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7 Tips To Avoid Procrastination And Boost Your Productivity

7 Tips To Avoid Procrastination And Boost Your Productivity

Procrastination, many people say, is bad. You waste time. Time which you would have been better spent finishing the project and then doing something you actually wanted to do later.

The problem is that the thing you need to be doing is boring or difficult, and that computer game/chat/origami puppet is a lot more fun. Here’s the thing: procrastination is bad, but understandable. Most tasks that we have to do: bookkeeping, reading papers, homework, a ten page letter to a client, are boring. But how can you avoid the trap of procrastination? If your attention fades, how can you refocus?

Still, there are ways and we have listed some of the best advice here:

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1. Set yourself a challenge

Set a timer and tell yourself that you have to focus on this task, and this task only for the next – whatever time you think you need. Promise yourself a reward/treat at the end. If that is too much pressure do, try easing yourself into it.

2. Make a schedule

Make a schedule in which you focus on the task for half an hour, then focus on something you enjoy for 15 minutes. Then, if that works, try to lengthen the time you focus on work with 10 minutes each week, until you can focus at-least two hours non stop. You can continue this to whatever stretch of time you want, but if you are planning to go beyond three hours in one, go take a screen break every fifteen minutes: look around the room, blink, change posture and refocus.

3. Make a list

Make a list of everything you want to do and try to get as much as possible ticked off in one day. Don’t try to get everything done in a rush, just make sure you are able to tick of at least three items each day. Place the list on your desk, so you’ll be reminded of it throughout the day. Start with the most difficult task, because that’s the one that probably started to make you procrastinate in the first place.

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4. Take a walk

Take a walk instead of replacing your work with other cyberspace things that still keep you in front of a screen. Staying inside in front of a computer doesn’t help you because you are, in many ways still doing the same thing: sitting in your work space, typing at your desk. Completely clear your mind with a no TV/Cyberspace break. If you don’t want to walk meditate or read a book.

5. Hide the distractions

Clear your desktop, put all the “fun” stuff in a map and put that in another map. Make as much maps as you need to make it less tempting to go for a “quick” Twitter/Facebook break. Put your phone in your closet or a drawer, this will also free you from some temptation.

6. Stop focusing on perfecting tiny details

Write your essay or whatever it is that needs doing in a rough version first and edit it later. With the big load done, the small load seems less of a challenge.

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7. Give yourself a treat

Reward yourself for every task you complete: give yourself a cookie or chocolate. You can also “bribe” yourself: promising that you can have something special if you finish your weekly tasks without getting distracted.

Conclusion:

So remember, procrastination can easily be avoided. You just need to:

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  • Challenge yourself
  • Focus
  • Clear your mind
  • Avoid distractions

If you do this, not only will your tasks get done much faster, you will also find that in the end you will have more free time to spend doing the things you like.

Featured photo credit: www.verywell.com via fthmb.tqn.com

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Dannii Cohen

PsyD in Psychology, professional counsellor, life coach and self-help expert

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Last Updated on January 3, 2020

The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

Are you waiting for life events to turn out the way you want so that you can feel more positive about your life? Do you find yourself having pre-conditions to your sense of well-being, thinking that certain things must happen for you to be happier? Do you think there is no way that your life stresses can make you anything other than “stressed out” and that other people just don’t understand?  If your answer is “yes” to any of these questions, you might find yourself lingering in the land of negativity for too long!

The following are some tips to keep positive no matter what comes your way. This post will help you stop looking for what psychologists call “positivity” in all the wrong places!  Here are the ten essential habits of positive people.

1. Positive people don’t confuse quitting with letting go.

Instead of hanging on to ideas, beliefs, and even people that are no longer healthy for them, they trust their judgement to let go of negative forces in their lives.  Especially in terms of relationships, they subscribe to The Relationship Prayer which goes:

 I will grant myself the ability to trust the healthy people in my life … 

To set limits with, or let go of, the negative ones … 

And to have the wisdom to know the DIFFERENCE!

 2.  Positive people don’t just have a good day – they make a good day.

Waiting, hoping and wishing seldom have a place in the vocabulary of positive individuals. Rather, they use strong words that are pro-active and not reactive. Passivity leads to a lack of involvement, while positive people get very involved in constructing their lives. They work to make changes to feel better in tough times rather than wish their feelings away.

3. For the positive person, the past stays in the past.

Good and bad memories alike stay where they belong – in the past where they happened. They don’t spend much time pining for the good ol’ days because they are too busy making new memories now. The negative pulls from the past are used not for self-flagellation or unproductive regret, but rather productive regret where they use lessons learned as stepping stones towards a better future.

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4. Show me a positive person and I can show you a grateful person.

The most positive people are the most grateful people.  They do not focus on the potholes of their lives.  They focus on the pot of gold that awaits them every day, with new smells, sights, feelings and experiences.  They see life as a treasure chest full of wonder.

5. Rather than being stuck in their limitations, positive people are energized by their possibilities.

Optimistic people focus on what they can do, not what they can’t do.  They are not fooled to think that there is a perfect solution to every problem, and are confident that there are many solutions and possibilities.  They are not afraid to attempt new solutions to old problems, rather than spin their wheels expecting things to be different this time.  They refuse to be like Charlie Brown expecting that this time Lucy will not pull the football from him!

6. Positive people do not let their fears interfere with their lives!

Positive people have observed that those who are defined and pulled back by their fears never really truly live a full life. While proceeding with appropriate caution, they do not let fear keep them from trying new things. They realize that even failures are necessary steps for a successful life. They have confidence that they can get back up when they are knocked down by life events or their own mistakes, due to a strong belief in their personal resilience.

7. Positive people smile a lot!

When you feel positive on the inside it is like you are smiling from within, and these smiles are contagious. Furthermore, the more others are with positive people, the more they tend to smile too! They see the lightness in life, and have a sense of humor even when it is about themselves. Positive people have a high degree of self-respect, but refuse to take themselves too seriously!

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8. People who are positive are great communicators.

They realize that assertive, confident communication is the only way to connect with others in everyday life.  They avoid judgmental, angry interchanges, and do not let someone else’s blow up give them a reason to react in kind. Rather, they express themselves with tact and finesse.  They also refuse to be non-assertive and let people push them around. They refuse to own problems that belong to someone else.

9. Positive people realize that if you live long enough, there are times for great pain and sadness.

One of the most common misperceptions about positive people is that to be positive, you must always be happy. This can not be further from the truth. Anyone who has any depth at all is certainly not happy all the time.  Being sad, angry, disappointed are all essential emotions in life. How else would you ever develop empathy for others if you lived a life of denial and shallow emotions? Positive people do not run from the gamut of emotions, and accept that part of the healing process is to allow themselves to experience all types of feelings, not only the happy ones. A positive person always holds the hope that there is light at the end of the darkness.  

10. Positive person are empowered people – they refuse to blame others and are not victims in life.

Positive people seek the help and support of others who are supportive and safe.They limit interactions with those who are toxic in any manner, even if it comes to legal action and physical estrangement such as in the case of abuse. They have identified their own basic human rights, and they respect themselves too much to play the part of a victim. There is no place for holding grudges with a positive mindset. Forgiveness helps positive people become better, not bitter.

How about you?  How many habits of positive people do you personally find in yourself?  If you lack even a few of these 10 essential habits, you might find that the expected treasure at the end of the rainbow was not all that it was cracked up to be. How could it — if you keep on bringing a negative attitude around?

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I wish you well in keeping positive, because as we all know, there is certainly nothing positive about being negative!

Featured photo credit: Janaína Castelo Branco via flickr.com

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