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The Causes of Procrastination And How To Conquer Them

The Causes of Procrastination And How To Conquer Them

It may be hard for some of us who are naturally organized and prompt to understand why others put off doing something or even deciding to do something until certain situations force them into action. The main reason people procrastinate like this is because they can’t appreciate the value in finishing a task right away. That’s not to say however that each and every task is enjoyable – most procrastinators put off what they don’t enjoy doing. If you’re a procrastinator, you can evaluate why you don’t enjoy doing certain things and work to conquer those reasons in an effort to conquer procrastination.

For instance, perhaps you are a perfectionist and don’t believe that you can complete a project unless it’s perfectly done. To combat this mode of assured self-defeat, you must accept that your performance is just as well done as anyone else’s. We all can only do our best at whatever we do at any time. The end result may be different, however our effort and sincerity are the same. As a result, perfection is in the eye of the beholder. If you can feel confident and proud about the effort you put into your performance, there’s no reason to criticize it as “less-than-perfect” because in essence – your performance was about as perfect as you could make it!

Maybe you procrastinate things because you feel the work involved is too complicated. The only way to conquer this situation is to divide a task into smaller pieces and then perform each piece one at time before a set deadline. For example, if you need to write a 25 paragraph essay within a period of five days, you could write five paragraphs per day instead of waiting until the last minute to write all of them. In doing so, you’ll realize that a project becomes less overwhelming the more you work on it – bit by bit.

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Conquering procrastination takes activity. And the keyword in ‘activity’ is ‘act,’ which is consequently a distinct action that we physically do or cause to happen. Now without action, ‘activity’ is useless and is a mere concept appearing on your screen or idea in your mind. But to make ‘activity’ meaningful, you must ‘act’ on it and physically move to manifest the concept into that which is tangible and that others can enjoy. By tangible, we mean a result that can be observed as a fact – not an opinion, not an idea, not a hope, and not a dream.

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Nicole Miller is a developer and member of the Association of Shareware Professionals.

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Last Updated on December 30, 2018

How to Become an Early Riser and Stay Energetic Throughout the Day

How to Become an Early Riser and Stay Energetic Throughout the Day

This article is the 2nd in the 6-part series, Lifehack Challenge: Become An Early Riser In 5 Days.

If you’d like to become an early riser, there are some things you should know before you run off to set your oft-ignored alarm clock.

So how to become an early riser?

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Here are five tips I’ve discovered to be most helpful in making the transition from erratic sleeper to early morning wizard:

1. Choose to get up before you go to sleep

You’re not very good at making decisions when you’ve just woken up. You were in the middle of a dream in which [insert celebrity crush of choice here] is serving you breakfast in bed only to be rudely awakened by the harsh tones of your alarm clock. You’re frustrated, angry, confused, and surprised. This is not the time to be making decisions about whether or not you should stay in bed! And yet, most of us leave the first decision of our day to be made in a blur of partial wakefulness.

No more! If you want to be a consistently early riser, try making your decision to rise at a specific time before you go to sleep the night before. This frees you from making the decision in the morning when you’ve just woken up. Instead of making a decision, you have only to follow through on your decision from the night before. Easier said than done? Of course. But only for the first few times. Eventually your need for raw willpower to get out of bed will diminish and you’ll be the proud parent of a new habit!

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Steve Pavlina suggests you practice getting out of bed during the day[1] to get a few of the “practice sessions” out of the way without the early morning fog in your head.

2. Have a plan for your extra time

Let’s say you’ve actually made it out of bed 2 hours before you normally would. Now what? What are you going to do with all this time you’ve discovered in your day? If you don’t have something planned to do with your extra time, you risk falling for the temptation of a “morning nap” that wipes out all the work you put into getting up.

What to do? Before you go to bed, make a quick note of what you’d like to get done during your extra hours the following day. Do you have a book to write, paper to read, or garage to clean? Make a plan for your early hours and you’ll do more than protect yourself from backsliding into bed. You’ll get things done and those results will fuel your desire to build rising early into a habit!

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3. Make rising early a social activity

While there’s obvious value in joining a Lifehack Challenge in order to get you started as an early riser, your internet buddies just don’t have enough pull to make your new habit stick in the long term. The same cannot be said for the people you spend time with as part of your early morning routine.

Sure, you could choose to read blogs for two hours every morning. But wouldn’t it be great to join an early breakfast club, running group, or play chess in the park at 5am? The more people you get involved in making your new habit a daily part of your life, the easier it’ll be to succeed.

4. Don’t use an alarm that makes you angry

If we’re all wired differently, why do we all insist on torturing ourselves with the same sort of alarm each morning? I spent years trying to wake up before my alarm went off so I wouldn’t have to hear it. I got pretty good, too. Then I started using a cellphone as my alarm clock and quickly realized that different ring tones irritated me less but worked just as well to wake me up. I now use the ring tone alarm as a back up for my bedside lamp plugged in to a timer.

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When the bright light doesn’t work, the cellphone picks up the slack and I wake up on time. The lesson learned? Experiment a bit and see what works best for you. Light, sound, smells, temperature, or even some contraption that dumps water on you might be more pleasant than your old alarm clock. Give something new a try!

5. Get your blood flowing right after waking

If you don’t have a neighbor you can pick fights with at 5am you’ll have to settle with a more mundane exercise. It doesn’t take much to get your blood flowing and chase the sleep from your head. Just pick something you don’t mind doing and go through the motions until your heart rate is up. Jumping rope, push-ups, crunches, or a few minutes of yoga are typically enough to do the trick. (Just don’t do anything your doctor hasn’t approved.)

If you live in a beautiful part of the world like me, you might want to use a bit of your early morning to go for a walk and enjoy the beauty of the world around you. If you have a coffee shop open within walking distance, dragging yourself out of bed for a cup of coffee to savor on your walk home as the world wakes around you is a wonderful experience. Try it!

More Resources for an Energetic Morning

Featured photo credit: Frank Vex via unsplash.com

Reference

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