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10 Powerful Hacks to Overcome Procrastination

10 Powerful Hacks to Overcome Procrastination

I will do it later. That is the refrain of the procrastinator. Unfortunately, later never comes, or when it does arrive, it comes with panic and the need to rush. Neither is a good thing.

Procrastinating steals productivity and can cause a variety of negative consequences. So, how do you stop procrastinating so much? You can begin by applying these ten hacks to your life.

1. Revamp Your To-Do List

to do list

    Your to-do list should probably be a lot shorter than it is. Why is that? If you already know you are going to do a particular task, do not bother writing it down. Instead, limit the items on your to-do list to the tasks that tempt you to procrastinate.

    The simple act of writing these jobs down can have the psychological effect of making your need to finish them even greater. After all, it does suck to end the day without crossing things off your to do list.

    2. Identify Your Procrastination Source

    look for

      If you find yourself putting off a task, try to figure out why. Are you lacking energy? Is the task too intimidating? Are you afraid that you will not do an adequate job?

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      Identify the reason why you are procrastinating, and you might be able to solve the underlying problem. Then, you can get back to being productive.

      3. Set a Timer And Get to Work

      set timer

        If you have ever tried to get a child to clean their room, you might have set a time and encouraged them to beat the clock. Believe it or not, this often works for adults. In fact, there is an entire productivity and time management philosophy that is known as the Pomodoro Method.

        This involves setting a timer and working in bursts of 25 minutes with 5-minute breaks in between.

        The idea is to spend the 25 minutes working at a furious pace on the task at hand and then rewarding yourself with that small break. It is much easier to work if you know you have a break coming up. You can also compete with yourself to get more done during each work spree.

        4. Tackle The Miserable Tasks First

        sunset girl

          There are two factors that have a big impact on procrastination. The first is the time of day. The later it is, the less likely you will be able to push through that urge to put things off.

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          The second factor is the misery factor. Knowing this, try to structure your day so that you will work on those tasks that seem like drudgery. Save the tasks that are easier or more enjoyable for the afternoon. Your tired brain and body will appreciate it.

          5. Take Planned Breaks Throughout The Day

          relax

            If you are a procrastinator, you may not be taking enough breaks. That is right! Your problem may not be that you spend too much time relaxing, but that you spend too little. The issue is that many people will take lunch and work breaks, but when they do, they stay in work mode.

            How many lunches have you taken as you read work related emails? How many breaks have you spent talking to a co-worker about a current project? Take your breaks, and make sure that you spend them truly disengaged. Eat, relax, surf the net, take a walk. You will come back prepared to knock out the next task on your list.

            6. Make a List of Commercial Break Tasks

            Ben & Cat Photoshoot

              Think about all of the jobs that you put off in a given day. How many of them can be accomplished during a television commercial break?

              Chores such as switching over laundry, taking out the kitchen trash, wiping down the counters, and feeding the pets can all be finished in the time that a few commercials run during your favorite shows.

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              Even if you do not watch television, you can use this technique to push yourself into getting up and just doing it.

              7. Break Big Jobs Into Smaller Tasks

              folders

                If you try to tackle a huge project, the intimidation factor alone can make procrastination seem very attractive. For example, rewriting the employee manual seems like an albatross of a task that could take weeks to finish. Break that down into smaller tasks that you can chip away at one at a time, and suddenly the job seems easier:

                • Write 200 words of the employee manual introduction
                • Think of titles for each section
                • Send email to company present to clarify policy on tardiness

                Don’t these smaller tasks seem much more ‘doable’?

                8. Take Care of Yourself

                yoga

                  Do not assume that your procrastination issue is a laziness problem. You might simply have drained your energy reserves. Help yourself stay on track by getting enough sleep, eating enough healthy foods, and getting at least a bit of exercise.

                  If you are feeling particularly lethargic and unmotivated, talk to your doctor. Your body could be struggling with a vitamin deficiency or even depression. When you are healthier, procrastination will often become less and less of an issue.

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                  9. Reward Yourself

                  play games

                    If you want to stop procrastinating, give yourself a reason to get back to work. Reward your own accomplishments by treating yourself. For smaller tasks, you can create a list of small rewards such as a five-minute break to play a favorite game on one of the top sites for gaming or a small amount of desert.

                    If you tackle something that was particularly difficult, then make your reward bigger. Get that big project knocked out, and maybe you have earned a Friday night out on the town.

                    10. Go Off The Grid For a Day

                    work place

                      If you are like most people, electronic distractions can be a real source of your procrastination. It is easy to put tasks off in favor of hanging out on Facebook. It is also much more tempting to avoid getting things done when you ‘have to’ respond to all of those emails and messages.

                      To combat this, consider taking yourself off the grid every so often. Switch your devices to airplane mode, let people know that you will unavailable for the day. Then, put your head down and start plowing through all of those tasks that you would normally avoid. This is a great technique for getting your offline tasks finished and out of the way.

                      Conclusion

                      Procrastinating is a bad habit that limits your productivity and can carry a variety of other negative consequences. Fortunately, you retrain yourself and learn to drop or modify the behaviors that can lead to putting tasks off.

                      The next time you feel tempted to delay an important job, try applying a few of these techniques. Before long, getting up and getting things done will be just as deeply ingrained as procrastination. This is when you will know that you have truly beaten your procrastination habit.

                      Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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                      Last Updated on August 15, 2018

                      25 Most Useful Excel Shortcuts That Very Few People Know

                      25 Most Useful Excel Shortcuts That Very Few People Know

                      Imagine if you could use 5 simple shortcuts while working in Excel, and increase your productivity without wasting time for searching information in huge tables, writing long formulas, and sorting the data.

                      Or even better:

                      What if you would get 25 useful shortcuts… and each of them could simplify your work, so you could do much more every day?

                      You’d definitely feel excited to read about them.

                      Today is your lucky day because we are going to share with you in this article 25 great Excel shortcuts you can use in your work every day! This is your lucky chance, so go ahead and become a real professional in Excel without wasting your time.

                      How important are Excel shortcuts for you?

                      The most effective thing to check out if people really need something is to release a survey and look at the results. So, according to the anonymous survey, 99% of people said Excel shortcuts are critical or important for them.

                      In general, there are more than 200 shortcuts in Excel. But when we have analyzed the data about how many shortcuts people know, we got the next results:

                      • 26% of people know 10 or fewer shortcuts;
                      • 61% of people know 10-50 shortcuts;
                      • 10% of people know 50-100 shortcuts.

                      As you can see, not so many people know a lot of shortcuts. Probably, some of them never think about increasing their productivity in such a simple way.

                      Of course, it depends on how deep you use Excel. Some people use this powerful application just for making simple tables or graphs, others use it for everyday work to count something.

                      Most of the accountants and businessmen use much more Excel functions for more complex tasks such as creating VBA macros, managing PivotTables, recalculating huge workbooks, outlining data, etc.

                      But even those people who work with Excel every day very close may know a few shortcuts. Needless to say, they can do their job without shortcuts, but it usually takes for them much more time. T

                      his sounds not funny, especially if you must finish a huge amount of work urgently. There is a great opportunity for you to increase your productivity in Excel and do your job faster with our useful shortcuts.

                      5 Main reasons to learn excel shortcuts

                      Many people don’t understand why they should use shortcuts if they can work without them. Of course, if you use Excel twice per year to make a simple table or a graph, it is probably not so important for you to know many shortcuts.

                      But if you work in Excel every day, sorting huge tables and managing with tons of data, then shortcuts will help you to reach the next five goals:

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                      1. Work efficiently and faster in Excel
                      2. Manage big amounts of data easily and fast
                      3. Stay calm and concentrated even while doing a tedious job
                      4. Make your work accurately and properly without errors
                      5. Get a better understanding of Microsoft Excel

                      Who can use Excel shortcuts?

                      There are a lot of people who can simplify their life with Excel shortcuts, and here are the groups that will definitely love using them:

                      • People who work in banks, finance organizations, etc.
                      • Businessmen who make tons of various reports and presentations in Excel for meetings and briefings.
                      • Students who usually are lazy and impatient to make their homework because they don’t want to waste a lot of time working in Excel.
                      • Private entrepreneurs who keep various data in Excel tables.

                      Whether you are a student who hates Excel because it seems a time-wasting and boring application, or you are an accountant who must recalculate huge worksheets every day without making errors, we recommend reading and learning these Excel shortcuts to make your work simpler and save some time.

                      With these simple but useful tricks, it is so easy to finish your job and get more time for yourself.

                      25 Excel shortcuts to increase your productivity

                      Here are 25 great Excel shortcuts you should learn and use for work or studying to make your job faster and simpler. Try to use them all and you will realize you were totally blind before while working in Excel:

                      1. Format whatever object fast with Ctrl+1

                      If you select any object in Excel – a cell, a chart, a chart axis, a drawing object – then press Ctrl+1, and you will get the Properties dialog for the certain object. This shortcut offers a very quick and easy way to format whatever object you’re working with.

                      2. Use range names with Ctrol+G or F5 key

                      If you use range names (which we strongly recommend to do) and you want to choose the range with a specific name references, press either Ctrl+G or the F5 key, which launches the GoTo dialog.

                      If the name is simple, you can click on it in a list in that dialog. But if it’s at all unusual, Excel won’t list it; so you will need to type in the name. Then press OK.

                      3. Use a range name in a formula with =sum( and F3

                      Suppose you want to use a range name in a formula. For example, you want to sum the Sales range. Enter…

                      =sum(

                      …and then press F3.

                      When you do so, Excel launches the Paste Name dialog. Just choose “Sales” from the list, press the OK button in the dialog, then enter the SUM function’s closing “)” to complete the formula.

                      4. Launch Function Arguments dialog easily with Ctrl+A

                      Suppose you want to check the help topic for a worksheet function. For example, you want to read about the MATCH function. In a cell, type…

                      =match(

                      …and then press Ctrl+A, or click the Insert Function (“fx“) button to the left of the formula bar.

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                      When you do so, Excel displays the Function Arguments dialog, which might offer all the help you need.

                      But if you still want to see the complete help topic, click the blue “Help on this function” hyperlink in the lower-left corner of the dialog. This technique works with all documented Excel functions.

                      5. Copy stuff down the column without scrolling with Ctrl+D

                      If you added a formula in a new column on the right of a huge dataset, and you want to copy that formula down without scrolling, do these steps:

                      • go to the right to the column that has data (the column to the left of the new column with the formula);
                      • press Ctrl+Down – to get to bottom;
                      • move one cell to the right (with arrow key naturally);
                      • press Ctrl+Shift+Up to select the new column, at the top of which is the formula you just created;
                      • press Ctrl+D to fill down the formula.

                      6. Quick access to any function with Alt+

                      By customizing the quick access toolbar, you can create simple shortcuts to commands that you would otherwise have to find in the Ribbon tabs, or macros you have created yourself.

                      The keyboard shortcut is simply selecting Alt+ (the number of the command you wish to select).

                      For example, if you have customized your quick access toolbar to have Calc Sheet, Save, Open. To calculate sheet you would hit Alt+1, for save Alt+2, and for open Alt+3.

                      A lot of people are unaware of this useful function, and it’s a great time saver.

                      7. Format cells with Ctrl+1

                      When you need to format cells, use Ctrl+1. Most people know this as the shortcut for the Format Cells dialog, but you can also use it to format almost anything in Excel, without a care about the state of the ribbon. Try this amazing and simple shortcut!

                      8. Choose visible cells with Alt+

                      When you need to choose visible cells only – use Alt+. This is the trick to copy only what you see. It is a priceless shortcut when you’re manually hiding rows and columns in the table.

                      9. Use filtering

                      Filtering – it is a powerful way to slice, dice, and sort through a huge table of information.

                      It’s amazingly effective when you’re participating in a meeting to discuss something like a sales forecast, and everyone is looking in real-time at your spreadsheet projected on a screen (or on their monitors).

                      To some people, you will be seen as the God of Spreadsheets, and this is not a joke!

                      10. Insert or delete column/row easily with the Ctrl key

                      Some people waste a lot of time even for simple operations, for example, when they need to insert/delete columns and rows in Excel.

                      Use this shortcut to insert: with an entire row or column selected, use Ctrl+Shift ++.

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                      To delete: with an entire row or column selected, use Ctrl + –.

                      11. See formula results with F9

                      If you want to check formula results within multiple formulas, highlight the formula and select F9 to see formula result.

                      Don’t forget to undo before exiting the formula.

                      12. Use ALT+Enter for more text within a cell

                      If you want to add a second line of text within a cell, use ALT+Enter.

                      13. Use EDATE to move a date on by a full calendar month:

                      Here’s how to use EDATE:

                      =EDATE(15/01/16,+1) = 15/02/2016 (15th Feb 2016)

                      =EDATE (15/01/2016,-2) = 15/11/2015 (15th Nov 2016)

                      14. Use EOMONTH to move a date onto the end of the month:

                      Here’s how to use EMONTH:

                      =EOMONTH(15/01/2016,0) = 31/01/2016 (31st Jan 2106)

                      =EOMONTH (15/01/2016,-2) = 30/11/2015 (30th Nov 2015)

                      15. Remove spaces with TRIM

                      TRIM is a useful function known by few people. It removes any spaces at the beginning of a value. This is useful if you are pulling in values from somewhere else.

                      16. Repeat commands with F4 or Ctrl+Y

                      In many cases, you may need to repeat your last action. Use F4 or Ctrl+Y; you can repeat many commands like applying the same borders, format, or insert a worksheet again.

                      17. Quick access to cells with the Ctrl key and Shift key

                      When you need to go to the first or last cell of a worksheet, no matter where you are, use Ctrl+Home, Ctrl+End combinations.

                      And here is a pleasant bonus for you: add the Shift key to select everything on the way!

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                      18. Use Ctrl+ to create a timestamp

                      If you need a date stamp and/or a timestamp in your document, there is no need to type a date and time! Use shortcuts Ctrl+ ; (date) Ctrl+Shift+ : (time). It works like a magic and helps to save your time and nerves.

                      19. Use autosum shortcut for sum function anywhere

                      Autosum shortcut – use Alt =. It is a “magic” shortcut of Excel to automatically insert a sum function.

                      You can use this shortcut to sum rows, columns, or even an entire table in one step without wasting your time.

                      20. Use data validation

                      This is an amazing but underutilized tool in Excel, which can be used for a variety of things:

                      • Create dependent drop-down lists;
                      • Create drop-down lists;
                      • Protect/restrict data input of specific cells (without the need for VBA macros).

                      21. Use conditional formatting

                      It can be used for various purposes such as color format or cell format of cells, rows or columns based on dependent cell values or formats.

                      22. Use formula auditing

                      This is a great tool to analyze and trace precedent or dependent cells, check errors and evaluate formulas.

                      The “Watch Window” is a feature to keep a snapshot of an area of the spreadsheet, and then move to another area of the workbook – particularly valuable if you’re managing large spreadsheets or don’t have a second screen.

                      23. Use Scenario Manager to generate summary outputs of a spreadsheet

                      Scenario Manager (under “What-if Analysis”) enables users to generate high-level, summary outputs of a spreadsheet – without the need to replicate the entire workbook.

                      It will present multiple scenarios of a spreadsheet in a succinct, high-level summary worksheet.

                      24. Use INDIRECT to set up large tables

                      INDIRECT makes it easy to set up tables which reference larger tables without a lot of referencing work or cutting and pasting; especially for dynamic spreadsheets.

                      25. Use OFFSET for complicated calculations or formulas

                      OFFSET can be useful for things like calculating YTD numbers or creating formulas that take data in rows and using in columns.

                      The bottom line

                      As you can see, when you have a boring or tedious job to do, the best way to do it fast is not looking for a way how to avoid it, but searching for the shortest variant to do it!

                      That is why we suggest keeping in mind these Excel shortcuts that will help you to save a lot of time and nerves.

                      If it seems hard for you to remember all them, you can print out the list of shortcuts and keep it on your worktable. Use it to search for some help when you need it, and over time, you’ll remember all shortcuts easily.

                      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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