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How To Turn Procrastination Into Productivity

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Procrastination is the biggest killer for productivity yet so many of us struggle with it.

For example, you may have a huge deadline due but instead of doing your work, you’re browsing the internet for hours. Or you know you should hang that picture frame that has been staring at you for the last week but instead you decide to watch a TV show you love. Or you know you need to go workout but instead you tell yourself that it’s too cold and tomorrow you’ll run a little longer instead.

When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing. And when it is too late to do them, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

In order to stop procrastinating, we need to understand why we do it in the first place.

 

Here are four reasons I’ve identified that fuel my lack of action:

  • Procrastinate for perfect: Telling yourself you need more time, resources, energy, a better plan, whatever to get it done.
  • I will do it better later: You work best under pressure, right? Not really, but it may be the only way you’re used to getting things done.
  • Productive off putting: Taking care of all those other things you’ve put off in favor of what you need to get done.
  • Maybe, maybe not: Continually question a decision and can’t move forward.

 “A year from now you may wish you had started today.” – Karen Lamb

So, how do we overcome procrastinating? Try one of these 9 suggestions:

  1. Remind yourself that there’s always more to be done than can be done. Then ask yourself if you’re getting the right things done.
  2. Make a smart to-do list by including only the items that you’re avoiding, not the ones you know you’ll do anyway. Then set deadlines.
  3. Break the task down to lessen the sense of being overwhelmed. Once you start to enjoy a small accomplishment or two, you’re more likely to finish
  4. Eliminate temptation to do something else (log off Facebook and put your phone in the other room)
  5. Bargain with yourself. If you finish making those sales calls now, you can read that new book by the pool later.
  6. Focus on the success you will achieve and the joy you will feel.
  7. Come up with a consequence that will stop you from procrastinating. If you don’t finish writing that business proposal, you have to go without eating out for a month.
  8. Ask someone to help you complete the task. Why are we so afraid to ask for help?
  9. Make your intentions known. This will add pressure, and for some of us, avoiding the embarrassment of not achieving a set goal is the greatest motivator.

 

Books I would recommend to read if you’re serious about kicking your procrastination habit:

Eat That Frog! by Brian Tracy

eat-that-frog-book-coverThe legendary Eat That Frog! (more than 450,000 copies sold and translated into 23 languages) provides the 21 most effective methods for conquering procrastination and accomplishing more. This new edition is revised and updated throughout, and includes brand new information on how to keep technology from dominating our time.

 

The Now Habit by Neil A. Fiore

nowhabitThe Now Habit offers a comprehensive plan to help readers lower their stress and increase their time to enjoy guilt-free play. Dr. Fiore’s techniques will help any busy person start tasks sooner and accomplish them more quickly, without the anxiety brought on by the negative habits of procrastination and perfectionism.

 

Procrastination by Jane B. Burka

518TJMY0cKL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Based on years of counseling, psychologists Jane B. Burka and Lenora M. Yuen offer a probing, sensitive, and sometimes humorous look at the problem that troubles everyone. Revealing the reasons we put off tasks-fears of failure, success, control, separation, and attachment-the authors outline a practical, tested program to overcome procrastination. Candid and understanding, Procrastination is a must-have today for anyone who puts everything off until tomorrow.

 

 

A young entrepreneur, author and speaker, Carla Schesser is a woman who is passionate about inspiring and educating youth to live a life they love. Carla's book, ‘#Success - Mastering the Basics to a Happy, Healthy & Wealthy Life’ is a simple, practical and motivating guide which young adults will enjoy reading while learning important skills which empower them and allow them to discover how to live a peaceful, successful, and healthy life.Carla has a rare ability to connect with her readers. She has been in the same shoes many aspiring young adults wear today and this allows her to reach her audience and inspire them in a way most people can’t.

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Frank Miller

    Nov 28, 2018 at 4:30 am

    Great advice Carla. Reminds me a little of Tim Urban’s Ted talk: Inside the mind of a master procrastinator 🙂

  2. Essay Papers

    Mar 11, 2015 at 6:06 am

    Thanks for this great and informative article, It’s very helpful for peoples. I’ve bookmark this post.. Thanks for sharing this……

  3. Rose Costas

    Mar 9, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    Carly you are so right. Many of us procrastinate too many times and end up rushing and feeling exhausted only because we wait until the last minute to get things done. I try not to do things based on feeling. I focus more on available time and make sure things are done. Thanks for a great post.

  4. Laurie

    Mar 6, 2015 at 9:35 pm

    Helpful tips. Thanks. Sometimes starting with the easiest task works for me. I then build momentum and get things done.

  5. Deane Alban

    Mar 4, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    A tip I learned was to do a “mini-Pomodoro”. Getting started is the hard part. Commit to working on a task for 3 minutes. The rest should follow.

  6. PIM Organizer

    Mar 2, 2015 at 7:37 am

    Sometimes procrastination can increase productivity. For example, when the deadline is closer, will be more focused on the things that have to finish in case being fired.

    • Cody Faldyn

      Mar 3, 2015 at 3:12 pm

      Great recommendations but I must say “Procrastinate on Purpose” by Rory Vaden is a much more modern day approach to productivity. We were lucky to interview Rory to give a deep dive on his book and after comparing it to The Now Habit and Eat the Frog, I think Rory takes a more efficient approach. Just my opinion though 🙂 Thanks for sharing the info

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Motivation

It’s What You Do On A ‘Bad Day’ That Matters.

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Last Friday was a bad day for me. I woke up late, missed the gym and didn’t meditate.

None of this was intentional.

I then turned my computer on to do what I do every day: blog. I was not prepared for the whirlwind that followed.

As I opened up my social media channels, there were a lot more than usual, direct messages. I started reading each one and they were from colleagues and friends who wanted to warn me that I had a large amount of hate-fuelled comments on social media. I’m usually pretty good at dealing with hate comments. Not on that day, though — I was having a ‘bad day.’

I turned off the computer and didn’t respond to anybody. In the same week, I’d been told I was now a LinkedIn Top Voice for 2018.

I should have been celebrating and I didn’t because I didn’t feel worthy. If anything, I wanted to give up there and then. Luckily I didn’t follow through with any of these ideas. I knew it was just noise in my awful day.

I went away to sit on the couch and think about what I’d just read. Without really thinking about what I was going to do for the rest of the day, I began thinking about my team at work. There were several leadership challenges that I had to solve.

One was from a customer that was being abusive to female staff. Another was a rejection I had to deliver to someone that wanted to work with us. The hardest part about delivering the rejection was that I’d already said yes.
Despite the day being bad, I made a fundamental decision — to keep doing what I do and not stop. I said to myself “How can I inspire people while simultaneously solving both these challenges?”

I’m a big believer that it’s not what you say that matters; it’s what you do. Talk is cheap. I came up with a bold plan to address both challenges.

I was going to do something that made me see the good in the people involved.

Even if the people in both situations had let me down, I was going to assume they were still good.

I concocted a plan to help both people and try and show them a more positive way to move forward. If I break down the plan, it was about being an inspiration in both situations.

I didn’t feel like being inspiring.
It was not the day to be inspiring.

But it was the only way I could motivate myself to finish off this bad day and wake up the next morning fresh. It’s funny how a good nights sleep takes away all the pain and negativity from the day before.

So, by the end of the day, I enabled both plans. I set out to release inspiration in both scenarios and that was my only focus. I didn’t look at anymore hate fuelled comments or go near social media.

On that bad day last Friday, my actions helped me keep moving forward and not give up.


It’s not about necessarily seeing the good in your bad day.

I’ve read this sort of advice heaps, but it requires a lot of willpower.

Using your actions to make the day better rather than trying to think your way out of your bad day seems to be a lot easier to implement”


It’s not about the bad day.

Bad days will happen.

It’s what you do on a bad day that determines if you’ll feel the full effect of all the negativity that can potentially knock you out like a Tsunami that comes your way when all you wanted to do was lay on the beach and soak up some sun.

I’ve learned to find situations during a day that’s not working out well for me, to do something good, and often that’s not something that benefits me. If I was to look at it another way it would be “How do I not focus on my own bad day?”

Trying to make someone else’s day good distracts you from your own bad day.

<<<>>>

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

Follow This 2-Step Process to Stay Motivated When You Feel Like Nothing Is Going Right

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The dialogue in your mind is the battleground where your motivation lives and dies every day. In every moment, your words are either lifting you or sabotaging your success. Unfortunately, most people are losing this battle within themselves. They are using their most powerful asset — their mental energy — to beat themselves up, play victimization games, or stop themselves from sharing their passion. (more…)

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Motivation

6 Surefire Ways to Motivate Marketers in 2019

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If your company did well in 2018, you must be sitting there challenged with a thought inside your head – How can I continue the streak and keep up my marketing game this year? You have knocked yourself enough to meet your 2018 goals, and all you need now is a boost of morale to face all that 2019 has in store for you. (more…)

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Motivation

This Is How An Ordinary Person Can Make Their Country Better.

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Someone asked on the internet how they can make their country better.
They considered themselves ordinary and felt that they had to be someone special to make a difference in their country, India.

Their question made me feel a bit emotional because I can relate. I too have also dreamt of making my country better.

The most common answer to this question is to get involved in politics.

Many of you reading this find politics really boring including me. I’ve learned through my own experience that politics is not the only way you can make your country better.

Here’s how you can make your country better:


Use your voice

When I was faced with the question “How do I make my country better?” I decided to use my voice.

It was this decision that changed everything. I spent every day using my voice to stand for something. I wanted to inspire the world through entrepreneurship and personal development.

So, I started using my voice by posting on LinkedIn. I used my voice and transcribed it into words to tell the citizens of my country what I think they needed to hear.

Using your voice is incredibly scary at first. As soon as you start sharing your thoughts, many people will say nothing. You’ll get almost no feedback. As your voice starts to get louder over time (probably years) the opposite will happen and you’ll attract trolls and critics.

The hardest part about using your voice is having the courage every day to use it and not being obsessed with the outcome.

By using my voice online through blogging and LinkedIn, I managed to get a 35,000 person bank to start talking about my ideas with staff and customers, and I was voted LinkedIn Australia’s Top Voice that year.

Using the power of your voice is the number one way you can change your country.

It’s in your experiences, ideas and thoughts that you can find what it is that can help your country.

In my country, Australia, we are quite well off, but we still lack a positive mindset. Some of us work jobs we hate and we like things that only money can buy. There’s a competition to get the biggest house or the most expensive car.

It’s not a problem everyone in Australia suffers from, but it’s widespread. I believe by using my own voice to inspire people to seek alternatives, I can change my country.

The results thus far suggest I’m well on the way to changing my country.


Be kind

Changing your country seems like a huge task. It sounds like something only a Nelson Mandela sort of fella can achieve. That’s not true.

A simple understanding of the power of kindness can change your country.

There was this guy I read about online that changed his country by giving out free hugs because he couldn’t run in the local marathon. He embraced his kind nature and ended up impacting millions of people in his country.

Being kind is infectious because we’re wired to do it. When we see one person be kind, we want to do the same.

The problem in my country (and many others) is that we’ve sacrificed kindness for greed.

We’ve let our country’s economy become the most important factor instead of measuring the way we treat people and the ability of a country’s nation to overcome adversity together.

Kindness is so important because every one of our countries will face adversity, and kindness is the solution to that inevitable problem.


Pick up the trash

This one seems even smaller in impact. It’s not.

I found that by picking up the rubbish I saw in places like my apartment lobby, I was able to show myself that I care about my country.

When we care about our country, we choose to make it look beautiful so others can enjoy it. Something simple like picking up the trash can take you a long way towards helping your country.

Every country has an environmental problem and picking up rubbish can help solve it. If we all picked up one piece of trash, then each of our country’s would be a hell of a lot cleaner.


Don’t think you can’t make your country better

A lot of what I’ve learned, by trying to make my own country better, has come from the belief that I can have an impact.

There are so many people who want to do nothing more than complain which wastes time and energy and doesn’t make anyone’s country better.

The way you make your country better is by believing you can and taking one or two small actions to start the process.

The people that change their country believe they can.

<<<>>>

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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