My job is deadline oriented. If work doesn’t get done on time, I don’t get paid. But that doesn’t always stop me from procrastinating when it comes to research and getting stuff done. Sometimes there can be an assignment sitting on my desk for one month but I don’t start working on it until a few days before it’s due. And of course that only stresses me out. It was becoming a big problem. I decided it was time to make a change.
I thrive on little accomplishments. Those little accomplishments motivate me to get the other big things done. So I decided it made sense to make a to do list. Every Sunday night, I sat down at my desk and wrote down the top five to six things I wanted to accomplish the next day. And then every Monday, I would wake up feeling charged and ready to tackle my well planned to-do list… until Rachael Ray came on. Of course, I told myself I’d get back to work once Rachael Ray was over and I did for a few minutes until I hear the ping of my email and decide I have to check my inbox right away. I return to work and then I realize Pinterest is calling my name, read more emails and than get an urgent text message I must respond to at that moment. By the time I finally dedicate my day to getting an assignment done, I realize it’s 2:00 pm and nothing got accomplished.
That happened daily for weeks until I found the Selfcontrol app. Just as the title suggests, this app is all about helping you practice self-control and focus on the things you need to do. And the instructions are simple! All you need to do is input all the websites you visit that distract you when you should be working and set a timer for how long you want to stay away from them. During that time period, the app blocks your access to the website until the time you set is up. I first started by blocking the biggest time suckers like Pinterest, Twitter and my favorite shoe sites for 15 minutes during my workday. As silly as it sounds, I was amazed at how much I was able to get done in such a a short amount of time. I’m not gonna lie though. I did have a few indiscretions in which I attempted to visit my trusty Pinterest only to get blocked by the Selfcontrol app. Slowly, but surely I was able to increase the amount of time I blocked certain websites on the Selfcontrol app without feeling withdrawal.
Selfcontrol is an app for Apple products. If you don’t Apple products you can still test your ability to focus by simply setting your own timer for 15 minutes. Refrain from using those time suckers for the set amount of time and begin getting things on your to-do list done. It works just as well!
What things do you do to keep yourself productive?
TERRIfic Quip: There are seven days in the week. Someday isn’t one of them.