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11 Things To Let Go Of And You’ll Be More Productive

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11 Things To Let Go Of And You’ll Be More Productive

1. Let go of believing you’re not doing your best

It’s not easy to be proud of yourself every day, especially when you are aware you can do better. In order to change your performance, you should change your viewpoint.

Try to celebrate the small achievements daily and make it a habit to acknowledge every battle you fight in personal life and work. That way not much time and effort will be left for negative attitude towards yourself.

“Of all the judgments we pass in life, none is more important than the judgment we pass on ourselves.”
Nathaniel Branden

2. Let go of anger when you make mistakes

Whoever respects their work would be not satisfied when mistakes are made, especially when they could have been avoided. But turning to anger and other negative emotions not only brings you down, but also interrupts your workflow, damaging your productivity.

You can demand a perfect outcome, but can’t expect a perfect process, unless you consider yourself an automated machine. The more you work on treating mistakes as a natural part of the process, the easier it will be to recover from them and not harm the final result.

“The perfect is the enemy of the good.” – Voltaire

3. Let go of fearing the unknown

Everything unknown can bring mystery and excitement, but it mostly terrifies you. Getting out of your comfort zone and what you know requires a lot of courage and risk taking. Often though, it’s the unknown that takes us to somewhere we never knew would enjoy so much.

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Unless you try something, you can’t decide if it was worth it. At the very worst scenario, you’ll know what to avoid in the future. Be open and appear more confident than you really are. There’s always a way to make it work, as long as you really want to.

“The only doors that open are the ones you knock on.” – Scott Marquart

4. Let go of believing you have to finish everything you start

Be it a dish you’re cooking or the university degree you are enrolled in, it seems counter intuitive not to finish it. Even when you have found something not to be a good match for your current needs and likes, you may feel guilty and insecure to drop it off and continue with a new choice.

However, it’s easier and faster to start over than to fix something that is not working. Consider it a success that you can actually determine what is not a good fit and use your experience and judgment to pick the right one.

“ Part of being a winner is knowing when enough is enough. Sometimes you have to give up the fight and walk away, and move on to something that’s more productive.” – Donald Trump

5. Let go of brainstorming at the wrong times

Tight deadlines and busy schedules leave no other choice than to brainstorm whenever you have a clear block of time in your agenda. That is fine unless you really can’t get anything out of it.

It’s better to let yourself just be for a while and when the time is right for brainstorming, you will go through it much quicker, gaining the time you “lost” by refusing to force it.

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“Being lazy does not mean that you do not create. In fact, lying around doing nothing is an important, nay crucial, part of the creative process. It is meaningless bustle that actually gets in the way of productivity. All we are really saying is, give peace a chance.” – Tom Hodgkinson

6. Let go of waiting for inspiration

Sometimes inspiration seems to be far away, no matter how much you wait for it. When you can’t afford to wait longer, start working anyway. It could be that you’re too distant with the work you need to do and don’t have a clear panorama of the project.

Avoiding getting into the technical details might be the cause of the inspiration delay too. Going into the technical side of the things, you will get prepared for what is demanded and what should and shouldn’t be done. You will most probably get inspiration when things are clear enough in your head and you know exactly what to do.

“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” – Stephen King

7. Let go of the weight of comparison

It’s impossible not to put yourself on the scale every now and then. Be it when others are doing better than you, or when you’re not doing the best you can, it’s understandable to turn your head elsewhere for comparison.

An easy way to avoid this is making sure you use every second of your time becoming the best version of yourself.

When you’re busy working on your own matters, there’s usually not enough time to deal with others. And when comparison tests come to you, knowing you’re becoming better every day will prevent you from feeling bad.

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“Personality begins where comparison leaves off. Be unique. Be memorable. Be confident. Be proud.” – Shannon L. Alder

8. Let go of avoiding reality

Too be honest, some things are so dreadful that we secretly wish for a miracle to happen, so we won’t have to go through them eventually. It might be your lucky day once in a blue moon, but for in reality, responsibilities are for the adults and there’s no way to hide from them.

Instead of spending your energy coming up with imaginary escape plans, use the time you have in the best possible way. If you don’t want to do something, make up your mind as early as possible. Let the right people know about that, along with a couple of strong reasons backing up your decision and a plan B for them to proceed further with.

“When we truly need to do is often what we most feel like avoiding.” – David Allen

9. Let go of underestimating others

The moment you assume something is too easy or others you’re competing with are not going to be great, you have set yourself up for failure. When you underestimate others, you underestimate their work. As a result, you assume you won’t have to work hard, so you automatically underestimate your own potential.

Make it a rule to always work and prepare as if you’re competing with the best of the field and you’ll see how it pays off to the outcome of your efforts.

“I never underestimate my opponent, but I never underestimate my talents.” – Hale Irwin

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10. Let go of waiting for the right moment

You want the circumstances to be perfect for executing your project so the chances for something to go wrong are minimal. You believe that if you have the right tools, money and time to do what you want, everything will go as planned. Otherwise, you believe the slightest problem will cause failure.

However, things never go as planned in life and there will always be a detail that is not right for the moment. Don’t let your passion “cool down” by waiting forever. If you want it badly enough, you will tailor your whole life to fit your project.

“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.” – Bruce Lee

11. Let go of spending time figuring out shortcuts

There could be occasions when you spend so much time trying to come up with an easier way of doing things or imagining how your life would be if everything didn’t require so much effort. But no matter how much we wish for things to be easier or faster, doing all the hard work is often the only way.

Everyone can do anything, to a certain degree. Make sure you go the extra mile, distancing yourself from the competition and eventually being proud of your project when you file it away in your portfolio folder.

“No matter how great the talent or efforts, some things just take time. You can’t produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant.” – Warren Buffett

 

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Featured photo credit: http://deathtothestockphoto.com/ via deathtothestockphoto.com

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Last Updated on October 21, 2021

How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

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How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer 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.

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More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

 

Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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