Don't sit all day
Long periods of inactivity are terrible for you, and despite Descartes' popular philosophy of mind-body dualism, the brain is an organ, and it's affected by your physical activity or lack thereof. Some studies have linked intervals of standing and walking with greater productivity. "Standing desks are a great way to sneak in exercise during the day -- without getting sweaty at the gym or hindering work productivity," says Lyndsay Eliasof, who -- full disclosure -- does PR for a standing-desk company. You also could go for a walk or prop your old office desk up on cinder blocks. (That's what I did.)
Use the buddy system
I personally would hate it if my slacker friend asked me to hold them accountable for their work, but more than one expert recommended this tactic. "If you're having trouble completing a task, ask for help, advice, or just a friendly push from a co-worker or friends," advises Max Cron, a consultant of business coaching company Point Above.
Don't give yourself BS excuses for why you haven't started
"Be aware of subtle ways we procrastinate, such as waiting for the 'right time' or for everything to be perfect before starting," says Julie Coraccio, a life coach and professional organizer. "Or beginning an important task and shortly afterwards, distracting yourself with another task."
"By simply moving to a different spot, you can reset and get more work done," Cron suggests. "Environments with others working can inspire us to be more proactive about completing our own work." So find the most MacBook-heavy coffee shop and settle in for the long haul.
Don't fight it -- become an "active procrastinator"
Implicit in this article and many others like it is the belief that procrastination is bad. In some cases, it definitely is; if you're blowing deadlines, having meltdowns, or missing work on the regular, something needs to change. But for some people, procrastination is just how they operate. These people are called "active procrastinators" and they're the subject of a 2009 study that examines procrastination as a valid form of time management. Active procrastinators thrive under pressure, they make the conscious choice to procrastinate, they meet deadlines, and they're generally happy with the outcome.
By contrast, the study describes a passive procrastinator as someone who "fails to control one's focus on the task at hand and [has a] tendency to gravitate toward activities that are more pleasant than carrying out the task."
So if you're a natural, effective procrastinator, embrace it. And if not, the first step is admitting you have a problem.
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Missy Wilkinson can't foresee a world in which she doesn't wait until the last minute to get things done, and she's OK with that. Follow her at @missy_wilkinson.