Win the war against procrastination

The dreaded exam is in three days. So is that position paper. And that group project which — after looking at your groupmates’ “contributions” — is actually individual in nature.

It’s time to go to war — Sparta style — against procrastination. Three apps can help:

1. Wunderlist

Image: Wunderlist
Image: Wunderlist

It’s the simplest yet most amazing listing app out there. A stunning eyecandy, Wunderlist also draws its beauty from its sync-to-all-your-gadgets-in-real-time capability. And last but not least, you’ll be thrilled by the cute “ding!” it makes when you check another to-do out of the list.

Wunderlist is perfect when you are still figuring out the things you need to do. List everything there, and then proceed to…

2. Google Calendar

Google Calendar screenshot
Google Calendar screenshot

Google’s built-in calendar seems to be the most sophisticated and convenient digital calendar. Its click-and-drag ease and omnipresence in the Google realm are its finest features.

So when you begin your day to finish all those school requirements, make sure you convert your Wunderlist to-dos into Google Calendar’s ‘activity boxes’. Just click and extend the box to the period you want to spend on a task (say, “Write draft of the #^!@&* position paper”) — and that’s it.

The best thing about calendaring your day’s activities is, of course, seeing how orderly your day is going to be. Now, really, you have a battle plan.

And, trust me, Google Calendar is user-friendly: explaining here how it works is a waste of time, yours and mine. Try it now. But first, you have to download…

3. Pomodoro Keeper

Image: Pomodoro Keeper
Image: Pomodoro Keeper

I use its iOS app, and it’s just awesome.

Pomodoro Keeper takes its name from Francesco Cirillo’s “Pomodoro Technique”, a time management method which allocates 25 minutes of focused work and five minutes of rest every half hour (or pomodoro session); the break stretches to 20 minutes every after four sessions.

Many people found the technique effective. I have, too. And I think its success lies in its emphasis on focus and leisure in every working period. It keeps you awake!

And, yes, Pomodo Keeper seems to be the best tool in following the Pomodoro Technique. It has a neat interface and very discreet audio prompts (to signal break-time or back-to-work). The ticking sound of a clock is also a great help to keep you on your toes (or fingertips) and finish the job on time.

But then, apps can only do so much. The ultimate factor to winning our war against sloth is a firm will and — if things didn’t turn out well — the Spartan mettle to cry, “Ahoo! Ahoo! Ahoo!” not “Huhuhu!”

Originally published at the iCPA Student Cafe, the official blog of iCPA.


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