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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

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                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 January 13, 2020

                      50 Motivational Quotes for Work to Inspire Success

                      50 Motivational Quotes for Work to Inspire Success

                      Let’s face it – no matter how excited you are about a new project or priority in your life, there will always be days when your motivation lags. Days when – despite all the progress you’ve made in the past – it just sounds easier to sit on the couch playing video games than to buckle down and crank out the work needed to meet your goals.

                      In order to be successful, you must be able to motivate yourself past these humps. Whenever you feel your drive and determination lagging, turn to these motivational quotes for work to provide the extra spark of passion needed to keep you on track.

                      Quotes about Goal Setting

                      Whether you’re still in the planning phases of your business or whether you’re plotting a plan of attack to bring about your long-range vision, setting good goals is a critical part of succeeding in business.

                      Check out these quotes for extra inspiration on how to turn your dreams into reality:

                      quote-Benjamin-E.-Mays-the-tragedy-in-life-doesnt-lie-in-106113

                        “The tragedy in life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach.”– Benjamin Mays


                        “By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands — your own.”–Mark Victor Hansen


                        “Give yourself an even greater challenge than the one you are trying to master and you will develop the powers necessary to overcome the original difficulty.”–William J. Bennett – The Book of Virtues


                        “The entrepreneur is essentially a visualizer and actualizer… He can visualize something, and when he visualizes it he sees exactly how to make it happen.”–Robert L. Schwartz

                        Quotes about Achieving Excellence in Work

                        Once you’ve got your goals together, you’ll need to put in 110% of your effort in order to transform these visions into reality. To increase your motivation to work at a consistently high level, take a look at the following words of wisdom:

                        “Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”–Aristotle


                        “If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.”–Charles R. Swindoll

                        Desire is the key to motivation

                          “Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal — a commitment to excellence — that will enable you to attain the success you seek.”–Mario Andretti


                          “The secret of joy in work is contained in one word – excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it.”–Pearl Buck


                          “The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.”–Vince Lombardi

                          Quotes about Determination and Persistence

                          Since every business or other endeavor is bound to hit some rough patches, it’s often a person’s level of determination and patience that brings about either success or failure. These positive quotes give you an extra boost of encouragement:

                          “Enter every activity without giving mental recognition to the possibility of defeat. Concentrate on your strengths, instead of your weaknesses… on your powers, instead of your problems.”–Paul J. Meyer


                          “Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence.”–Hal Borland


                          “Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”–Calvin Coolidge

                          quote-Thomas-Fuller-an-invincible-determination-can-accomplish-almost-anything-92190

                            “An invincible determination can accomplish almost anything and in this lies the great distinction between great men and little men.”–Thomas Fuller

                            Quotes about Leadership

                            Whether you use it to engage your employees, to encourage teamwork or motivate others to follow your unique way of thinking, leadership is crucial. Take your leadership cues from these renowned leaders’ famous sayings:

                            “The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born — that there is a genetic factor to leadership. This myth asserts that people simply either have certain charismatic qualities or not. That’s nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born.” –Warren G. Bennis


                            “All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common: it was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in their time. This, and not much else, is the essence of leadership.”–John Kenneth Galbraith

                            Leadership is not magnetic personality

                              “Leadership is not magnetic personality — that can just as well be a glib tongue. It is not ‘making friends and influencing people’ — that is flattery. Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to high sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.”–Peter F. Drucker


                              “The task of leadership is not to put greatness into people, but to elicit it, for the greatness is there already.”–John Buchan


                              “High sentiments always win in the end. The leaders who offer blood, toil, tears and sweat always get more out of their followers than those who offer safety and a good time. When it comes to the pinch, human beings are heroic.”–George Orwell

                              Quotes for Success

                              Think of success as a holistic process – one which results from the combination of goal-setting, excellence, patience, determination and leadership you prioritize throughout your career. These highly successful people provide you with an excellent source of motivation:

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                              “Be patient with yourself. Self-growth is tender; it’s holy ground. There’s no greater investment.”–Stephen Covey


                              “Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.”–Norman Vincent Peale

                              Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.

                                “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”–Winston Churchill


                                “Successful and unsuccessful people do not vary greatly in their abilities. They vary in their desires to reach their potential.”–John Maxwell


                                “Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t at all. You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it, So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because remember that’s where you will find success.”– Thomas J. Watson


                                “The great successful men of the world have used their imagination.  They think ahead and create their mental picture in all its details, filling in here, adding a little there, altering this a bit and that a bit, but steadily building – steadily building.”–Robert Collier


                                “It is a paradoxical but profoundly true and important principle of life that the most likely way to reach a goal is to be aiming not at that goal itself but at some more ambitious goal beyond it.”–Arnold Toynbee

                                Sports Quotes for Athletes

                                You don’t need to be a Michael Jordan-caliber athlete to draw inspiration from the following quotes. Even if you’re just a recreational player or someone who’s using sports as a means to get back in shape after long periods of inactivity, the following motivational sports quotes will encourage you:

                                “My attitude is that if you push me towards something that you think is a weakness, then I will turn that perceived weakness into a strength.”–Michael Jordan


                                “Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.”–Lance Armstrong

                                Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths.

                                  “Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.”–Arnold Schwarzenegger


                                  “I know what I have to do, and I’m going to do whatever it takes. If I do it, I’ll come out a winner, and it doesn’t matter what anyone else does.”–Florence Griffith Joyner


                                  “Every time you stay out late; every time you sleep in; every time you miss a workout; every time you don’t give 100% – You make it that much easier for me to beat you.”–Unknown


                                  “If you are hurt, whether in mind or body, don’t nurse your bruises. Get up and light-heartedly, courageously, good temperedly get ready for the next encounter. This is the only way to take life – this is also ‘playing’ the game!”–Emily Post


                                  “We must train from the inside out. Using our strengths to attack and nullify any weaknesses. It’s not about denying a weakness may exist but about denying its right to persist.”–Vince McConnell

                                  Quotes to Motivate Learning

                                  Committing yourself to pursuing knowledge in a single area is a tremendous endeavor – one that often seems overwhelming given the depth and breadth of information that’s available today. Keep the following motivational quotes in mind if you’re learning:

                                  “How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and the strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these.”–George Washington Carver

                                  quote-William-Arthur-Ward-if-you-can-imagine-it-you-can-36189

                                    “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it; if you can dream it, you can become it.”–William Arthur Ward


                                    “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”– Aristotle


                                    “Success is not the key to happiness.Happiness is the key to success.If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”–Albert Schweitzer


                                    “Wear your learning, like your watch, in a private pocket: and do not pull it out and strike it, merely to show that you have one.”–Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield


                                    “He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.”–Chinese Proverb


                                    “Study while others are sleeping; work while others are loafing; prepare while others are playing; and dream while others are wishing.”–William Arthur Ward


                                    “Books can be dangerous. The best ones should be labeled ‘This could change your life’.”–Helen Exley


                                    “A book is like a garden carried in the pocket.”–Chinese Proverb

                                    All-Time Favorite Positive Quotes

                                    Finally, whatever your goals are in life, you can’t go wrong by taking the advice of the following famous motivational quotes:

                                    “Change your thoughts and you change your world.”–Norman Vincent Peale


                                    “Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinion drowned your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”–Steve Jobs


                                    “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”–Maria Robinson


                                    “Out of clutter, find Simplicity. From discord, find Harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies Opportunity.”–Albert Einstein


                                    “Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.”–Lyndon Johnson

                                    If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.

                                      “If we did all the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves.”–Thomas Edison


                                      “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”–Wayne Gretzky


                                      “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”–Winston Churchill


                                      “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”–Ralph Waldo Emerson

                                      Final Thoughts

                                      To use these motivational quotes effectively, find the one that speaks to you. Although all of the phrases listed above can be considered “motivational,” only you can decide which one resonates with you most directly.

                                      Next, take the quote you’ve settled on and copy it onto small index cards or other pieces of paper that can be stored around your home and workspace.

                                      If you’re creative, you can create inspiration boards, signs or other decorative displays featuring your favorite motivational quotes – really, though, the most important thing is that your chosen phrase be accessible in a variety of different places. This will make it easy to access and review whenever you feel your motivation slipping away.

                                      More Inspiring Quotes

                                      Featured photo credit: Kyle Glenn via unsplash.com

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