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10 Wrong Moves That Stop You From Finishing What You’ve Started

10 Wrong Moves That Stop You From Finishing What You’ve Started
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Procrastination is the easiest thing to do because you’re not doing anything! Get proactive and get to work! Start marking things off your To Do list when you read these 10 wrong moves that stop you from finishing what you’ve started.

1. You’re choosing the wrong starting point.

You have a daunting project looming over you, but you haven’t started yet. You just don’t know how to tackle it! You’re probably intimidated by the project because you’re choosing the wrong starting point. Look at your project from different viewpoints, and see if there might be a new way to approach it. You just might find a creative way that inspires you to get started, and you’ll finish your task in no time!

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    2. You’re striving for perfection.

    You want your project to be great, and that’s an understandable goal. But don’t strive for perfection. Do the best job you can do, of course, but if you want everything to be perfect, you might start worrying that it won’t be perfect. And that might keep you from starting in the first place. Devote yourself to the project and work as hard as you can, and you’ll get results you can be proud of.

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    3. You have a fear of failure.

    If you’re striving for perfection, then you probably have a fear of failure. You’re worried that your project won’t be good enough and you’ll be punished or ridiculed. Don’t even think about failure! The only way you can fail is to not do the project at all. Tackle your task and do the best job you can, and there’s no way you will fail.

    4. You underestimate the task.

    When you get your project, sit down and brainstorm. Think about different approaches and different goals. Think of how long it will take you to complete, and be realistic. Don’t underestimate the task! Don’t think you can complete it at the last minute. Break the task into smaller projects and set deadlines for yourself. Make sure you’re meeting each mini-deadline so you won’t miss your final due date.

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    5. You set multidirectional goals.

    You’ve studied your tasks and set deadlines and goals, but are your goals straightforward? Don’t set multidirectional goals that might lead you astray. It’s good to try different approaches to your project, but don’t explore a different path that will keep you from reaching your goals.

    6. You’re not making decisions.

    Be proactive with your project! Don’t get stuck on something just because you can’t decide what to do. Spending too much time pondering the possibilities and the outcomes will make your project stall, and your inspiration will fade right along with it. Be decisive! Make decisions so your project will keep moving forward.

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    7. You’re not allocating time.

    Talk about procrastination! Not devoting time to your project is just like procrastinating. Make sure you’re giving yourself enough time to complete the tasks you’ve assigned yourself until you finish. You’ll have plenty of time to relax and pat yourself on the back when you finish the project, so don’t waste time doing nothing now.

    8. You’re not moving forward.

    All of these steps will help you move forward. Make decisions, set goals, be realistic about what you want to achieve and what you can achieve. This will give you inspiration and drive to complete your project, and have fun along the way!

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    9. You’re not focusing.

    Your project is in the works, but you’re not making any progress. You’re devoting time, you’re making decisions, you have goals, but nothing is working. Are you focusing on your project? You might not be devoting your entire self to the purpose. Make sure you focus on your project so it will go smoother and you’ll feel more connected to the whole thing.

    10. You don’t have an end in sight.

    You have a task to complete but you don’t know how it’s going to turn out. That’s OK at the start, but make sure you envision the end goal. It’s the light at the end of the tunnel! You need to have a general idea of how your project is going to turn out so you know what you’re striving for.

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    Last Updated on July 21, 2021

    The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

    The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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    No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

    Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

    Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

    A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

    Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

    In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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    From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

    A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

    For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

    This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

    The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

    That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

    Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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    The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

    Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

    But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

    The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

    The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

    A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

    For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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    But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

    If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

    For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

    These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

    For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

    How to Make a Reminder Works for You

    Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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    Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

    Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

    My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

    Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

    I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

    More on Building Habits

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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    Reference

    [1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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