Procrastination is a real problem (for some of us more than others). Still, everyone at some point in their lives feels like they could have managed a situation better, like taking advantage of their time and ensuring that they’re not finishing up a complex task in 15 minutes when they had an entire week to prepare for it
Situations like these lend themselves to panic and anxiety, leaving you staring ahead at a wall unable to move instead of, you know, just doing the thing that you’re supposed to be doing. These feelings of discomfort can be triggered by a lot of things, like having a lot of responsibilities or realizing that your to-do list was way too ambitious for your own good.
Here’s what you can do in order to shake off that feeling of panic and get to work.
Take deep breaths
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If you have an hour to complete a task, you can still take a five minutes to take some deep breaths and chill out. Your stressed out work won’t be your best. You screwed up already, so breathe from your stomach, forgive yourself and re-frame that hour in your head. View it as a period of 60 minutes, making you realize that you still have some time to get some decent work done. When you’re in a serious time crunch it’s important to complete your task as best as possible and to learn from the situation. You should avoid these scenarios since they feel awful and they are completely avoidable with some foresight.
Keep things simple
If you have too many tasks, keep it simple and prioritize. Avoid multitasking since this just dilutes your attention and complete the work that is most pressing and that needs to be delivered first. If you keep your to-do lists neat and simple, you’ll realize that some time consuming tasks can be completed later on when you’re not so stressed out.
Get help from nature
In a panic, we tend to freeze and look at our screens without doing any work. Instead of wasting your time while stress sitting in your chair, go for a change of scenery. Go to a cafe or for a walk, allowing your brain a few minutes of peace, and get back to work feeling refreshed. Studies have found that a nice view and some headspace facilitates work from students, making them more productive.
Work in 90 minute intervals
Most of us have relatively short attention spans, making the task of working for four hour straight seem daunting and unrealistic. Set a timer for 90 minutes where you disconnect from your phone and social media. Focus for that period of time and relax when your timer goes off. You’ll get more work done though this method instead of spending hours trying to study or complete work when you’re not completely invested in what you’re doing.
Reward yourself with something nice
If you have a week filled with commitments and things to do, schedule your days in advance, marking your work hours just as your recreational ones. During these periods of time do something you want to do, like reading a chapter of a book, watching a 30-minute episode of a TV show or having a facetime call with a friend. These activities will make your workload less daunting and provide you with some much needed fun.