I used to be the QUEEN of procrastinating.

For most of my life (especially when I was studying at University), I would find ANY excuse to do anything but the task I was meant to be doing.

Recently I’ve found myself slipping back into my old procrastination ways, so have started developing a few simple rules and daily habits that are helping me crush the procrastination urge, in order to become more productive throughout my day.

I wanted to share these tips with you because we are all human, and will always have days or periods of time where we absolutely struggle to get through the to-do list!

Plan each day the night before

This is something that I now do religiously and can be a total game changer.

Planning as much as you can the night before, will really set you up for at least a productive morning the next day.

By planing your day in advance, through creating your to-do list of priorities, not only will you go to bed knowing that you’re prepared already for the next day, but you will wake up and already know what you’re going to be tackling for the day.

I find that by doing this it also eases my anxiety, as I know what I’ve got on for the day. After I create this to-do list, then I prioritise it by number of importance so I know what’s most important, and what tasks don’t need my instant attention.

Take a break at lunchtime

No matter if you work for yourself or in an office environment, make sure that when you can – take a break for lunch as this will almost instantly boost your productivity levels for the afternoon.

This is something so small, yet so important not only for your mental health and wellbeing, but also for your productivity levels. Heading outside even just for 15 minutes, can give your mind the refresh it needs to then be able to re focus for the afternoon.

Getting out of your work environment can also ease stress levels, refresh your creativity levels and help re-focus.

When I worked in my corporate job, I would always schedule my lunch breaks in my calendar, and ensured that I headed outside and went for a walk around the office. Now that I work for myself at home, I’ll either take my dog for a walk around the block, or even just sit outside in the sunshine!

Minimise distractions

Now THIS is the section that I need to focus on!

Whilst I try my best to minimise distractions, it can be so tempting to just pick up my phone and aimlessly scroll through Instagram.

To avoid this, I often put my phone in flight mode, for at least an hour or so when I really need to concentrate on a task ahead. I will also often turn notifications off on all my apps as well, so that I’m not distracted by a Snapchat or Facebook comment.

I know that distractions can be anywhere and everywhere, but even if you just focus on spending an hour without your phone, just to get the most important tasks done, you’ll notice a difference in your productivity levels.

Remind yourself or your goals, purpose and why you do what you do

So often, we can get caught up with day-to-day life tasks, and forget why we are doing them in the first place.

I think it’s so important to constantly remind ourselves of our goals, and what our purpose is. Think to yourself, why am I doing this?

Keep these goals and aims front of mind, and refer to them often as a reminder, so that when you see them you are then motivated to continue on with that medial task that you know you have to do in order to achieve what you want to achieve.

Follow the “two minute rule”

This is something that I have only come across recently, and so far has worked for me!

Essentially, implementing the “two minute rule” means that you make the most of the small windows of time that you have to work. If you have a task or few on you to-do list that you know can be done in two minutes or less (phone calls, replying to email, booking appointments and meetings etc), do it immediately.

Completing these tasks right away actually takes less time than having to go back and do it later.

When you feel the need to be more productive at work, resist the temptation to put in more hours in the office and instead focus on working smarter!