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Review on The Best Life Hacks of 2005

Review on The Best Life Hacks of 2005

The phrase Life Hacks has been used for nearly two years now, but 2005 is the year that everyone seeks to learn more hacks to increase their productivity in life. Time is just not enough and everyone wants to best use of their time. Getting Things Done was the hottest topic in 2005. During June-July 2005, Techorati reported that David Allen’s Getting Things Done book was the most talked book on the Net. Then there were introduction of new ways of managing tasks and PIM, including new online planning application. People were trying to figure out different ways of using paper organizers – even making their own paper templates and print them out whenever they run out of pages.


Paper based organizer won the popularity battle in 2005. Online organizer is still waiting for its moment when everyone has Internet access on the run. Electronic based organizer has its own place – the release of GTDTiddlyWiki created a hit around the Internet. People were amazed on how portable it is and how easy to update data because it is Wiki based.

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Then, we created some trends on the sleeping cycle. Bloggers have started to look into it, including our friend Steve Pavlina has tried and it works for him.

How to manage yourself and work with others? Management was a big topic in 2005 and it will continue its place among Life Hacks topics. No matter if you are working for others or a manager – You will be effective when you know how to communicate, motivate yourself and others, handle tasks and self-manage yourself.

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We also covered different topics that were trends around the Net – introducing some quick hacks and tips on audio book, cooking, writing, and software.

When I was compiling the best posts of 2005 in Lifehack.org, I was amazed we have already passed 700 posts mark. I am thrilled to see how far lifehack.org has gone so far. During 2005, my priority has been changed personally and profressionally and I am so happy lifehack.org is still running and supported by many people everyday.

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To select the best posts, It would be a difficult task if you ask me to select the best among those posts by hand. For now, I have selected the top 23 of the most popular posts, based on visits, trackback and comments. Here you go, the most popular lifehack.org posts of 2005:

  1. Fifty (50!) Tools which can help you in Writing
  2. Essential List and Resources on Firefox Extensions
  3. 150 Tips and Tricks on Cleaning
  4. Over 100 Quick and Easy Healthy Foods
  5. 9 Tips in Life that Lead to Happiness
  6. Essential Resources for Google Maps
  7. Fifty Essential Topics on Economics
  8. How to Download Google Video
  9. 20 Things They don’t want you to know
  10. Cooking 101: 20 Lessons to kick start your cooking skill
  11. Permission to Suck
  12. 6 Reasons on Why are You Procrastinating
  13. Getting Things Done (GTD) with Mac and Palm
  14. PocketMod: Flash Generating Paper Organizer
  15. “But I Can’t…”
  16. How to Stop Worrying
  17. GTD on Yahoo! Calendar
  18. Who needs a PDA when I’ve got paper?
  19. The Importance of Daily and Weekly Planning
  20. The Forgotten Power of Conversation
  21. Information List of Polyphasic Sleep
  22. 7 Steps to Help you Better in Writing
  23. The Passion of the Craft

This is probably the last post of the year if there aren’t any breaking news. Thank you everyone for their support in 2005! I wish all readers 2006 will be the best and most productive year. My new year resolution is to continue my journey of improving myself, and keep Lifehack.org running as long as I can. Remember the 12 self-management checklist we have introduced this week? To help you achieving your new year resolution, I encourage you to make a public commitment here by dropping down into the comment below, if you feel comfortable on doing so.

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Lifehack.org will see you next year!

More by this author

Leon Ho

Founder of Lifehack

Book summary: A Technique for Producing Ideas Finding Your Inside Time 10 Ways to Extend Laptop Battery Life Bob Parsons on His 16 Rules for Survival Free note taking templates and techniques

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1 How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators 2 The Lifehack Show Episode 6: On Friendship and Belonging 3 Why Do I Procrastinate? 5 Root Causes And How To Tackle Them 4 The Power of Tapping into Your Hidden Creativity 5 How to Become an Early Riser and Stay Energetic Throughout the Day

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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