Procrastination can be a challenge that prevents us from achieving the things we desire. Sometimes it seems uncontrollable, but with a few helpful tips you will be well on your way to improved productivity and focus:

1. Make a list and cross things off

Make a list of what it is that you want to achieve for the day and attend to all the tasks one at a time. Start with the biggest and most challenging tasks on the page first. Break them down into smaller tasks if need be and attack them one at time. Put a line through tasks as you complete them.

2. Plan time for leisure

Between the tasks you must complete, make sure you plan some leisure time for yourself. This can help to motivate you through the toughest tasks of your day. Maybe every hour or two you get to go for a walk around the block, read one of your favourite books or watch a tv show.

3. Have healthy snacks to keep you motivated

Snacking on things like nuts and sipping on cold water with some sliced citrus fruit inside (lemon, lime, orange) can keep you refreshed – tea works well too.

4. Create and environment that supports the task

Listening to music can help when completing menial and repetitive tasks, whilst wearing comfortable boots can help to support your posture when digging a hole. Think about the small things that would make you feel more confident in completing your task.

5. Ask for help

Sometimes the best thing you can do is simply ask a question to another person in hope that what they say might motivate you. Ask them how to a approach a situation or ask if they would like to perform the task together. This works particularly well when you must complete the same assignment as a friend.

6. Remove distractions

Place your phone in another room when performing tasks that you know will challenge you. Always seek to work on paper rather than on a computer where possible to avoid the distractions of the internet.

7. See the bigger picture

Is this task you are completing contributing to some larger goal you have in mind? Keep sight of that and don’t let it go. Use it to motivate you. Maybe completing this assessment task well will help you gain your PhD or help you to graduate with honours.