Everyone struggles with procrastination to varying degrees but help is at hand thanks to the methods and tools that we have collected for this guide.
If you ever struggle to get going we're going to show you the methods and tools that will help you to regain your focus and get things done.
What is procrastination?
Procrastination is the art of not doing stuff. Of doing anything but the stuff you should be doing.
What causes it?
Most people think it is just laziness but that's not the case. Procrastinators fall into many different categories.
- Some people are perfectionists who lose motivation when reality proves to be imperfect.
- Some people struggle with motivation.
- Others with a lack of focus and confidence.
Whatever type you are, we've got proven procrastination apps and tips to break the spell. Don't click to another tab. Don't bookmark this to read later. Overcoming procrastination starts right now!
Organize your ideas
When a mind is held hostage by too many thoughts, it can screech to a halt. It's sort of like each idea is an excitable puppy, and you're trying to herd them into one place. But one is in the bushes, one is on your head, and the rest are running around in circles. It's madness.
What you need is to get your puppies ideas organized and under control. To move your thoughts into a meaningful structure that you can actually work with.
To achieve this, XMind is a mind mapping app that will help you to brainstorm ideas, get those ideas down, and start to create order from the madness. Beyond the mind map, you can also pull up other visual tools like a Tree-chart and Logic-chart. Working with XMind you'll feel like you're finally taking control of your mind.
Once you have some organization of your thoughts, fire up Cloud Outliner for Mac. With this app, you can really start to structure your thoughts, ideas, and tasks. Create a great looking multi-tiered checklist of everything you need to do. You can then easily sync, share, or export your outline in every way imaginable.
Create manageable tasks
Whether in life or work, feeling like you have too much to do is a major trigger for procrastination. Like standing at the base of a mountain and knowing you have to get to the top. It's easy to feel overwhelmed and helpless.
The key to climbing a mountain or, even worse, tackling the mountain of tasks you need to complete, is to focus on small chunks. Take it one step at a time so that each one is, on its own, completely manageable and achievable.
The perfect app for helping you break up your tasks is Be Focused. It's an elegant task management app with a focus (excuse the pun) on creating intervals for the day. Take a big task and break it down into easy to manage half an hour blocks. Add breaks in between, choosing whatever duration you want, to stay motivated and alert. Use this app, and no mountain top is out of reach.
If you're like us and are Apple fanboys, you need to check out GoodTask. The app integrates with macOS apps like Reminders and Calendars, so it doesn't feel isolated from your Mac experience. It feels like a natural extension of it. The interface is simple and clear and comes with all the features you'd expect from a quality task manager. You can even check your tasks directly from your Apple Watch!
Finally, there is Pagico, a hybrid task and data manager. Pagico wants to centralize your contacts, notes, and tasks into one beautiful home. The result is unprecedented flexibility between files, tasks, and actions. Like linking a task to a Photoshop file and then creating an action of sending the finished file to a contact. As if that isn't enough, Pagico visualizes your tasks in a stunning flowchart.
Speed up work
Procrastination isn't limited to not doing tasks. It can also be found when doing work.
A simple task.
Finding ways to get things done quicker will help you to build up a head of steam and keep the momentum going.
If you're keen to try productivity and time management apps but the process of finding the right app makes your procrastination even worse, than Setapp might be the solution. Setapp does for software what streaming did for movies and TV. You subscribe and in return, you get a library of high-quality Mac apps. Just open the Setapp on your Mac, browse the apps and click on whatever interests you. There is no quicker way to get your own software library.
Lacona is one of the Setapp apps in the library, and it's another great solution to speed up your work. Lacona is a blazingly fast launcher of Mac commands. Just type what you want to happen, and Lacona will do it. Search the web, open an app, do calculations. It's like Siri minus the frustration.
Another great time-saver is Paste. It superchargers the copy-paste function, turning your clipboard from a small limited tool to a powerful and unlimited resource. Copy text from a note, copy an image for a blog post, copy a link to a website. Open Paste, and you get a stunning preview of your entire copy history. Sometimes the simplest ideas bring about the biggest changes.
Get rid of distractions
Many procrastinators struggle to get things done not because they don't have the motivation and confidence, but because constant distractions are knocking them off course. In this connected world, it can be hard to disconnect from all the things demanding our attention.
A few simple tricks can go a long way to getting that focus back.
- Turn off notifications on your phone.
- Limit the time spent checking email.
- Close tabs and windows that aren't related to your current task.
- Wear headphones at the office to block out noise and discourage interruptions from colleagues.
- If you can choose where to work, choose an environment that isn't noisy.
An excellent way to identify the digital distractions that disrupt your concentration is to use an app called Timing. Once installed, Timing will automatically track the time you spend on your Mac. At the end of the day or week, you can check the reports and find out what sites, apps, and documents took up your time.
There's nothing like seeing your time management broken down on a cool graph to understand your problem areas instantly.
You're in control
With so many apps to improve your focus and productivity, you'll have everything you need to stop procrastinating for good. All of the apps mentioned above are part of Setapp's growing collection of over 100 best Mac apps.
For the price of a couple cups of coffee, you can subscribe to Setapp and have the entire Setapp library ready to launch from a folder on your desktop. If you're still not sure just sign up for a free month trial.
Don't start fighting procrastination tomorrow.
Decide to make a change right now!