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3 Controversial Ways to Smash Procrastination & Achieve Your Goals Immediately

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stop procrastinating

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.

What are some tips you would give to kill the procrastination beast? Please share below!
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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Jeanine

    Sep 1, 2016 at 8:22 pm

    Hi Daniel

    Great article. I like your thinking!
    1)In my line of work, I constantly have hundreds of tasks and subtasks to navigate though on a daily basis – a never ending / always growing “to do list” is a rather unnerving monster to say the least. My Wunderlist App has been a lifesaver to simply list and order all my tasks, and best of all to get that satisfying feeling of ticking them off when I am done. But yes – find one a App that works for you and delete all the rest – they guzzle up your time and attention. 2) I have tried many techniques to organize my days – but dealing with constant curve balls and clients demands at a drop of a hat – I find it impossible to plan and stick to a plan. I just constantly do do do go go go – ploughing through tasks in order of priority. I get things done and see results. No doubt having a perfectly planned day would be ideal – but reality is less than ideal. Thanks for this advise – I can stop feeling guilty about not fitting in with the “you must plan”model. 3) Aaaagh “sleep” – that wonderful thing that so evades an overactive mind! When I sleep I do so much better all round. Again my Wunderlist App has really helped me to sleep better funnily enough. Subconsciously knowing my hundreds of tasks are neatly tucked away and safely ordered really calms my mind. If I remember something I need to do in the middle of the night I can quickly add it to one of my lists and go back to sleep. Otherwise I would be fretting about forgetting and get no sleep.

    Love your posts – keep them coming

  2. Avatar

    Izuzu Nworgu

    Aug 20, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    Hello Daniel,

    I kind of disagree with the second point: “Never structure your day” and I understand what you point is. It’s true that people spend more time making plans than actually following these plans and the reason behind that is lack of self discipline.
    If you discipline yourself to do something, you’ll do it. Planning my day has helped me a lot to increase my daily productivity.

    I’ve tried some productivity apps and they’ve worked perfectly for me. I still use them actually.

    I totally agree with your third point. Lack of sleep has side effects and it decreases productivity.

  3. Avatar

    Sue Lancaster

    Aug 18, 2016 at 6:49 am

    Brilliant Daniel. Written precisely for me!! I’ve achieved many of my goals and consider myself moderately successful HOWEVER I’m the worlds greatest procrastinator and carry my TO DO list in my head and on my shoulders constantly.
    Definitely going to give your productivity hacks a good go!!
    Thank you
    Look forward to your next post

  4. Avatar

    Bryan Oliver

    Aug 18, 2016 at 2:04 am

    Excellent perspective, Daniel. I used to do what you state and sleep less thinking I would produce more. I found myself gaining weight, having brain fog and a host of other issues. Now I balance some days with less sleep and others with more than 8 hrs. This has helped my productivity and mental clarity.

    • Avatar

      Daniel

      Aug 18, 2016 at 4:47 am

      Thanks Brian. I like your approach. If you feel capable of achieving more some days – push yourself. If you feel burned out – rest.

      It’s a good way to promote productivity while ensuring important things like health and happiness remain in check.

      Glad you enjoyed the article.

  5. Avatar

    Niraj

    Aug 17, 2016 at 6:26 pm

    Well said. I’ve tried many different productivity apps and tactics, but this is the only way I’m consistently able to be productive.

    • Avatar

      Daniel

      Aug 18, 2016 at 4:52 am

      Agreed, Niraj. Some apps work for some people, but I’ve found the simplest way to get the most out of them – is just to not download them in the first place!

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Success Advice

5 Things You Can Learn From The 5am Club by Robin Sharma

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It has been said by Robin Sharma, “5 AM is the time of least distraction, highest human glory, and greatest peace.” This also happens to be the central idea or the core value he has discussed in his book, ‘The 5 Am Club.’ Speaking of early mornings, at what time do you wake up? Are you annoyed by the fact that you wake up on the edge of time and then rush to work in haste? 

The life lessons put forth by The 5 AM Club are exactly the learning and motivation you need to challenge your complacency. In your race against time, you may not have the time to read this fabulous book. So, we have summed up the key book’s takeaways for your convenience.

1. The vigor of waking up early

This is what the book’s most fundamental advice to everyone is. Waking up at 5 am every day can work wonders to avert failures and make success a natural habit. When we wake up at 5 am, we have more time on our hands than others. Besides, this is when we have minimum interruptions and maximum powerfulness of the mind. 

To add, the early morning peace is priceless! You can schedule your most important tasks of the day between 5am, and 8am. This book teaches us in the simplest way, how we can train our mind and strengthen it to deliver the highest productivity by waking up early. This energy that you have when you wake up in the morning and the few additional hours in your day are what serve as perfect ingredients for success.

“The secret to productivity is simplicity.” – Robin Sharma

2. The power of finding the right balance in life

The book talks about a precious lesson of finding the right balance within. We often talk about the need for mindfulness and achieving the right mindset to perceive things. But this book goes a few steps ahead of our usual approach to life. It highlights the vitality of mindset and introduces the concepts of heartset, healthset, and soulset.

These terms may seem new, but they are self-explanatory. The idea of heartset endorses the essentialness of emotional stability and well-being. Next, the perspective of healthset indicates the need to look after physical health. At last, soulset is an attribute of spirituality. As explained in this book, success prospects can be enhanced big time by achieving the right balance between these internal virtues.

3. The iconic 20/20/20 modus operandi

What is the first thing you will do if you start waking up at 5 am every day? Did you ever spare a thought about it? This book has the answer to this question, and you will be convinced that it is a great way to begin your day!. The author suggests that you should split the first hour of the day into three equal parts of 20 minutes each.

In the first 20 minutes of the day, you should prioritize your physical fitness and exercise. In the next 20 minutes, you should energize your soul and spirit via self-reflection and soulful meditation. This will prepare you for the rest of the day and will enable you to bolster your commitment and focus. In the last 20 minutes of the first hour, you should read and learn. But what are you going to read about in those 20 minutes? Read about successful people and their inspiring journeys to the pinnacle of success.

4. The significance of a proper sleep schedule

In this book, there is a mention of ‘a ferocious global sleep recession’, which is intriguing and enlightening. It hints at the state of sleep deprivation that this world is sinking into gradually. We often associate success and hard work with the notion of staying up all night and testing our endurance beyond limits. But that is not the right approach to accomplishing success, or rather, it is a flawed methodology.

Sometimes even if we do not have any critical work, we keep whiling our night time on social media or television. What are we gaining from it is the real question, and I am afraid the answer is nothing! We learn from this book that it is critical to look after your sleep cycle and start your day at 5 am afresh. Sleep and rest are indispensable for mental and physical well-being, or your productivity will decline.

“If you want to have the results only 5% have, you must be willing to do and think like only 5% do and think.” – Robin Sharma

5. The art of evolving

The book sheds light on the need to be spiritual and master self-reflection. However, do you realize the purpose that the routine of reflection each morning serves? The idea is to keep learning, keep reflecting on the mistakes and keep evolution an ongoing process. You should evolve every day and strive to be a better version of yourself every day. So, one of your primary goals after waking up should be to reflect on your actions and missed opportunities of the previous day.

To recapitulate, The 5 AM Club is a must-read book if you are a passionate reader. It has the prowess and charm to refurbish your perception of life altogether. Even if you cannot read the book for some reason, make sure you incorporate the above key takeaways into your life. By starting your day at 5 am, you can rediscover your lost soul and enthusiasm, and you would not have complaints to make about the lack of time. If you can own your mornings, you can go places on the ladder of success, for excuses are only for those who are not committed to their goals.

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Success stories don’t come from naturally successful people. They come from ordinary people with starry eyes and big dreams who stayed true to their end goal and consistently put in the work. They are just like you and me. What sets them apart is their mindset — a success mindset. (more…)

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If you’re reading this, I’ll let you in on a little secret: you’re a human being. You have feelings, emotions, beliefs, complexity, and a mind that’s always racing. Your feelings at any given moment in your life have the power to affect what you do and how consistently you do it. (more…)

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5 Important Choices that Make Life Worth Living and Success Taste Sweeter

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As we start another year, you’re probably thinking about your life goals, dreams, aspirations, and what you want to accomplish. We know that New Year’s resolutions have gotten a bad reputation because most people lose focus after the first few months and the first signs of resistance. (more…)

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