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Those Who Don’t Feel Like Working Will Become More Productive After Reading This

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Those Who Don’t Feel Like Working Will Become More Productive After Reading This

There are some days when you don’t feel like working, but you still want to do something. You want to be productive. You want to get things done. You want to feel accomplished!

The next time the “no-work bug” strikes, try these 12 ways of getting things done.

1. Rewrite or edit your to-do list.

When was the last time you took a long and hard look at your to-do list? It might be time for some much needed weeding! There might be items on your list that have already been completed and/or you don’t need to finish, and as such can be removed. Freshen and simplify your list to a bare minimum of tasks to be completed within the next day and week.

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2. Take some much needed exercise.

People often put off exercise in lieu of doing work or just normal everyday activities. There’s no time like the present to give your body and mind a break. Go for a run, do some yoga, take a walk, do some stretches, get moving! Alternatively, if you’ve had your eye on a new coed sports team in your town, do some online research and sign up.

3. Choose a juicy or satisfying reward for your work.

Make plans to reward yourself when you complete a landmark or special project at work. This could be as simple as spending some time pinning images of your dream wedding on Pinterest, taking a good soak in the tub, buying yourself and a friend tickets for that new movie you’ve been meaning to see, or booking a special romantic dinner for you and your loved one at a fancy restaurant.

4. Backup your computer or website files.

It’s always a good idea to have backups of all your files in case of an emergency or if your system(s) unexpectedly crash. You might even consider entering in regular backup sessions into your computer so you won’t forget about backing up data ever again.

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5. Organize your workspace.

Take a moment to declutter and clean up your desk area. File away those file folders that are laying around your desk, recycle papers you no longer need, delete old emails, organize your office supplies, clean out your office cabinet and so on.

6. Listen to uplifting music.

Unplug yourself from a frantic day and plug into some soothing tunes. Try classical, jazz, or instrumental music to refresh and raise your spirits. Close your eyes, relax and really listen to the music.

7. Call a friend.

You’ve been meaning to call one of your friends for a long time, why not take moment to reconnect? Pick up the phone, log on to Skype or Google Hangouts to find out what they’ve been up to and fill them in on what you’ve been working on as well.

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8. Prepare dinner ideas for this week.

Ah, another day, another dinner! Grab a notepad and pen and start jotting down ideas for this week’s dinners. You’ll have one less thing to worry about, plus you can easily create a list of items you’ll need to pick up from the grocery store.

9. Make sure your smartphone apps and computer software are up to date.

If you don’t already have automatic updates installed, set your apps and software to automatically update themselves. If apps or software have to be reinstalled or updated manually, take a minute to do so.

10. Remove 10 items from your closet.

You don’t have to pull 10 items per se, but choose a small number and stick to it. Look for clothes you haven’t worn in years, as well as clothes that no longer fit or are permanently soiled, stained or damaged.

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11. Brainstorm ideas for a new or current project.

Jot down, draw, or record ideas you have for a current or new project. Don’t worry about organizing or ranking your ideas, just let your thoughts flow.

12. Confirm appointments for later in the week.

Check your calendar and either call, email or text to confirm your appointments and meetings. Your contacts will thank you (maybe they need to reschedule a meeting?) and your schedule will be up to date.

Are you taking a break from work today? How are you going to be productive? Leave a comment below.

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Rashelle Isip

Blogger, Consultant, and Author

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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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