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3 Simple Strategies For Better Time Management

3 Simple Strategies For Better Time Management

Our screen addiction has turned into a procrastination addiction, and we’re more exposed to distraction than ever. Need more proof? I could kill your work day with a simple link (seriously, don’t click it).

The web is full of tips on how to manage your time, stay productive, and get more done in less time. The world wants to save you some time while all you do is read these articles and slack off. With all the productivity tools, tips, and tricks available, we’ve become obsessed with becoming more productive. But if you put too much time into managing your time, you might want to reconsider your approach.

This is why it’s useful to consider a non-managing approach to time management — a lazy take on this growing trend. Think of it as time management for people who really can’t seem to manage. Here are some tips that won’t take up your time, but will get you started on managing your time better. They’re far from expert-level time management, but they make for a good introduction.

Plan to be interrupted

If you want to quit procrastination, schedule time for procrastination. Plan to be distracted, because you inevitably will be.

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If you allow yourself a portion of time and stay focused on work, knowing you’ll get your break in a while, you’ll be more productive and, in time, procrastinate less.

Basically, get it out of your system.

The same goes for various distractions and interruptions. Stop constantly checking your email and social channels — nothing is that urgent. Plan to check every few hours or so and refrain from visiting these sites outside of these times.

There are also a few handy tools available, like SelfControl, that can help you blacklist the unwanted sites and block them for a few hours while you’re trying to focus. Do you think you’re not hooked? I dare you to try the app and find out!

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Remember: there’s no better time-killer than a lost pen

Clutter is a known productivity killer.

Don’t let your mess take over your mind and leave no space for thinking, planning, and working. Declutter your home, keep your workspace tidy, and clean up the mess in your environment to create a better working environment for your brain.

What you’re surrounded by ultimately affects your productivity, and if you want to get things done, remember to declutter. It’s now well known that a messy desk is a sign of a creative person, and that’s probably true, but even creatives can benefit from becoming a little more efficient.

Track your bad habits

Are you a smoker? An avid facebook checker? A cat video lover?

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Whatever bad habit you may have, you’re probably struggling to quit. How about taking some time to get a better perspective on your bad habits? Track your time doing these things for a week. Be consistent and track every moment of a habit you’d like to get rid of. Then revise.

Would you be watching cat videos for just “a couple minutes now and then” if you knew that the time actually amounted to 4 hours of your week?

The same goes for multitasking – if you tracked your unfocused work for a couple of weeks, you might discover that you spend a majority of your week working on things that get you no results.

There is tons of time that can easily be saved.

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You could use that time for things that are much more useful — reading a book, mastering a skill, learning a new language. You could be an expert in a few months. And soon enough, your longstanding cat video expertise will be replaced with, you know, something actually useful.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash / By Steve Houghton-Burnett via unsplash.com

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Last Updated on March 31, 2020

How To Break the Procrastination Cycle

How To Break the Procrastination Cycle

How often do you find yourself procrastinating? Do you wish you could procrastinate less? We all know how debilitating procrastination can make us feel, and it seems to be a challenge we all share. Procrastination is one of the biggest hindrances to moving forward and doing the things that we want to in life.

There are many reasons why you might be procrastinating, and sometimes, it is really difficult to pinpoint why. You might be procrastinating because of something related to the past, present, or future (they are all intertwined), or it could be as simple as biological factors. Whatever the reason, most of us follow a cycle when we procrastinate, from the moment we decide to do something to actually getting it done, or in this case, not getting it done.

The Vicious Procrastination Cycle

For some reason, it helps to understand that we all go through the same thing, even though we often feel like the only person in the world who struggles with this. Do you resonate with the cycle below?

1. Feeling Eager and Energized

This is when you commit to taking a new action or getting something done. You are feeling confident and optimistic that, this time round, you will do it!

2. Apprehension Starts to Come Up

The beginning stages of optimism are starting to fade. There is still time, but you haven’t done anything yet, and you start to feel uneasy. You realize that you actually have to do something to get it done, and that good intentions are not enough.

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3. Still No Action

More time has passed. You still haven’t taken any action and probably have a lot of excuses why. You start to panic a little and wish you had started sooner. Your panic starts to turn into frustration and perhaps even irritability.

4. Flicker of Hope Left

You can still make it; there is a little time left and you ponder how you are going to get it done. The rush you get from leaving your task until the last minute gives you a flicker of hope. There is still time; you can do this!

5. Fading Quickly

Your hope starts to quickly fade as you try desperately to understand why you just can’t do this. You may feel desperate and have thoughts like, “What is wrong with me?” and “Why do I ALWAYS do this?” You feel discouraged, or perhaps angry and resentful at yourself.

6. Vow to Yourself

Once the feeling of anger or disappointment disappears, you most likely swear to yourself that this will never happen again; that this was the last time and next time will be different.

Does this sound like you? Is the next time different? I understand the devastating effect that procrastination has on many lives, and for some, it is a really serious problem. You also have, on the other hand, those who procrastinate but it doesn’t affect them in any way. You know whether it is affecting you or not and whether it undermines your results.

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How to Break the Procrastination Cycle

Unless you break the cycle, you will keep reinforcing it!

To break the cycle, you need to change the sequence of events. Here is my suggestion on how you can effectively break the vicious cycle you are in!

1. Feeling Eager and Energized

This is when you commit to taking a new action or getting something done. You are feeling confident and optimistic that, this time round, you will do it! The first stage is always the same.

2. Plan

Thinking alone will not help; you need to plan your actions. I always put my deadlines one or two days in advance because you know Murphy’s Law! Take into consideration everything that you need to do, how long it will take you, and what you will need to get it done, then plan the individual steps.

3. Resistance

Just because you planned doesn’t mean that this time is guaranteed to be different. You will most likely still feel the resistance so expect this. This stage is key to identifying why you are procrastinating, so when you feel the resistance, try to identify it immediately.

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What is causing you to hesitate in this moment? What do you feel?  Write them down if it helps.

4. Confront Those Feelings

Once you have identified what could possibly be holding you back, for example, fear of failure, lack of motivation, etc. You need to work on lessening the resistance.

Ask yourself, “What do I need to do to move forward? What would make it easier?” If you find that you fear something, overcoming that fear is not something that will happen overnight — keep this in mind.

5. Put Results Before Comfort

You need to keep moving forward and put results before comfort. Take action, even if it is only for 10 minutes. The key is to break the cycle and not reinforce it. You have more control that you think.

6. Repeat

Repeat steps 3-5 until you achieve what you first set out to do.

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Final Thoughts

Change doesn’t happen overnight, and if you have some deeper underlying reasons why you procrastinate, it may take longer to finally break the cycle.

If procrastination is holding you back in life, it is better to deal with it now than to deal with the negative consequences later on. It is not a question of comfort anymore; it is a question of results. What is more important to you?

Learn more about how to stop procrastinating here: What Is Procrastination and How to Stop It (The Complete Guide)

Featured photo credit: Luke Chesser via unsplash.com

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