Everybody wants to be successful, but nobody wants to work for it. At least, that’s what you’ve been told. And it’s a comforting thought, because sometimes you don’t want to work for it either. Heck, life would be easier if everything you wanted fell into your lap.
But the brutal truth is that’s never going to happen. Most people work extremely hard to make their dreams come true. And if you aren’t among them – the only person you are failing is yourself. But you already knew that (despite what people told you). Yet you still find creative ways to procrastinate, and you’ve become an expert at rationalizing why that’s okay.
Don’t worry, it’s not your fault. Procrastination is a common problem. But it’s an easy one to solve.
Here are 3 brutally honest ways to smash procrastination:
1. Delete all your productivity apps
You’ve just purchased a sweet new app that’s going to help you crush through your to do list. You’ve waited for it to download, now you’re going to figure out how to use it. It’s the answer to all your productivity problems, right? – Wrong. In fact it’s done just the opposite. This new app has already consumed a large chunk of your valuable time – and you haven’t even started using it yet.
Before too long it will lie unused and abandoned in your app graveyard (along with countless others). It’s not because these apps don’t work (some are actually pretty good). It’s because your lack of tools isn’t the reason you’re procrastinating. The truth is that every time a new app grabs your attention, it distracts you from your big picture. And the more you get distracted, the harder it becomes to achieve your goals.
To be successful you have to work consistently on valuable tasks. To achieve consistency you have to stay focused. And to stay focused you have to eliminate distractions. Delete all your distracting apps immediately so that you can start consistently creating value in your life.
“Stay focused, go after your dreams and keep moving toward your goals.” – L.L Cool J
2. Never structure your day
You’re ambitious, but your days are short. You want to get lots of things done, and to do that you have to organise your time wisely. At least, that’s what people tell you. And there’s a good reason why they think that.
Organisation makes you efficient. And being efficient means you can get more done in less time, and we all want that, don’t we? But while efficiency is an undeniably valuable thing to strive for – pursuing it can have disastrous consequences for your productivity.
Why? Because it’s impossible to structure your day without a plan. And designing an airtight plan takes time. Some people spend more time creating plans than actually following them. There’s always something that can be improved or that needs a slight adjustment. But no matter how much time you invest – your plans will never be perfect.
Ditch your plans and throw yourself at your work – seriously. Just start and hope for the best. If you spend your whole day applying yourself to your most important tasks, you’ll be surprised at how many of them you can get through.
3. Sleep more
The more you work, the more you’ll achieve, right? After all, the longer you spend working on your daily tasks, the more of them you can get through. Unfortunately that’s not how our bodies work. Humans can only spend a finite amount of time working, because we can’t control how much sleep we need. If we could I’m sure the most motivated among us would forfeit sleep altogether.
Studies from the university of Rochester, suggest that a lack of sleep is actually a massive productivity killer (not to mention an extreme health risk). It’s bad for your brain and has disastrous consequences on your ability to solve problems.
So if you think that the late nights and early mornings you’re putting in at work are actually benefiting you, you’re sadly mistaken. You’re exhausting yourself, putting undue stress on your body, and impacting the quality of your work.
Don’t fight your body’s natural impulses. If you’re feeling exhausted – sleep! You’ll thank yourself when you wake up fresh and ready to take on a new day.
“Think in the morning. Act in the noon. Eat in the evening. Sleep in the night.” – William Blake
Flip conventional wisdom on it’s head
Nobody want’s to see their dreams slip past them unachieved, because we all have deeply personal reasons why we want to achieve them in the first place. Yes, it’s uncomfortable to imagine yourself being less successful than you could’ve been. Especially if it’s because you procrastinated when it really mattered.
But procrastination isn’t a death sentence. It’s never too late to realise your ambitions. And it’s easy to flip conventional wisdom on its head when it’s what has been holding you back all this time. Apply just one of these controversial productivity hacks right now. You have absolutely nothing to lose. The only way you can fail is if you don’t even try.