaks at work. Your performance will increase if you allow your mind to rest from time to time. Of course, you should not take a break every five minutes, but if you take a 5-10 minute break every 20 minutes of work, you will definitely benefit.

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7. Take care of proper rest. During breaks from work, do not do other tasks, and sit on the couch, have a coffee or listen to the music for a while. Also, don't work at night or play on the computer at night. If you get enough sleep the next day, work will be much easier for you.

8. Use tools that will help you in the fight against procrastination. There are a lot of applications for smartphones, programs and browser extensions that will facilitate task planning, time management and setting goals, and help isolate yourself from distractions such as social networking sites and other websites.

7 applications and browser extensions to fight procrastination

1. AppBlock – Stay Focused

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AppBlock – Stay Focused is an application that allows you to temporarily block distracting applications that you have installed on your smartphone. Thanks to it, you can determine which applications access will be blocked at certain times of the day, disable notifications from blocked applications or create application groups with different lock rules.

2. Todoist

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Thanks to Todoist, planning, organization and collaboration on projects will become much easier. This application allows you to create lists of scheduled tasks, group tasks by color according to importance, implement group projects, measure daily progress or attach comments and internet links to all tasks. It is a free application, and at the same time very simple and intuitive. It is worth adding that it is available not only for smartphones and tablets with iOS and Android, but also for computers with Windows or macOS. In addition, it can be downloaded as an extension to Chrome, Safari or Firefox.

3. Simple Habit

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You need to be able to rest. If you don't know what to do with yourself during a break from work, reach for the Simple Habit application. This application allows you to reduce stress through … meditation. We're not talking about meditation, during which you will have to turn off completely. No, Simple Habit meditation involves listening to recorded directions and implementing a short program of meditative exercises. The application has a lot of meditation programs focused on solving various problems – including the problem of procrastination.

4. Mindly

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A mess in the head can seriously hinder the fight against procrastination. Sometimes we have to do so many complicated things, not only at work but also at home, that planning tasks alone may not be enough. Then we need to organize our thoughts and this is what the Mindly app allows. We can create minimalistic "circular" mind maps. In short, it consists of saving tasks in circles and attaching smaller circles to them, on which we saved the elements that we should remember when completing a given sentence. Each of these circles can be given any color, title, note content and icon. Ready maps from Mindly can be saved as HTML or PDF files if we wanted to print or view them on another device.

5. Brain Focus Productivity Timer

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Have you ever heard of a time management technique called Pomodoro? The Brain Focus Productivity Timer app is based on it. It divides our day into 25-minute work sessions and 5-minute breaks, and also allows us to set a longer break after several work sessions, which increases our productivity. In addition, Brain Focus Productivity Timer allows you to turn off Wi-Fi, phone sound and block other applications during your work session, isolating us from distractions. The application is very easy to use and transparent.

6. Toby

If you work on a computer, you probably know the problem of dozens of cards opened in the browser. Sometimes you just have to open so many cards, but it's hard to find them. Searching among those cards for the one where you need to check something at a given moment, you can lose a lot of time by extending the process of completing a given task. This issue is resolved by the Chrome browser extension Toby. Toby allows you to organize Google Chrome cards by dividing them into various categories and groups, making them easier to use.

7. Block Site

We have already offered you an application that blocks access to distracting applications on your smartphone, but as various websites can be equally distracting, including web versions of social networking sites, we cannot but provide you with a way to block access to them. This is, for example, the browser extension Block Site (available for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox). With its help you can choose which pages in the browser are to be blocked. You will not be able to get to the blocked page via the address bar, bookmarks or hyperlinks.