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Want To Stop Procrastinating? You Should Fine Tune Your Mindset In This Way

Want To Stop Procrastinating? You Should Fine Tune Your Mindset In This Way

While procrastination is thought to be a prominent barrier to growth and long-term development, it can also have a debilitating impact on our everyday lives. After all, procrastination prevents individuals from completing tasks that must be done, whether they are important in their nature or regular, household chores such as ironing.

To understand the impact of procrastination further, let’s consider how such an outlook may be detrimental to your long-term finances. If you delay the repayment of monthly or ad-hoc bills, for example, you can quickly accumulate debts and create a scenarios where you are unable to claim credit in the future.

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How to Fine Tune Your Mindset and Avoid Procrastination

While the potential impact of procrastination is clear, the question that remains is how can such a mindset be avoided? The key to overcoming procrastination lies with initially understanding its triggers, before creating a solution that tackles this issue directly.

In many instances, procrastination is caused by the complexities of long-term planning and the way in which this can overwhelm the human mind. So even if you have clearly-defined goals, attempting to plot a long-term growth course and achieve your objectives over time can be extremely challenging.

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The obvious solution to this is to compartmentalize tasks and larger-scale projects into manageable portions, but your execution is key to ensuring that this is successful. You therefore need to chose a strategy that is easy to implement and capable of delivering measurable returns.

Why You Should Think Only in the Frame of 24 Hours

One strategy that should be recommended is to think only in the frame of 24 hours, as this is an excellent way of compartmentalizing goals and the individuals that are required to realize them. This not only negates the stress, anxiety and confusion that long-term planning can cause, but it also improves your daily productivity and ensures that objectives are easier to achieve.

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This strategy could not be easier to implement, either, regardless of the long-term goals that you are trying to achieve. Let’s say that you looking to lose a predetermined amount of weight in two months, for example, and want to create a plan that can drive success. Starting with the first 24 hours, you set the manageable goal of eating as healthily as possible and enjoying as much exercise as your schedules allows during this time.

You then repeat this process every day, adhering to the same basic objectives for the duration of the two months. At the end of each day you spend 10 minutes considering your priorities for tomorrow, while at no point do you think about the following day or the weeks ahead. In terms of measuring your progress, simply weigh yourself and mark down any losses that you have achieved each day in a journal.

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How to Implement This Strategy

When used correctly, this strategy can be extremely successful and enable you to create a wealth of positive habits. Its most important advantage is that it negates the often overwhelming nation of longer-term planning, helping you to maintain clearer thought processes and enhance your daily productivity. Above all else, it eradicates much of the pressure associated with goal setting and accomplishment, which can cause widespread procrastination and doubt.

In terms of implementing this strategy, you should remain true to its structure and maintain a rigid focus on each, 24-hour period. If you find that you are not achieving initial success, you should look to set more specific goals within each time period and create actionable steps rather than generic ones. This could enhance your daily productivity further, while also making it easier to complete everyday objectives.

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

 

Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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