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7 Surprising Tips For Breaking Out Of Procrastination Prison

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Okay, let’s be honest here. There’s probably something else you should be doing right now.

You should fix that leaky tap, or kick off your Spanish learning project, or start on that university assignment. You know, the one that’s due tomorrow.  At 9:00 am.

Heck, I’ve even been procrastinating on writing this blog post.  Pretty ironic, I know.

You’ve probably already tried things like “starting simple,” “breaking it down,” and “keeping yourself accountable” to take down procrastination.

But what you probably don’t know is that many counterintuitive tricks are out there that are even more effective at fighting the problem. So stay with me and procrastinate just a little while longer.

Let’s review seven surprising ways you can break out of procrastination prison.

1. Keep your goals top secret

So you’ve decided to start an exciting new project, something that will truly make your life better, and maybe make other people’s lives better too. Maybe you’re taking on Arabic, learning how to code in Java, or setting up a charity.

What’s the very next thing you want to do after making that decision? You want to tell someone about it.

It seems to make perfect sense.  You get to share your excitement with somebody else, and having others in on your plan is sure to keep you accountable, right?

Actually, research has shown that you are less likely to reach your goals if you first broadcast your intentions to other people.

Talking about your goals tricks your brain into thinking that you’ve already accomplished them and reduces the motivation required to actually execute. You get left in a state of procrastination limbo where you feel great about your goals but aren’t actually doing anything about them.  The same thing happens when you try visualizing success in your head too.

So keep your goals to yourself, put your head down, and get to it!

 

2. Don’t make a plan

You’ve probably heard the phrase “fail to plan, plan to fail.”

It sounds very logical.  Draw up a nice big roadmap, and it’ll help you navigate your way to success more easily, right? Not quite.  Because planning isn’t progress.  It’s all too easy to get stuck in the planning stage of a project and never actually get anywhere.

What you want to do instead is simply break into your project.  Start somewhere, anywhere.

Pick an entry point and decide on the first task for your project.  Break that task down until you have an action you can do right now in under two minutes. Then do it.

When I started learning Mandarin Chinese at the end of last year, I spent ages reading various blog posts, trying to discover the perfect way to learn a language.  I’ve actually done this two or three times over the last few years as I’ve started and stopped different language projects.

Even though it might seem like I was making progress and moving toward my goal, I was really just procrastinating by avoiding the important work — actually learning Chinese.

Once I realized this, I stopped and picked whatever method I happened to have on my screen at the time and ran with it.

There is no such thing as a perfect plan.  Luckily, you don’t need one.  Just find a way in, commit to it, and the rest will follow.

 

3. Begin your day with something unimportant

A common piece of productivity advice is to start your day with your most important, most urgent, or most difficult task. The rationale is that the rest of your day will feel like a breeze once you get the tough stuff out of the way first. But if you’re anything like me, seeing that big hairy task first up on your to-do list is a little, well, frightening.

So I like to take a different approach.

First, pick off some of the low-hanging fruit from your to-do list. Maybe start by doing some light fiction reading, vacuuming the house, dashing to the bank, and then taking a break by jumping onto Twitter for ten minutes.

At this stage, you’ll feel much more energized and accomplished, and you’ll be able to attack that big scary task with more confidence.

Get some easy wins under your belt first thing.  It’ll make the difficult stuff much easier to handle.

 

4. Focus on having fun first

It’s important to strike a balance in your life where you’re getting stuff done but still having fun.  After all:

“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  All play and no work makes Jack a mere toy.”

Here’s an unconventional way to accomplish this.

First, stick all your leisure and social activities into your to-do list and spread those out throughout your day.  Then take a break from the fun stuff by doing some work in the middle. For example, I check in with my favorite YouTube channels as a daily leisure checkpoint that I work around during my day.

This is an exciting way of rethinking productivity.  You’re less likely to procrastinate because you know your day contains things you enjoy. In addition, you don’t have to feel guilty about having fun because you’ve carefully structured your day to include both work and play.

You can even take this a little further and try something you might not have done before: start your day off with a quick leisure activity to get you going (maybe a 15-minute walk at sunrise or 15 minutes of video gaming) prior to jumping into something unimportant.

 

Dream-Motivation-Picture-Quote
 

5. Make a weekly escape

One of the most common productivity tips you hear is that you should work a little bit on your goals every day. Now, this is certainly not bad advice.  Small, consistent action toward your goals is the best path to success.

But you also want to avoid burnout, something not particularly ideal to have if you’re trying to beat procrastination. Luckily, there’s an easy way to do this that I’m sure you’ll love. Take a day off each week.

Choose one day where you’re allowed to do absolutely nothing (mine is Sunday).

Keep those days as clear as possible, and cut yourself away from your projects.  It’ll give you time to recharge your batteries and mentally refresh yourself.

This is the perfect day to sleep in, catch up on that novel you’ve been meaning to read, go on a date with your partner, and watch romantic comedies together after dinner.

You’ll start looking forward to your escape day every week, pushing you to perform better, be more efficient, and procrastinate less during the other six days.

 

6. Be ruthless with your time and energy

A common cause of procrastination is sheer overwhelm.

Many of us are simply trying to juggle too many balls at once.  And the inevitable result is that we’ll drop them all. If you have a lot to do, and you simply can’t motivate yourself to do any of it, that’s a sure-fire sign you’re doing too much.

Set boundaries for your time and energy.  Re-evaluate all your commitments, and find out which ones you can eliminate. Then pull the trigger and cancel them.  It’s scary, and it’s difficult, but it’s oh so liberating.

Nowadays, it’s almost socially unacceptable to say no.  I find this really bizarre.

The result is that we say yes to everything to make everyone else happy, and make ourselves miserable in the process. Stop trying to please everyone.  It’s an impossible task.  You must make yourself happy too.

Be ruthless and start saying no to time-sucking, energy-sapping commitments, and free yourself for more important things.

 

7. Forgive yourself

Everyone procrastinates.  It’s unavoidable. You’ll have times when you just don’t feel like doing anything. And that’s okay. The worst thing you can do is beat yourself up about it.

Research has shown that people who are kind to themselves after a bout of procrastination are less likely to procrastinate again the next time. I used to be extremely hard on myself when it came to procrastinating.

I’d start the day knowing I needed to do my workout, but I’d keep pushing it off as the day progressed by doing crossword puzzles or watching cat videos instead. I’d get to the end of the day and only start working out at 11:00 pm, or not do it at all.  And I’d hate myself for it.

The next day, I’d still feel guilty about it and wouldn’t feel good at all about anything else I was doing.  It was a vicious cycle. Take a breath.  Let it go.  The past is in the past.

Forgive yourself and trust that you’ll do better next time.

 

Darren-Hardy-Picture-Quote
 

 

It’s time to break free

Procrastination is a difficult problem that everyone faces in their lives.  And busting out of procrastination prison isn’t easy.

But think about what happens if you don’t.  Think about what happens if you stayed stuck in there forever without making that daring prison escape.

Think about how you’d be feeling a month, a year, five years from now. You’d wish that you’d done the hard yards today so you could be that much closer to your goals tomorrow.

Get out there, get things done, and achieve the things you want to achieve. The world is waiting for you to do amazing things.

Don’t let everyone down.  And most importantly, don’t let yourself down.

 

Zen Dexter helps big dreamers to get unstuck, achieve their goals, and live the life they’ve always wanted. Download his free report Steer Your Ship to discover 30 questions that will navigate you towards your life's purpose.

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14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Rashmi

    May 11, 2015 at 10:57 am

    This is definitely the most practical and best article on procrastination I had ever read. Great job!! I loved the ending lines..Dont let anyone down and yourself down.It was as if my best friend was advising me.totally awesome. I am gonna start implementing your ideas without further procrastination!

    • Zen Dexter

      May 15, 2015 at 12:22 pm

      That’s fantastic Rashmi, and thank you so much for your kind words. All the best to you on the journey ahead 🙂

  2. Mael

    Apr 16, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    This is by far the best blog about procrastination..helped me clear off my mind on some things..i do believe that over thinking has something to do with it..this is a simple and unconventional way of breaking this bad habit..thank you. ♡

    • Zen Dexter

      Apr 20, 2015 at 4:37 am

      Hello Mael, you’re welcome, thank you very much for reading!

      Overthinking can definitely make us procrastinate. Sometimes you think that a task will be long and difficult so you procrastinate. Point #2 is handy here: just find somewhere to start and do it for two minutes. Often you’ll find that it isn’t that bad after all, and by that stage you have some momentum to keep going 🙂

  3. Arjun Haridas

    Mar 22, 2015 at 6:45 am

    Hello 🙂
    First of all, the article was mind blowing,
    Not following the conventional methods
    Congrats and thank u 🙂
    One question which i would like to ask is “Do you think visualizing your goals daily is an obstacle in the pursuit of achieving them “?????

    So does that mean visualizing is an ineffective method?????

    Please share your thoughts
    Thank you in advance 🙂

    • Zen Dexter

      Mar 22, 2015 at 10:04 am

      Hello Arjun, thank you! Very happy to hear that and I’m glad you found the post useful.

      Visualizing success (‘positive visualization’) has the same sort of effect as sharing your goals with other people, robbing you of motivation and increasing procrastination. But that doesn’t mean that visualizing is completely ineffective. You can use ‘critical visualization’, where you consider failure, obstacles and all the negative things as well as the positive things. It sounds counterintuitive, but it is much more conducive to success. There is a nice Forbes article that covered this point in more detail: http://www.forbes.com/sites/daviddisalvo/2011/06/08/visualize-success-if-you-want-to-fail/

      Hope this helps 🙂

  4. Kamma Anne Dunning

    Mar 19, 2015 at 8:42 am

    Most of these articles make me roll my eyes. Tip #1 stop procrastinating! (If I could do that I wouldn’t be reading this.) The other articles also make me feel worse because this is the advice and it doesn’t work for me. If I have to do my most important/hardest thing first, then I’m going to spend my whole day watching tv. That’s the reality of the situation. I found this article refreshing because I feel like it was written by someone who actually gets this self-defeating, ridiculous habit. The strongest words for me were: “Think how you’ll feel in a month.” Ouch. That’s some real truth there. I may think I’m getting away with something by doing nothing, but I’m going to feel like a real asshole a month from now; that is a real, true statement I find motivating.

    • Zen Dexter

      Mar 20, 2015 at 6:36 am

      Hi Kamma Anne, thank you for reading, I’m glad the article’s been helpful for you! Procrastination is, like you say, a self-defeating habit, but it’s important to remember point #7 and forgive yourself for what’s happened in the past. The past is already set in stone, but you do have the power to shape your future. And that’s where doing this ‘time travel’ exercise to check how you’ll feel in a month, a year etc. can really give you a good push in the right direction. All the best to you in your endeavours!

  5. Zen Dexter

    Mar 19, 2015 at 1:43 am

    Hi Tara, thank you for reading, I’m glad you enjoyed the article! If you find that telling others about your goal helps to reduce anxiety for you, then I would recommend still doing that. But be selective with who you share it with, ideally it’ll be a small group who’ll be there to listen and support you through both the highs and lows. It’s important to discuss both highs and lows to help offset the ‘limbo effect’.

  6. Absolutely Tara

    Mar 18, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    I thought this take on procrastination was so refreshing. I thought the idea that telling people about your goal takes away the creative anxiety created by wanting the goal. I have experienced that many times. Great post. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Arslan

    Mar 18, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    Very Beautiful Article after a long time on Addicted2Success. Worth it to Read this

  8. King Lee

    Mar 18, 2015 at 11:06 am

    Comment:
    great article !

  9. Bhuvana

    Mar 18, 2015 at 7:18 am

    Nice article n different from the usual ones on Procrastination.. Its so true!! the first 2.. Everything just doesnt go the way its planned .. Getting started is more important than just stuck with planning 🙂

    • Zen Dexter

      Mar 19, 2015 at 4:32 am

      Hi Bhuvana, thank you, I’m glad you liked the article! You’re absolutely right, things often don’t go the way they’re planned. So might as well cut down on the planning, jump straight into the project, and find your way as you go!

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Motivation

Don’t Hurt Your Future Self By Quitting

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“Every decision you make affects someone very special: your future self”

You’ve never met this person, but they are carrying the torch of your dreams. Life is hard for them too except their further along the timeline of life than you. Have you ever wondered what the future you will be like?

It’s something worth contemplating through deep and inward thinking.

When you give up on your dreams and quit, you’re not just hurting you right now, you’re killing the future you as well. That future you is bound by the decisions that you make today. One day you will become that future you and wish you could change that decision to quit. By then, it’s too late to change the past. There ain’t no rewind button on life.

 

Do you really need to quit?

I know you think it’s impossible and your only option is to quit, but that’s because you’ve reached your breaking point. I’ve been there too. I’ve reached a level of failure that has become insurmountable. I too have felt like I couldn’t go on and life had no meaning.

All of your emotional states, at times, can get like this. We’re human after all and don’t you forget that. We live in a flawed body, but that’s why humans are so beautiful in the first place. You don’t need to quit right now; there’s always another way.

 

The best thing to do when you want to quit

This is going to sound cliché: take a break and get out of your head for a few weeks. Go somewhere far, far away and contemplate the meaning of your life and why you’re still here. I say this because your life is a choice. You can decide to end your life at any point, but you haven’t.

You’re not a coward and you’d never do that. You have courage and you’re here for a reason.

 

Quitting may be the best option

Sometimes quitting is a good thing. Sometimes you have too many things on the go and when you quit, you free up time to focus on something that means more to you. My only plea is that you think about your future self when you quit. Think about whether your future self will be affected and whether you’ll be happy with the result.

There are no absolutes in life, only decisions that you make which are guided by your heart. There is no one answer. No one’s right and no one’s wrong. Our circumstances and how we think about them, more importantly, determine the meaning we give to any situation.

 

Who do you want your future self to be?

As you imagine your future self, what is he or she doing? Can you picture where they are? When I asked this question, I got an instant response which reaffirmed what I do today. I instantly saw myself on stage giving speeches to thousands of people.

I saw myself as the person that helps find people’s why and motivates them towards their dreams. I saw myself with a family and writing a best selling book. Strangely enough, I saw my future self as I always have: doing something inspiring to help others. I saw myself unleashing emotion in others to help them push through their limiting beliefs.

 

Now that you know your future self, how can you help them today?

So we’ve done a bit of visualizing in this article already. It’s a powerful way to see what you can become when you don’t quit. It’s a great way to fall in love with the person that you can create in the future by using the power of today’s decisions.

“I think we all need to become dreamers every now and then. If we don’t, we get stuck in today, and in our head full of possibilities”

If I had one tip when it comes to dreaming up the future, it would be this: try and see your future better than it is. Be outrageous and think of possibilities that today would scare you. You’ll be surprised how what you dream up today can become a reality.

I remember suffering from anxiety and trying to dream what it would be like to be rid of it. I remember being scared of flying and always wanting to travel. I remember having never found love and wondering what that would be like. I remember not being able to get in front of lots of people and do any form of public speaking. I remember being too scared to be vulnerable and share the real me.

Now, I’ve completely eliminated my anxiety, I can fly whenever I want with no issues, I have experienced real love, I am on my way to successfully being able to speak in front of larger audiences, and I’m happy to be vulnerable and share my story with everybody. That’s what can happen when you treat your future self with respect.

 

So now what?

Now I want you to do the hard part: take action. Follow the steps above and have some fun. Leave the present for the moment and get to know who you want your future self to be. Your future self is you after all, so you need to treat them like a king or queen.

Write a list of decisions you need to make in order to create the best future you that’s humanly possible. Like I always say, “Don’t be afraid to have big, audacious, crazy dreams.” If you can’t dream it, then you can never achieve it. Remember that next time someone tells you that dreams are BS.

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net
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Motivation

We All Start With Zero Followers – Comprehenday?

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For the record: followers mean jack, attention is king.

With that said, all of us (including me) started with zero followers. You’re not alone. Whatever your big idea is you are probably going to need people to know about it. The sad truth is that it’s now done via social media.

You’ll need a combination of shares, likes, views, recommends or whatever other form of measurement these crazy social media platforms decide to implement. These metrics equal attention and that’s how people are going to know about what it is that you do.

Let’s not pretend that social media is useless. That would be naïve.

In this bustling, new age world, everyone owns content now. Anyone can go viral and anyone can be heard. Some find this reality a sad fact, but then these same people find something to cry about no matter what so ignore them.

The journey from zero followers to thousands and even millions looks like this:

 

1. We all started somewhere

Quit your complaining we’ve all started at zero followers at some point. Starting with nothing and then building your community up is an amazing feeling. Embrace the journey of creating a following.

The game of comparing follower counts with others will distract you from creating content and force you into consumption mode. Then you’ll over consume and regurgitate all over yourself. Yuck!

 

2. Stop trying to game the system

You can’t buy followers and not have people notice. We can all scan your follower list and see that you cheated. More importantly, the number of followers doesn’t matter.

3. Engagement is everything

Ever seen a social media account with millions of followers and one or two likes/comments per post? That’s because the followers were paid for or tricked into liking the page. I’m going to say it again; the number of followers doesn’t matter.

What matters – if you are creating a community or awareness – is engagement and whether people care about what you’re posting. This can’t be gamed. People will only interact if you are doing and saying stuff that is of value. How do you do that? See the next point.

 

4. It’s not about you and your ego

That’s right. I don’t care, nor does anyone else, about what you had for lunch or who you met at the basketball. What we all care about is what’s in it for me buster?

If you answer that question and do so regularly, people will follow and engage you. That’s how you go from zero followers to millions.

 

5. It takes a while

Zero to a million followers takes times. Like interest on your bank account, your results will compound once you cross the tipping point.

What’s the tipping point?

It’s the point at which you have nailed the following:

– Your message to the world is clear
– It’s consistent (ideally daily)
– It’s unique (not better but different)
– It’s not about you and your ugly ego
– You give more than you ask for (Jab Jab Jab Right Hook)

When you do those things, your follower count and engagement will regularly start to increase.

 

6. You need a breakout moment

The way you do that is my channeling all of your energy and emotion into every piece of content you create. If you do this for long enough, then you’ll eventually have a standout moment. That’s a moment where the world listens and you go viral. It takes time though. You could be waiting five years young Power Ranger.

 

7. Followers like to follow stories

Don’t throw boring stats and pictures at your followers all day, every day. It should come as no surprise that social media works best with stories. The best stories I’ve found are personal stories. Rather than produce content that feeds your ego, put yourself into every story you tell.

 

8. Tell stories that inspire

There are hundreds of types of stories. If I were to encourage you to do one type and one type only it would be to tell inspiring stories. Stories that inspire people to take action, think differently or be emotional about something.

 

9. Say it quickly now!

A story is great but people have a low attention span. This means you’ve got to be able to communicate succinctly. There is a lot of waffle on the Internet. The way to stand out is to plan what you are going to say and cut out the filler. People will love you if they can get value from you and have it delivered in a brief manner. I get this compliment in the form of feedback all the time and I love it.

 

10. There is no one big break

If I look at my online success, there is no one single moment. Going from zero followers and beyond is made up of a whole lot of factors which you’ll never quite work out. What I can tell you though is that all those factors require you to show up.

“Each day you have to show up with something of value to say”

 

11. It doesn’t need to be new necessarily

People think you have to say something new every day. You don’t. Sometimes it’s about saying something in a slightly different way. Sometimes it’s taking a popular idea and saying it in a better way. For me, it’s often about taking something that already exists and saying it in my way, with my story attached.

“Saying something new doesn’t create followers; saying something different does”

12. Find your channel

Everyone’s channel for creating followers is different. Try them all and see which one resonates the best for your niche. Facebook doesn’t really work for me, but Medium and LinkedIn are phenomenal. I would have never known this if I didn’t try them. Experiment like you’re playing with play-doh.

 

13. Quit being romantic

Don’t wait until you have tons of followers to get started. Be the same as you are with zero followers, as you are with a million followers. Being romantic about social media doesn’t work. When I say romantic, it’s kind of the same as saying being precious.

You think you need influence right now. You don’t. You think you need money and lots of it. You don’t. You think you’ll try harder when you’re like Gary Vaynerchuk. You won’t.

So now do you understand that we all start with zero followers and that’s cool bananas?

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net
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Motivation

5 Empowering Statements That Will Get Rid of Your Fears Once and for All

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fears

In an instant, you go from being nowhere to being -now here- in the land of the living! Ever wondered how that all happens? In the morning when you wake up, isn’t it just another ordinary miracle how we all of a sudden find ourselves lying in bed, on planet earth and all the stored data of our lives just comes pouring in. One minute you were “who knows where” the next you’re back into “planet earth.”

This is all fascinating, but have you ever had one of those days when as soon as you awaken to the new day, you almost wish it was already over? I mean the thought of crawling out of bed and facing your day is just daunting.

That used to be my kind of morning not sometimes,  but every single day. No matter what I told myself, I just abhorred the new day or the thought of getting out of bed. The muscles in my body ached although it didn’t make sense. I wasn’t sore from exercising because back then, I didn’t even know what exercise was.

“Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves.” – Cheryl Strayed

Each morning that same sick feeling in my stomach would show up, yet I wasn’t sick. In my head, being awake was just as awful as being asleep because the nightmare that was tormenting my life seemed to follow me everywhere, like a dark shadow.

That was the theme of my life back when all I knew was survival and painstaking hustle. It wasn’t until I made some very major decisions in my life that I started to experience a life free from pain, depression, constant sadness and anger.

And while today I live an extremely different reality from what once tormented me, I do realize that many people are still struggling with irrational fears. As far as their reality is concerned, there’s nothing irrational or trivial about how they feel and what they have to deal with each day.

The burden of life is weighing on their shoulders. Whether or not they are occupying a leadership position or simply just want to survive the current upheaval our society is facing, there is a great need for humanity to be reminded of what’s real.

“It’s okay to be scared. Being scared means you’re about to do something really, really brave.” – Mandy Hale

This is why I want to share with you statements which will work for you if you have been feeling tormented by the burdens of life and false conditioning. Even if you didn’t grow up in the midst of poverty and harsh conditions like I did, there’s so much junk in one’s mind often clouding your path of prosperity and success.

So on those days when you wake up and your morning feels anything other than miraculous, feed your mind with these 5 statements:

1. I overcome my fear of anything and everything and I live life courageously.

2. I need not to fear. Because fear is not of the present but of the past and future, both of which do not exist in the now.

3. I believe this situation/condition will work out for good and all those concerned. Though I may not know how, I still choose to believe this for myself today and I step into my day eager to find opportunities rather than obstacles.

4. I will not be discouraged or let outside forces dictate what I know to be true in my own heart. I will not allow the opinion of another to kill my dream or wound my heart. This is about being myself, expressing my authentic voice and recognizing that no one else can do it for me.

5. I am no longer a victim and I cease blaming my situation and the people around me for how I feel as this only robs me of joy and success. Because I know I was born to win and succeed, I will press on, firmly grounded in my own power to change my life for the better and empower others to do the same.

Share with us below your special statements and empower those like you who are striving for a better life!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Motivation

Unhappy Is Not In Your Vocabulary – You Are A Champion

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I am honored to be here to deliver this message to you. Everyone needs it including your successful friends. We all have tough days which make us unhappy. The road is long and torturous for all of us.

You can’t let that deter you from your goal. Unhappiness is all around us and it will take over if you let it. It’s around every corner, there, smiling at you every time you fail.

Your default belief when the odds are against you is what will keep you moving forward. If you always see the best of every situation then unhappiness won’t win….you will. Trust the mission and trust yourself.

Have faith that you are here for a reason even if you don’t know why just yet. Not all the answers are known to us right now, but over the course of your life, they will be revealed. Like a surprise birthday party, you will be wowed. Even when the surprise is not what you wanted, don’t be unhappy. Unhappy is not in your vocabulary.

Let the hairs on the back of your neck stand tall. Let your body stand tall at the same time and feel the power that hides within all of us. Only you can unlock that power and crush unhappiness to pieces.

 

The word “unhappy” can be removed from your vocabulary.

Every time you are faced with a situation that doesn’t make you feel good, you can choose to see it as a positive. You are in control of what happens day to day.

I don’t just give this advice lightly. I too, have had to deal with this same challenge that you also deal with. Unhappiness is part of the human experience and we get to decide whether we feel it. While we can’t control what happens to us, we can control how it makes us feel.

This super power only comes with practice and discipline. It’s not our default way of living and it’s tough to master. Then again, what is there in life that’s worth achieving that isn’t hard work huh?

 

Travel the world and see new places.

Bring a fresh perspective to your life when you feel like unhappiness may be winning. Start by getting away from the source or changing your surroundings. If all of these YouTube weight loss transformations are true then determination is what you are lacking.

How bad do you want to be happy and stop being unhappy? You can get the results you want faster when you deal with your own situation and decide to help others with their journey at the same time. This is possible because once you take the focus off yourself things start to change.

Doors that were always closed start to become open. People you only dreamed of spending time with come into your life and give you the added support that all champions have.

 

You’re only unhappy because you tell yourself you are.

This victim mentality that you’ve adopted is what is at the source of your unhappiness. Take the word away and replace it with a word that inspires you. Tell yourself stories of your potential and what you can achieve and you’ll begin to rewrite the story of your life.

Every time I feel like I could use the victim word called “unhappy,” I think of all the work I do to serve others with my blogging. I think of the inspiration that is inside of me which I deliver week in week out without fail. It’s not some passing habit because I’ve done it now for three years.

I’m never giving up this mission even if it kills me. Reread those words again because I believe you can think the same way. I’m not special and have the same capacity you do.

 

Keep asking the question.

The answer will come to you if you ask enough times. Unhappiness can come out of not knowing what the meaning of your life is. There is a meaning, though, it’s just that you haven’t put the work in to find it. It’s easier to distract yourself with food, friends, social media or some other vice than it is to keep asking the tough questions.

The tough questions bring out emotion and it’s this emotion that will change your life. Emotion is what drives you to make the hard decisions that most avoid.

“Don’t be afraid to harness your emotions to drive you towards the answer to your one and only question: why am I here?”

When you know why you’re here the unhappiness feeling starts to fade. It’s difficult to explain but very common in the biographies of champions.

 

Are you a champion?

I think we all are deep down inside. Surfacing that inner champion is where the games at.

“Champions can’t be unhappy because they’ve removed the word from their vocabulary”

Their focus is on their mission and this takes them away from any sense of loss. Everything is abundant and all resources are available to the champion that seeks them. Practice being the champion and forget about being the unhappy victim. Label challenging situations with a word that is *not* unhappy.

Pick empowering words. Change your vocabulary. The words you use to describe your life will make more of a difference than you realize. Adopting that label of a champion first begins with adopting the vocabulary of one.

You’re strong.
You won’t be defeated.
You are happy.
You are determined.
You are unique.

You are not unhappy.

———————————————————————————————————————————

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net
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Life

5 Powerful Reasons Why You Should Commit to Lifelong Learning

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Education is commonly equated to an experience for children and young adults, but the reality is that lifelong learning can benefit you in many ways. The world is constantly changing, and this means that you must be open to absorbing and actively seeking new information to stay up-to-date. This, of course, expands far beyond education in your area of professional expertise. (more…)

Helen Eagleton, a freelance blogger from Boston, follows topics in the realm of education, technology, digital marketing, and business in general. When she’s not researching for her next article, she enjoys watching documentaries and exploring the nature. Reach her @eagleton_helen.

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14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Rashmi

    May 11, 2015 at 10:57 am

    This is definitely the most practical and best article on procrastination I had ever read. Great job!! I loved the ending lines..Dont let anyone down and yourself down.It was as if my best friend was advising me.totally awesome. I am gonna start implementing your ideas without further procrastination!

    • Zen Dexter

      May 15, 2015 at 12:22 pm

      That’s fantastic Rashmi, and thank you so much for your kind words. All the best to you on the journey ahead 🙂

  2. Mael

    Apr 16, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    This is by far the best blog about procrastination..helped me clear off my mind on some things..i do believe that over thinking has something to do with it..this is a simple and unconventional way of breaking this bad habit..thank you. ♡

    • Zen Dexter

      Apr 20, 2015 at 4:37 am

      Hello Mael, you’re welcome, thank you very much for reading!

      Overthinking can definitely make us procrastinate. Sometimes you think that a task will be long and difficult so you procrastinate. Point #2 is handy here: just find somewhere to start and do it for two minutes. Often you’ll find that it isn’t that bad after all, and by that stage you have some momentum to keep going 🙂

  3. Arjun Haridas

    Mar 22, 2015 at 6:45 am

    Hello 🙂
    First of all, the article was mind blowing,
    Not following the conventional methods
    Congrats and thank u 🙂
    One question which i would like to ask is “Do you think visualizing your goals daily is an obstacle in the pursuit of achieving them “?????

    So does that mean visualizing is an ineffective method?????

    Please share your thoughts
    Thank you in advance 🙂

    • Zen Dexter

      Mar 22, 2015 at 10:04 am

      Hello Arjun, thank you! Very happy to hear that and I’m glad you found the post useful.

      Visualizing success (‘positive visualization’) has the same sort of effect as sharing your goals with other people, robbing you of motivation and increasing procrastination. But that doesn’t mean that visualizing is completely ineffective. You can use ‘critical visualization’, where you consider failure, obstacles and all the negative things as well as the positive things. It sounds counterintuitive, but it is much more conducive to success. There is a nice Forbes article that covered this point in more detail: http://www.forbes.com/sites/daviddisalvo/2011/06/08/visualize-success-if-you-want-to-fail/

      Hope this helps 🙂

  4. Kamma Anne Dunning

    Mar 19, 2015 at 8:42 am

    Most of these articles make me roll my eyes. Tip #1 stop procrastinating! (If I could do that I wouldn’t be reading this.) The other articles also make me feel worse because this is the advice and it doesn’t work for me. If I have to do my most important/hardest thing first, then I’m going to spend my whole day watching tv. That’s the reality of the situation. I found this article refreshing because I feel like it was written by someone who actually gets this self-defeating, ridiculous habit. The strongest words for me were: “Think how you’ll feel in a month.” Ouch. That’s some real truth there. I may think I’m getting away with something by doing nothing, but I’m going to feel like a real asshole a month from now; that is a real, true statement I find motivating.

    • Zen Dexter

      Mar 20, 2015 at 6:36 am

      Hi Kamma Anne, thank you for reading, I’m glad the article’s been helpful for you! Procrastination is, like you say, a self-defeating habit, but it’s important to remember point #7 and forgive yourself for what’s happened in the past. The past is already set in stone, but you do have the power to shape your future. And that’s where doing this ‘time travel’ exercise to check how you’ll feel in a month, a year etc. can really give you a good push in the right direction. All the best to you in your endeavours!

  5. Zen Dexter

    Mar 19, 2015 at 1:43 am

    Hi Tara, thank you for reading, I’m glad you enjoyed the article! If you find that telling others about your goal helps to reduce anxiety for you, then I would recommend still doing that. But be selective with who you share it with, ideally it’ll be a small group who’ll be there to listen and support you through both the highs and lows. It’s important to discuss both highs and lows to help offset the ‘limbo effect’.

  6. Absolutely Tara

    Mar 18, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    I thought this take on procrastination was so refreshing. I thought the idea that telling people about your goal takes away the creative anxiety created by wanting the goal. I have experienced that many times. Great post. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Arslan

    Mar 18, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    Very Beautiful Article after a long time on Addicted2Success. Worth it to Read this

  8. King Lee

    Mar 18, 2015 at 11:06 am

    Comment:
    great article !

  9. Bhuvana

    Mar 18, 2015 at 7:18 am

    Nice article n different from the usual ones on Procrastination.. Its so true!! the first 2.. Everything just doesnt go the way its planned .. Getting started is more important than just stuck with planning 🙂

    • Zen Dexter

      Mar 19, 2015 at 4:32 am

      Hi Bhuvana, thank you, I’m glad you liked the article! You’re absolutely right, things often don’t go the way they’re planned. So might as well cut down on the planning, jump straight into the project, and find your way as you go!

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Motivation

Don’t Hurt Your Future Self By Quitting

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“Every decision you make affects someone very special: your future self”

You’ve never met this person, but they are carrying the torch of your dreams. Life is hard for them too except their further along the timeline of life than you. Have you ever wondered what the future you will be like?

It’s something worth contemplating through deep and inward thinking.

When you give up on your dreams and quit, you’re not just hurting you right now, you’re killing the future you as well. That future you is bound by the decisions that you make today. One day you will become that future you and wish you could change that decision to quit. By then, it’s too late to change the past. There ain’t no rewind button on life.

 

Do you really need to quit?

I know you think it’s impossible and your only option is to quit, but that’s because you’ve reached your breaking point. I’ve been there too. I’ve reached a level of failure that has become insurmountable. I too have felt like I couldn’t go on and life had no meaning.

All of your emotional states, at times, can get like this. We’re human after all and don’t you forget that. We live in a flawed body, but that’s why humans are so beautiful in the first place. You don’t need to quit right now; there’s always another way.

 

The best thing to do when you want to quit

This is going to sound cliché: take a break and get out of your head for a few weeks. Go somewhere far, far away and contemplate the meaning of your life and why you’re still here. I say this because your life is a choice. You can decide to end your life at any point, but you haven’t.

You’re not a coward and you’d never do that. You have courage and you’re here for a reason.

 

Quitting may be the best option

Sometimes quitting is a good thing. Sometimes you have too many things on the go and when you quit, you free up time to focus on something that means more to you. My only plea is that you think about your future self when you quit. Think about whether your future self will be affected and whether you’ll be happy with the result.

There are no absolutes in life, only decisions that you make which are guided by your heart. There is no one answer. No one’s right and no one’s wrong. Our circumstances and how we think about them, more importantly, determine the meaning we give to any situation.

 

Who do you want your future self to be?

As you imagine your future self, what is he or she doing? Can you picture where they are? When I asked this question, I got an instant response which reaffirmed what I do today. I instantly saw myself on stage giving speeches to thousands of people.

I saw myself as the person that helps find people’s why and motivates them towards their dreams. I saw myself with a family and writing a best selling book. Strangely enough, I saw my future self as I always have: doing something inspiring to help others. I saw myself unleashing emotion in others to help them push through their limiting beliefs.

 

Now that you know your future self, how can you help them today?

So we’ve done a bit of visualizing in this article already. It’s a powerful way to see what you can become when you don’t quit. It’s a great way to fall in love with the person that you can create in the future by using the power of today’s decisions.

“I think we all need to become dreamers every now and then. If we don’t, we get stuck in today, and in our head full of possibilities”

If I had one tip when it comes to dreaming up the future, it would be this: try and see your future better than it is. Be outrageous and think of possibilities that today would scare you. You’ll be surprised how what you dream up today can become a reality.

I remember suffering from anxiety and trying to dream what it would be like to be rid of it. I remember being scared of flying and always wanting to travel. I remember having never found love and wondering what that would be like. I remember not being able to get in front of lots of people and do any form of public speaking. I remember being too scared to be vulnerable and share the real me.

Now, I’ve completely eliminated my anxiety, I can fly whenever I want with no issues, I have experienced real love, I am on my way to successfully being able to speak in front of larger audiences, and I’m happy to be vulnerable and share my story with everybody. That’s what can happen when you treat your future self with respect.

 

So now what?

Now I want you to do the hard part: take action. Follow the steps above and have some fun. Leave the present for the moment and get to know who you want your future self to be. Your future self is you after all, so you need to treat them like a king or queen.

Write a list of decisions you need to make in order to create the best future you that’s humanly possible. Like I always say, “Don’t be afraid to have big, audacious, crazy dreams.” If you can’t dream it, then you can never achieve it. Remember that next time someone tells you that dreams are BS.

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net
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Motivation

We All Start With Zero Followers – Comprehenday?

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For the record: followers mean jack, attention is king.

With that said, all of us (including me) started with zero followers. You’re not alone. Whatever your big idea is you are probably going to need people to know about it. The sad truth is that it’s now done via social media.

You’ll need a combination of shares, likes, views, recommends or whatever other form of measurement these crazy social media platforms decide to implement. These metrics equal attention and that’s how people are going to know about what it is that you do.

Let’s not pretend that social media is useless. That would be naïve.

In this bustling, new age world, everyone owns content now. Anyone can go viral and anyone can be heard. Some find this reality a sad fact, but then these same people find something to cry about no matter what so ignore them.

The journey from zero followers to thousands and even millions looks like this:

 

1. We all started somewhere

Quit your complaining we’ve all started at zero followers at some point. Starting with nothing and then building your community up is an amazing feeling. Embrace the journey of creating a following.

The game of comparing follower counts with others will distract you from creating content and force you into consumption mode. Then you’ll over consume and regurgitate all over yourself. Yuck!

 

2. Stop trying to game the system

You can’t buy followers and not have people notice. We can all scan your follower list and see that you cheated. More importantly, the number of followers doesn’t matter.

3. Engagement is everything

Ever seen a social media account with millions of followers and one or two likes/comments per post? That’s because the followers were paid for or tricked into liking the page. I’m going to say it again; the number of followers doesn’t matter.

What matters – if you are creating a community or awareness – is engagement and whether people care about what you’re posting. This can’t be gamed. People will only interact if you are doing and saying stuff that is of value. How do you do that? See the next point.

 

4. It’s not about you and your ego

That’s right. I don’t care, nor does anyone else, about what you had for lunch or who you met at the basketball. What we all care about is what’s in it for me buster?

If you answer that question and do so regularly, people will follow and engage you. That’s how you go from zero followers to millions.

 

5. It takes a while

Zero to a million followers takes times. Like interest on your bank account, your results will compound once you cross the tipping point.

What’s the tipping point?

It’s the point at which you have nailed the following:

– Your message to the world is clear
– It’s consistent (ideally daily)
– It’s unique (not better but different)
– It’s not about you and your ugly ego
– You give more than you ask for (Jab Jab Jab Right Hook)

When you do those things, your follower count and engagement will regularly start to increase.

 

6. You need a breakout moment

The way you do that is my channeling all of your energy and emotion into every piece of content you create. If you do this for long enough, then you’ll eventually have a standout moment. That’s a moment where the world listens and you go viral. It takes time though. You could be waiting five years young Power Ranger.

 

7. Followers like to follow stories

Don’t throw boring stats and pictures at your followers all day, every day. It should come as no surprise that social media works best with stories. The best stories I’ve found are personal stories. Rather than produce content that feeds your ego, put yourself into every story you tell.

 

8. Tell stories that inspire

There are hundreds of types of stories. If I were to encourage you to do one type and one type only it would be to tell inspiring stories. Stories that inspire people to take action, think differently or be emotional about something.

 

9. Say it quickly now!

A story is great but people have a low attention span. This means you’ve got to be able to communicate succinctly. There is a lot of waffle on the Internet. The way to stand out is to plan what you are going to say and cut out the filler. People will love you if they can get value from you and have it delivered in a brief manner. I get this compliment in the form of feedback all the time and I love it.

 

10. There is no one big break

If I look at my online success, there is no one single moment. Going from zero followers and beyond is made up of a whole lot of factors which you’ll never quite work out. What I can tell you though is that all those factors require you to show up.

“Each day you have to show up with something of value to say”

 

11. It doesn’t need to be new necessarily

People think you have to say something new every day. You don’t. Sometimes it’s about saying something in a slightly different way. Sometimes it’s taking a popular idea and saying it in a better way. For me, it’s often about taking something that already exists and saying it in my way, with my story attached.

“Saying something new doesn’t create followers; saying something different does”

12. Find your channel

Everyone’s channel for creating followers is different. Try them all and see which one resonates the best for your niche. Facebook doesn’t really work for me, but Medium and LinkedIn are phenomenal. I would have never known this if I didn’t try them. Experiment like you’re playing with play-doh.

 

13. Quit being romantic

Don’t wait until you have tons of followers to get started. Be the same as you are with zero followers, as you are with a million followers. Being romantic about social media doesn’t work. When I say romantic, it’s kind of the same as saying being precious.

You think you need influence right now. You don’t. You think you need money and lots of it. You don’t. You think you’ll try harder when you’re like Gary Vaynerchuk. You won’t.

So now do you understand that we all start with zero followers and that’s cool bananas?

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Motivation

5 Empowering Statements That Will Get Rid of Your Fears Once and for All

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In an instant, you go from being nowhere to being -now here- in the land of the living! Ever wondered how that all happens? In the morning when you wake up, isn’t it just another ordinary miracle how we all of a sudden find ourselves lying in bed, on planet earth and all the stored data of our lives just comes pouring in. One minute you were “who knows where” the next you’re back into “planet earth.”

This is all fascinating, but have you ever had one of those days when as soon as you awaken to the new day, you almost wish it was already over? I mean the thought of crawling out of bed and facing your day is just daunting.

That used to be my kind of morning not sometimes,  but every single day. No matter what I told myself, I just abhorred the new day or the thought of getting out of bed. The muscles in my body ached although it didn’t make sense. I wasn’t sore from exercising because back then, I didn’t even know what exercise was.

“Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves.” – Cheryl Strayed

Each morning that same sick feeling in my stomach would show up, yet I wasn’t sick. In my head, being awake was just as awful as being asleep because the nightmare that was tormenting my life seemed to follow me everywhere, like a dark shadow.

That was the theme of my life back when all I knew was survival and painstaking hustle. It wasn’t until I made some very major decisions in my life that I started to experience a life free from pain, depression, constant sadness and anger.

And while today I live an extremely different reality from what once tormented me, I do realize that many people are still struggling with irrational fears. As far as their reality is concerned, there’s nothing irrational or trivial about how they feel and what they have to deal with each day.

The burden of life is weighing on their shoulders. Whether or not they are occupying a leadership position or simply just want to survive the current upheaval our society is facing, there is a great need for humanity to be reminded of what’s real.

“It’s okay to be scared. Being scared means you’re about to do something really, really brave.” – Mandy Hale

This is why I want to share with you statements which will work for you if you have been feeling tormented by the burdens of life and false conditioning. Even if you didn’t grow up in the midst of poverty and harsh conditions like I did, there’s so much junk in one’s mind often clouding your path of prosperity and success.

So on those days when you wake up and your morning feels anything other than miraculous, feed your mind with these 5 statements:

1. I overcome my fear of anything and everything and I live life courageously.

2. I need not to fear. Because fear is not of the present but of the past and future, both of which do not exist in the now.

3. I believe this situation/condition will work out for good and all those concerned. Though I may not know how, I still choose to believe this for myself today and I step into my day eager to find opportunities rather than obstacles.

4. I will not be discouraged or let outside forces dictate what I know to be true in my own heart. I will not allow the opinion of another to kill my dream or wound my heart. This is about being myself, expressing my authentic voice and recognizing that no one else can do it for me.

5. I am no longer a victim and I cease blaming my situation and the people around me for how I feel as this only robs me of joy and success. Because I know I was born to win and succeed, I will press on, firmly grounded in my own power to change my life for the better and empower others to do the same.

Share with us below your special statements and empower those like you who are striving for a better life!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Motivation

Unhappy Is Not In Your Vocabulary – You Are A Champion

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I am honored to be here to deliver this message to you. Everyone needs it including your successful friends. We all have tough days which make us unhappy. The road is long and torturous for all of us.

You can’t let that deter you from your goal. Unhappiness is all around us and it will take over if you let it. It’s around every corner, there, smiling at you every time you fail.

Your default belief when the odds are against you is what will keep you moving forward. If you always see the best of every situation then unhappiness won’t win….you will. Trust the mission and trust yourself.

Have faith that you are here for a reason even if you don’t know why just yet. Not all the answers are known to us right now, but over the course of your life, they will be revealed. Like a surprise birthday party, you will be wowed. Even when the surprise is not what you wanted, don’t be unhappy. Unhappy is not in your vocabulary.

Let the hairs on the back of your neck stand tall. Let your body stand tall at the same time and feel the power that hides within all of us. Only you can unlock that power and crush unhappiness to pieces.

 

The word “unhappy” can be removed from your vocabulary.

Every time you are faced with a situation that doesn’t make you feel good, you can choose to see it as a positive. You are in control of what happens day to day.

I don’t just give this advice lightly. I too, have had to deal with this same challenge that you also deal with. Unhappiness is part of the human experience and we get to decide whether we feel it. While we can’t control what happens to us, we can control how it makes us feel.

This super power only comes with practice and discipline. It’s not our default way of living and it’s tough to master. Then again, what is there in life that’s worth achieving that isn’t hard work huh?

 

Travel the world and see new places.

Bring a fresh perspective to your life when you feel like unhappiness may be winning. Start by getting away from the source or changing your surroundings. If all of these YouTube weight loss transformations are true then determination is what you are lacking.

How bad do you want to be happy and stop being unhappy? You can get the results you want faster when you deal with your own situation and decide to help others with their journey at the same time. This is possible because once you take the focus off yourself things start to change.

Doors that were always closed start to become open. People you only dreamed of spending time with come into your life and give you the added support that all champions have.

 

You’re only unhappy because you tell yourself you are.

This victim mentality that you’ve adopted is what is at the source of your unhappiness. Take the word away and replace it with a word that inspires you. Tell yourself stories of your potential and what you can achieve and you’ll begin to rewrite the story of your life.

Every time I feel like I could use the victim word called “unhappy,” I think of all the work I do to serve others with my blogging. I think of the inspiration that is inside of me which I deliver week in week out without fail. It’s not some passing habit because I’ve done it now for three years.

I’m never giving up this mission even if it kills me. Reread those words again because I believe you can think the same way. I’m not special and have the same capacity you do.

 

Keep asking the question.

The answer will come to you if you ask enough times. Unhappiness can come out of not knowing what the meaning of your life is. There is a meaning, though, it’s just that you haven’t put the work in to find it. It’s easier to distract yourself with food, friends, social media or some other vice than it is to keep asking the tough questions.

The tough questions bring out emotion and it’s this emotion that will change your life. Emotion is what drives you to make the hard decisions that most avoid.

“Don’t be afraid to harness your emotions to drive you towards the answer to your one and only question: why am I here?”

When you know why you’re here the unhappiness feeling starts to fade. It’s difficult to explain but very common in the biographies of champions.

 

Are you a champion?

I think we all are deep down inside. Surfacing that inner champion is where the games at.

“Champions can’t be unhappy because they’ve removed the word from their vocabulary”

Their focus is on their mission and this takes them away from any sense of loss. Everything is abundant and all resources are available to the champion that seeks them. Practice being the champion and forget about being the unhappy victim. Label challenging situations with a word that is *not* unhappy.

Pick empowering words. Change your vocabulary. The words you use to describe your life will make more of a difference than you realize. Adopting that label of a champion first begins with adopting the vocabulary of one.

You’re strong.
You won’t be defeated.
You are happy.
You are determined.
You are unique.

You are not unhappy.

———————————————————————————————————————————

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net
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