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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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                      Dante Munnis

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                      Last Updated on April 9, 2020

                      10 Things High Achievers Do to Attain Greatness

                      10 Things High Achievers Do to Attain Greatness

                      Do you ever secretly wish that you could achieve more with your time? You are not alone. Most people want more from their lives but simply don’t know where to start.

                      The good news is that learning to accomplish greatness in your life is totally possible if you learn to study other successful high achievers.

                      Find out what sparkling new patterns you want to implement in your own life by studying what real high achievers do in the round up below.

                      1. They Know What They Want.

                      That seems pretty obvious, but if you don’t have a clear goal, dream or desire in mind, how will you know when you’ve gotten where you wanted to be?

                      Successful people have clear goals and a clear vision for how to get there.

                      For example, Albert Einstein remained obsessed with the big questions and problems of physics, and he knew exactly what he wanted to do: he wanted to answer the questions and solve the problems that no one else had been able to. And guess what? He did just that.

                      High achievers dream specific, plan smart, and confidently strive toward success.

                      2. They Focus on Their Goals.

                      Once achievers know what they want, they are tenacious and focused on forward progress toward their goals. They don’t run over people or deliberately hurt people to get what they want, but they do stay focused on the end goal in all their interactions and daily tasks.

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                      Elon Musk, with a net worth of $21.2 billion, is considered revolutionary.[1] Some might have seen his plans to totally reinvent transportation methods, including fantasy-like transportation methods in outer space, a little silly. But Musk proved them all wrong by staying focused on his goals with hawk-like attention to detail. He spends hours and hours at the office focusing on his goals in order to achieve them.

                      Learn How to Stay Focused on Your Goals in a Distracting World.

                      3. They Are Passionate.

                      It’s very helpful when reaching for a big goal to not just get excited by it, but to truly be passionate about it.

                      High achievers often talk about how much fun they are having, or say that they would do what they do even if they weren’t getting paid (and in the beginning, they probably weren’t). That’s the kind of passion and positive outlook you need to achieve your highest goals.

                      Bill Gates, creator of Microsoft, began his successful career early in life by simply being excited about things like video games and computers. You can be like Gates too. Identify your passions and pursue them in your career.

                      4. They Don’t Procrastinate.

                      Some of the things we have to do to meet our goals or achieve our dreams are not very easy, but high achievers are able to focus on what needs to get done and actually do it instead of living in a world of dreams. They have a plan and they can follow it starting right now.

                      Even though you may not be into arts, you must have heard of Vincent van Gogh, one of the most influential artists of all time. He is a perfect example of someone who not only dared to dream, but also dared to act.

                      Instead of procrastinating or staying in a rut, he made a choice to pursue art and dove in head-first. Although he only worked for about ten years due to a tragically short life, van Gogh produced an estimated 900 paintings and more than 1,000 drawings.[2]

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                      If you want to get more out of your life, then stop dreaming and start taking actions today, not tomorrow: How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                      5. They Create Their Own Opportunities.

                      True achievers know that they don’t have to be stuck in a box – they can create their own story through hard work.

                      Brené Brown is a respected social researcher and increasingly popular speaker and author. She has been hosted on Oprah. She has written and published a slew of popular self-help books, and she has one of the most-watched TEDx talks in history.

                      Interestingly, Brown didn’t start her story in a glamorous way. In fact, many social sciences professionals scoffed at her unusual methods of research and her passion for the topic of vulnerability and shame. Brown, however, continued forging her own path until she reached her destination: greatness.

                      Brown is a striking example of a person who knew what she wanted and paved her way into her own story of success with dedication. High achievers know that nothing good comes without hard work. They are willing to create their own opportunities and don’t expect to be handed cookie-cutter dreams in life.

                      6. They Have Positive Attitudes.

                      Studies of high-performing students find that the happiest students are those who excel most academically.[3] The same holds true for adults in business and in life.

                      If you have a good attitude, enjoy what you’re doing and remember that setbacks are temporary, it’s a lot easier to be successful. Without negativity, there’s nothing to hold you back from achieving whatever it is you want to achieve.

                      A positive attitude also helps people to think of what they are doing as important, which is a great way to stay motivated and working toward a goal.

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                      Jim Carey, the famous comedian and actor, began looking for gigs as a teenager. At age fifteen, he performed onstage and completely disappointed the crowd with a less-than-successful first performance. Carey ultimately succeeded, though, by maintaining a positive outlook. He is known for visualizing success, staying positive, and continuing to work hard.

                      7. They Have a Team They Can Count On.

                      High achievers know they can’t do everything themselves. There’s a time very early on when you can go it alone, but even the smallest startups need help. It’s actually easier for a company‒or a dream‒to grow more quickly if there are more people engaged in making it work.

                      Your team could even be one or two trusted individuals who have your back when things get hard. Stephen King, an iconic author, submitted one of his first novels, “Carrie”, to more than 30 publishers. He received rejection after rejection and even threw his manuscript in the trash. His wife was his team; she pulled the manuscript out of the trash and asked him to try again. “Carrie” was a hit and became a springboard to a successful writing career spanning more than 50 bestsellers.

                      High achievers are able to foster great relationships and build teams that can help them achieve what they want even faster. They tend to have an eye for talent and are good at attracting the right people to their teams.

                      If you want to be a better leader, these tips can help: How to Master Your Management Skills and Build a Strong Team

                      8. They Take Time for Themselves.

                      Amid all this hard work, multitasking and big dreaming, high achievers know they need to take care of themselves too. Getting sick in the middle of a major launch isn’t good for anyone.

                      So a lot of stories you read about people who’ve had a lot of success will note that they eat well, exercise regularly, try to get enough sleep and even occasionally take time away from the office to refuel.

                      Emma Stone, a highly esteemed actress, is open with the media about her struggle with anxiety and stress.[4] She reportedly practices self-compassion, meditation, and self-kindness to take care of herself.

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                      Successful people know that sacrifice is often required for success, but they understand what they need to do to keep their bodies and minds performing well.

                      9. They Don’t Bad-Mouth Others.

                      High achievers know better than to burn bridges. They practice the advice that you shouldn’t say bad things about others, and they usually listen more than they speak.

                      They also tend not to compare themselves to others or get envious. They’re so focused on what they want to do that they don’t stop to look around at what others are doing.

                      10. They Never Quit.

                      Tyler Perry, an accomplished director, writer, and performer, faced early failures in both his personal life and professional life. Perry pushed through these personal challenges and dealt with failure after failure with his first production. Finally, his production gained momentum, and he is now successful because he never gave up.

                      High achievers are tenacious, sticking to their plans and goals as long as they need to in order to get where they want to be. If they didn’t stick with it, they wouldn’t achieve anything.

                      Final Thoughts

                      Success and achievement are not just for the people mentioned above — they are for you, too!

                      Unlock your future by finding your passions and goals, and working hard. Pay attention to what other high achievers around you are doing, and follow suit.

                      Before you know it, you will be creating your own famous success story.

                      More Tips About Achieving Success

                      Featured photo credit: Fabrizio Verrecchia via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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