The Darling Nomadess: 5 Tips for Getting Things Done (Even if You're a Procrastinator)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

5 Tips for Getting Things Done (Even if You're a Procrastinator)

Hey darlings! I've been M.I.A. this week trying to get things done (getting a bed stuck in a stairwell, check!). Thankfully, Caitlyn from ChemGradBoom is here to give some advice on how to get things done. I'm infamous for the stunts I've pulled from being a procrastinator (10 page research paper in 8 hours. And received the highest grade in the class for that very paper. Score!). Where were these tips when I needed them in college?!


Hey everyone! Can I just take a moment to say how excited I am to be taking over The Darling Daily today? Huge thank you to Ashliegh! Now onto introductions, my name is Caitlyn and I blog over at ChemGradBoom - a blog about my life as a chemistry graduate student (sounds boring, I know) but it's not, I promise! I just got back from Indianapolis where I worked at a museum analyzing artwork, space junk and some other awesome stuff. Now I'm back in NC writing my thesis and planning my next  adventure in Scotland! Oh yeah, most exciting news ever (for me anyways), I'm off to Scotland for my Ph.D. where I get to travel around, visit castles and work with stained glass windows! Told you it wasn't boring! Enough about me though, on to the post! 

I happen to be the world's best procrastinator and have recently been working on breaking this special talent. It's hard though, I have 6+ years of experience with procrastinating, but this year I said I would put a stop to that and made a goal to change my ways! With this new goal, I had to reevaluate the way I work to make me to stay out of blogland and Pinterest long enough to get things done! Here are my 5 tips for getting things done (even if your a procrastinator)!  

1. Figure out what works for you. This may not be a new tip, but really figure out the place/situation/environment where you can sit down and really work. For me it involves Harry Potter movies, lots of coffee, and having absolutely everything that I could need in one spot (aka my living room floor). This took me 3+ years to figure out, but once I discovered this method I could suddenly focus on the things that were important rather than the things that distract me. 

2. Make a list of the 'Top 3 things that need to be done today/tomorrow/before the week is over'. There is always something that needs to be done ASAP, for example this Guest Post for me was #1 on my list. I then make sure to look at the things that I can finish up tomorrow and lastly I set things that need to be done by the end of the week. This method makes me aware of exactly what needs to be done and what can wait, which helps me to avoid wasting time on things that are not as urgent! 

3. Make a list, mark things off, and reward yourself! I always forget things, even when I have it written down in a planner, they seem to slip my mind. I now make weekly to-do list with all the important things in a notebook that goes EVERYWHERE with me. Once I complete a task, I make sure to cross it off the list and reward myself.  The reward makes me more productive even though I usually just head off to Starbucks for a coffee or take a Netflix break! 

4. Work with someone. Grab a buddy that also has a to-do list as long as you and work side-by-side. Yes there is a chance for distractions, but you both can also encourage/call each other out to get things done. Having someone there to help motivate you to finish up things before getting distracted is a great way to complete your work. 

5. Take a break. All of us have hit the moment where we just stare at the desk/computer/assignment and nothing is getting done. Hitting the brick wall can either ruin the rest of the time that you have to do work or you can take a break/refresh and come back to it without wasting more time. I know that I always seem to have moments like this, so I just walk away for 30 minutes, distract myself and come back when I think I am ready. 

Well there you have it - the things that have taken me 6 years to halfway master when it comes to getting work done. I know that everyone out there has a different method that helps them get work done, these are just the ways that work for me. Please share if you have tips that work for you, especially you (former) procrastinators out there!


  1. I love this post! I'm ridiculous with procrastinating, and it's only gotten worse since the classes for my certification are all online! I've definitely found though that making a list helps, at least with the things I have to get done at work because it's a reminder of what I have to do, and I get to cross things off as I do them!

  2. Thank you for this! I need tips like this to keep my scatterbrain on track haha

  3. These tips are very helpful. Thanks for sharing :)


  4. I am a procrastinator but I find making lists help a lot. Thanks for the tips

  5. My to-do list always gets SO obnoxious, so #2 resonates so nicely with me. Prioritizing a step further makes things a thousand times easier! Great list!
    I have a collections of my favorite links for the month of August, and a funny procrastination guide is included at the very bottom...I feel like you'd enjoy!


  6. Lord knows I need all the tips I can to make sure I get things done.


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