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8 Tips to Stay Motivated When You’re Ready to Quit

8 Tips to Stay Motivated When You’re Ready to Quit

There you are, in the middle of it all, just staring off into space. Once you snap back to reality, you look down at what you’re doing. All of a sudden you need a break, to stretch or whatever—just something to get away.

You’ve become so antsy in your chair. You know you have to finish but for some reason you just can’t get your head back in the game.

So you continue to stare off into space. Hey, it was pretty entertaining the first time around.

Mom is not around anymore.

You’ve completely trailed off course. This is usually the point where your mother would intervene and get you back on course. But you’re a big kid now. Mommy isn’t around to make sure you finish your homework. You’ve got to get it all done yourself.

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But what just happened? You got over what you thought was the biggest hurdle, starting, and now you can’t finish. You lost steam mid-task. Somewhere down the line you lost the motivation to see the task to the very end. At this point, you’re probably not too interested in completing it at all. You’re pretty much ready to quit.

But you know you have to get it done eventually. And you originally carved out the time to do it now. So somehow you have to do what your mom always did, but a little differently.

You’re going to see this task through by maintaining your own motivation. Long gone are the days when someone else motivated you. You’re on your own now kid. And this is how you’ll pull it off.

1. Be happy.

Kind of odd, I know. But think about how hard it is to do something when you’re miserable! You can’t tell a miserable person anything. So if you’re unhappy you’ll have your work cut out for you when it comes to getting anything done.

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Regardless of how you feel at the moment there is a reason somewhere to be happy. Focus on that reason and the other wonderful things around you. The happier you are the more positive work you can do.

2. Expect mistakes.

By now you should know that they are a part of life. Of course you should minimize them whenever you can. But no one expects you to know every single thing at one time, so mistakes are going to happen.

And that’s perfectly fine, as long as you don’t use making a mistake as a reason to throw in the towel. Better yet, use your mistakes to your advantage.

3. Be present.

When you’re staring off into space you tend to think about everything except for what’s going on now. Worrying about the future or dwelling on the past isn’t going to help you one bit in the present. In fact, it’s taking you away from it. Regain control of your thoughts and focus on what you’re supposed to be doing now.

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4. Clock it.

When you have to complete a task that is less than thrilling, determine how long it will take and clock yourself. This will make sure that you’re making the best of your time and reduce the allowance for distractions. There’s nothing like working against a deadline to kick your butt in gear.

5. Think about the results.

You do things for a reason. You take on a task because you want to get to the end result. Remember that.

Feeling less than motivated to continue? Remind yourself what it’s all about, why you’re doing it in the first place. Then, the motivation will come.

6. Reward yourself.

Remember when your coach would take the team out for ice cream after a win? You probably spent the whole game thinking about all the toppings you wanted to put on your cone. That’s what motivated you to hit that home run. Who cares about a trophy when you can have your own personalized ice cream cone!

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You should continue to reward yourself the same way as you finish different tasks. But I wouldn’t recommend eating ice cream every single time you complete something.

7. Keep track.

When you don’t realize how much progress, you’ve made you can easily convince yourself that quitting is a fine choice. Think about how annoyed you’d be when you realized that you quit after you’ve done so much work and were almost done. Keeping track of your progress will motivate you to hit another milestone.

8. Consider the cost.

Not completing a task means giving up on something bigger. Ask yourself, if you gave up now, what would it cost you? Sometimes fear and pain are the most powerful motivators. They can compel you to begin again when nothing else works.

Look Mom!

Once you master these tips you’ll become a certified finisher. You’ll be able to get more done and be successful at whatever you take on. Nothing will get in your way. Make your mother proud!

Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

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Last Updated on April 6, 2020

15 Best Productivity Hacks for Procrastinators

15 Best Productivity Hacks for Procrastinators

Let me guess.

You should be doing something else rather than reading this article. But due to some unknown force of nature, you decided to procrastinate by reading an article about how to hack procrastination. You deserve a pat on the back.

Fortunately, procrastination is not a disease. It’s just a mindset that can be changed, however, here are some productivity tips you need to start getting work done:

First, you need to acknowledge that procrastinating is an unhealthy habit. Not only you’re prioritizing unimportant things, basically, nothing gets done. Still unsure if you’re a procrastinator? Check out this article: Types of Procrastination (And How To Fix Procrastination And Start Doing)

Second, your commitment to change is very important. You should be physically, emotionally, and mentally determined to change this habit. If not, then you’ll just succumb to the tempting lure of doing other things rather than your tasks or chores.

Here are sthe best productivity hacks to improve productivity and keep yourself from procrastinating at work:

1. Give (10+2)*5 a Try

Let’s start with a classic but very effective hack called (10+2)*5 created by Merlin Mann,[1] author of 43Folders.com. Don’t worry. This is not a complicated Mathematical formula you need to solve.

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The (10+2)*5 simply means 10 minutes work + 2 minutes break multiplied by 5, completing 1 hour. It is crucial to stick with the time limits and not skipping work and break schedules. The point of this is for you to create a jam-packed routine of work and break schedules. The result? You will eventually skip your break schedules.

2. Use Red and Blue More Often

Clean your desk and remove things that might distract you. According to a Science Daily study[2] about which colors improve brain performance, red was found out to increase attention to details while blue sparks creativity. Surrounding your workplace with these colors not only benefits your brain, it’s also pleasing to the eye.

3. Create a Break Agenda

List all the things you want to do on your break, be it surfing the web, checking your emails, snack time, taking selfies, Facebook/Twitter—everything.

Like the (10+2)*5 hack, squeeze these in between work time but the difference is you schedule these activities for ONLY 20 minutes. Eventually, you’ll take your break minutes wisely. You’re finishing tasks while sidetracking to doing the things you enjoy.

4. Set a Timetable for Your Tasks

Like any other habits, procrastinating is a tough wall to break. Replace this habit with another habit. When you’re assigned a task, set a timetable for each step. Let’s say you have a big research task. Here’s a sample timetable:

9:00 – 9:10 am – Set up all your tools, browser tabs, emails, coffee, etc..
9:10 – 10:00 am – Internet research
10:00 – 10:45 am – Look through existing files
10:45 – 11:00 am – Break time!
11:00 – 12:00 pm – Outline the research report

Deadlines are the best hack for getting things done. Setting a specific time to finish a task creates time pressure even if the deadline has passed.

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5. Take It Outside!

Do yourself a favor and don’t ruin the comfy vibe of your home. If you need to work on a stressful project, do it in a library or coffee shop. You’ll never finish it anyway. Your cozy sofa and toasty bed will just lure you into napping yourself to doom.

6. Become Productively Lazy

Instead of finding all sorts of ways to unproductively procrastinate, use your habit to look for shortcuts and new ways to finish your tasks. Staple multiple papers at a time or master the 3-second t-shirt folding technique. A strong drive combined with laziness sometimes bring out the productive and creative side you never knew you have!

7. Assign a ‘Task Deputy’

It could be your colleague, your supervisor, or your significant other, anyone who has the unforgiving guts to reprimand you when you procrastinate. You could go the extra mile by paying up unfinished tasks or times you open your Facebook or watch a funny cat video on YouTube. Let’s see how five bucks every time you procrastinate will change you.

8. Consider a Gadget-Free Desk

According to a study by Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, average users check on their phones 150 times per day and having your phone just an elbow away just creates sizzle to this habit.[3]

Removing mobile devices and gadgets allows you to focus on your work without the constant interruption from notifications, calls, and text messages. It eliminates the very distracting ambiance and the urge to unlock your phone just because.

9. Prepping the Night

Before hitting the sack to oblivion, prepare everything you’ll need the next day. This will probably take you 15 minutes tops, saving you more time for coffee in the morning.

Spin class at am? Pack up your gym clothes, shoes, socks, etc. or better, create a checklist so you don’t miss anything. You can also prep your food into containers and just grab one before leaving.

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10. Do a 7-Minute Workout in the Morning

Exercising is proven to increase productivity and stimulate release of endorphin or “Happy Hormones”.

Take a jog outdoors and get warmed up for the day. Don’t feel like running outside? Hop on a treadmilli. It’s a great investment and there are a lot of ways you can use a treadmill like endurance running and metabolism training. On a budget? Here’s a 7 minute, no-equipment needed workout you can do at home:

11. Set-up Mini Tasks

If you’re given a big project, break it down into mini tasks. Create a checklist and start with the easy ones until you finish. Got an article to write? Just start with the title and the first sentence. Or perhaps you have a visual presentation to make?

Spend 15 minutes on your outline, take five minutes coffee break, then finish the first two slides. Accomplishing something, no matter how tiny, still gives you that sense of fulfillment.

12. Create an Inspirational Board or Reminder

I found these mini desk chalkboards from Etsy you can use to write motivating quotes.

Or you know what? Simply write “Do it now!” and stare at it for 10 seconds every time you feel like dropping by on Reddit.

13. Redecorate Your Room

Redecorating my room motivates me to maintain that ‘new’ look for some time until I get use to it and eventually stop. So I redecorate again and again, it became a monthly habit really. Here are some DIY ideas you can do to any room without spending much.

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14. Ready Your Nibbles

You know that trip to the pantry? It’s just seconds away but it took you several minutes just to get your fruit snacks in the fridge. Before starting a task, prepare your nibbles on your desk to avoid zoning out and losing yourself on the way to the pantry.

Bonus productivity hacks you can do at home:

15. Schedule Your Chores

Write down your chores in a weekly basis with matching day and time when you should be doing these.

For the artsy folks, you can create fun chore charts like these or simply stick the list somewhere visibly annoying e.g. mirrors, doors, TV. The trick is listing as many chores as you can for the week and including unfinished chores the following week. Who likes seeing a long list of chores first thing in the morning?

More Tips to Overcome Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters via unsplash.com

Reference

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