Time by specifying exactly when, where, and how

Time Blocks
 
 
 
 
 
 
One of the keys to overcoming
procrastination is learning to become committed to getting stuff done. Not
committed as in, “Yeah, I’d like to get that done.” Rather, committed as in,
“I’m going to do this at X time on X day at X location.”
 
In fact, studies have found that
committing to an activity in this way is indeed one of the most effective ways
at overcoming procrastination. While only a small minority              people
who say they want to do an activity—in the case of this particular study,
exercising—actually do it, almost everybody who was told to schedule an exact
location, time, and type of exercise did it. And such is the power of using time
blocks to overcome procrastination.
 
Without truly committing to doing an
activity—such as by specifying exactly when, where, and how you will do a
specific task—procrastination just becomes too easy. So let’s take a look at
several ways to use this incredibly powerful anti-procrastination
technique.
 
First of all, and perhaps most
obviously, you need to decide exactly what it is you need to get done. Though
simple, simply knowing exactly what you need to get done is surprisingly
powerful.
 
During this time block, eliminate
everything else. Put your devices on airplane mode, take advantage of website
blocking tools, etc. Seriously. Today’s increasingly powerful multipurpose
devices—such as tablets, laptops, computers, and phones—succumbing to the urge
to procrastinate is far too easy. Millions of interesting (yet unproductive)
sites are literally a click away. As soon something starts to get a little
boring or difficult, procrastinating ends up easier than just soldiering on. So
make it so it’s easier to just continue working (such as by using website
blocking tools). We tend to follow the path of least resistance, so use this
fact to your advantage.
 
Another way to get around this is to do
tasks that require internet usage ahead, and then turn it off, buckle down, and
dive into a session (i.e. time block) of undistracted work with no chance of—or
option for—procrastination. This is an especially great approach if you’re doing
a task that requires research such as a blog or article. Too often, it’s too
easy to fall into the trap of “researching” more than you really need to, or
just “researching” unrelated topics.
 
That said, if you truly need the web,
tools that I have personally found useful include Go Fucking Work, a timed website
blocker for those of you that don’t mind a bit of profanity, and RescueTime, an extension which keeps
track of the time you spend of different websites and programs, providing you
with an honest look at how you spend your time. Furthermore, you can—if you
want—use these two programs in conjunction, putting temporary blocks (using
Go Fucking Work) on
websites you realize (using RescueTime) you’re spending too much time on.
 
The point here is this: To truly
overcome procrastination and get stuff done, you need to really, really commit. 
Set aside a block of time, cut out all distractions. And give yourself no choice
but to do whatever it is you need to do