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10 Lies Unproductive People Tell Themselves That You Should Avoid

10 Lies Unproductive People Tell Themselves That You Should Avoid

Trying to be your most productive self? Yay! Good for you.

But sometimes that’s easier said than done. Well, let others be your guide on what not to do. Here are 10 lies that unproductive people tell themselves. Avoid telling yourself these lies and you’ll be all set to get some real work done.

1. “I’ll do it in an hour.”

As soon as you tell yourself that you’re going to do something later, it’s easy to keep on doing it. Once you have a task, try to tackle it as soon as you can. Try the 50/10 rule: work intensely for 50 minutes and then take a 10 minute break. This ensures that you get a lot of work done without burning out too quickly.

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2. “I’m too tired.”

This is possibly the oldest excuse in the book. I’m guilty of using this excuse myself, but often I’m not actually too tired; it’s easy to confuse laziness and sleepiness. If you’re truly feeling tired and it’s the middle of the day, try drinking some coffee or taking a power nap. Otherwise, try to look past your “tiredness” and power through to getting some work done.

3. “Maybe someone else will do it.”

Take responsibility for the tasks that you need completed. This one is a big problem with tasks that are perhaps traded around among a group of people, such as taking out the trash in your office’s kitchen. Just get it done and everyone, including yourself, will thank you later.

4. “What if I don’t do it right?”

You’ll never know if you’re wrong if you don’t try first. Fear of messing up is not going to get you anywhere, so try to power ahead and ignore that nagging doubt. And if you do mess up a little bit, don’t worry about it! Just go for it and fix your mistakes later if you make any.

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5. “What if I fail?”

Fear of failure is even worse than a fear of making a few little mistakes. Yes, it can be really embarrassing to fail. But chances are, you won’t. If you’re really worried, just ask someone for a little guidance. It’s likely that that person will be happy to help.

6. “This won’t be my best work.”

If everyone were worried about not doing their best, nothing would ever get done. That’s the point of something being your “best work.” In order for it to be the best, other things have to be less stellar. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t give it a go and try your best.

7. “Now it’ll be late.”

Better late than never, right? Not doing work should not be an option. Even if your work is late, face the consequences of that and move on. You shouldn’t let that hold you back from finishing a task that’s given to you, especially if it’s at your job. Keep in mind, though, that you shouldn’t let lateness become a habit. Try to keep on top of your work, and soon timeliness will become second nature.

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8. “What’s in it for me?”

Honestly, your satisfaction should come from a job well done. It’s hard to look past that sometimes, because many people today rely on praise or other rewards to encourage them to do their work in a timely manner. However, try to find happiness in other aspects of your work and have the rewards be internal.

9. “I shouldn’t start until I have all the pieces of the puzzle.”

You can make really good progress without having all the information you need. Focus on getting just a little work done and work on the task as more pieces of the puzzle come your way. This is also a good way to complete an assignment without really feeling like you’re tackling a big project. It automatically cuts things into bite-sized pieces.

10. “I’m not _____ enough.”

Smart enough, clever enough, fast enough, good enough, etc. None of this is true. Just because you’re not the best at something doesn’t mean you can’t do a good job if you work hard enough. So just give it a go and stop putting it off!

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Featured photo credit: Graham Reznick via flickr.com

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Maggie Heath

Maggie is a passionate writer who blogs about communication and lifestyle on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on March 31, 2020

How To Break the Procrastination Cycle

How To Break the Procrastination Cycle

How often do you find yourself procrastinating? Do you wish you could procrastinate less? We all know how debilitating procrastination can make us feel, and it seems to be a challenge we all share. Procrastination is one of the biggest hindrances to moving forward and doing the things that we want to in life.

There are many reasons why you might be procrastinating, and sometimes, it is really difficult to pinpoint why. You might be procrastinating because of something related to the past, present, or future (they are all intertwined), or it could be as simple as biological factors. Whatever the reason, most of us follow a cycle when we procrastinate, from the moment we decide to do something to actually getting it done, or in this case, not getting it done.

The Vicious Procrastination Cycle

For some reason, it helps to understand that we all go through the same thing, even though we often feel like the only person in the world who struggles with this. Do you resonate with the cycle below?

1. Feeling Eager and Energized

This is when you commit to taking a new action or getting something done. You are feeling confident and optimistic that, this time round, you will do it!

2. Apprehension Starts to Come Up

The beginning stages of optimism are starting to fade. There is still time, but you haven’t done anything yet, and you start to feel uneasy. You realize that you actually have to do something to get it done, and that good intentions are not enough.

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3. Still No Action

More time has passed. You still haven’t taken any action and probably have a lot of excuses why. You start to panic a little and wish you had started sooner. Your panic starts to turn into frustration and perhaps even irritability.

4. Flicker of Hope Left

You can still make it; there is a little time left and you ponder how you are going to get it done. The rush you get from leaving your task until the last minute gives you a flicker of hope. There is still time; you can do this!

5. Fading Quickly

Your hope starts to quickly fade as you try desperately to understand why you just can’t do this. You may feel desperate and have thoughts like, “What is wrong with me?” and “Why do I ALWAYS do this?” You feel discouraged, or perhaps angry and resentful at yourself.

6. Vow to Yourself

Once the feeling of anger or disappointment disappears, you most likely swear to yourself that this will never happen again; that this was the last time and next time will be different.

Does this sound like you? Is the next time different? I understand the devastating effect that procrastination has on many lives, and for some, it is a really serious problem. You also have, on the other hand, those who procrastinate but it doesn’t affect them in any way. You know whether it is affecting you or not and whether it undermines your results.

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How to Break the Procrastination Cycle

Unless you break the cycle, you will keep reinforcing it!

To break the cycle, you need to change the sequence of events. Here is my suggestion on how you can effectively break the vicious cycle you are in!

1. Feeling Eager and Energized

This is when you commit to taking a new action or getting something done. You are feeling confident and optimistic that, this time round, you will do it! The first stage is always the same.

2. Plan

Thinking alone will not help; you need to plan your actions. I always put my deadlines one or two days in advance because you know Murphy’s Law! Take into consideration everything that you need to do, how long it will take you, and what you will need to get it done, then plan the individual steps.

3. Resistance

Just because you planned doesn’t mean that this time is guaranteed to be different. You will most likely still feel the resistance so expect this. This stage is key to identifying why you are procrastinating, so when you feel the resistance, try to identify it immediately.

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What is causing you to hesitate in this moment? What do you feel?  Write them down if it helps.

4. Confront Those Feelings

Once you have identified what could possibly be holding you back, for example, fear of failure, lack of motivation, etc. You need to work on lessening the resistance.

Ask yourself, “What do I need to do to move forward? What would make it easier?” If you find that you fear something, overcoming that fear is not something that will happen overnight — keep this in mind.

5. Put Results Before Comfort

You need to keep moving forward and put results before comfort. Take action, even if it is only for 10 minutes. The key is to break the cycle and not reinforce it. You have more control that you think.

6. Repeat

Repeat steps 3-5 until you achieve what you first set out to do.

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Final Thoughts

Change doesn’t happen overnight, and if you have some deeper underlying reasons why you procrastinate, it may take longer to finally break the cycle.

If procrastination is holding you back in life, it is better to deal with it now than to deal with the negative consequences later on. It is not a question of comfort anymore; it is a question of results. What is more important to you?

Learn more about how to stop procrastinating here: What Is Procrastination and How to Stop It (The Complete Guide)

Featured photo credit: Luke Chesser via unsplash.com

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