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3 Weird Productivity Tricks You Probably Haven’t Tried Yet

3 Weird Productivity Tricks You Probably Haven’t Tried Yet

We all have to deal with the same 24 hours in a day, and we’re all looking for ways to squeeze more life and more results out of that time. These are three of the little “hacks” that have worked for me.

My weird productivity tricks are a little unconventional, but I urge you to give them a shot and see if they have any impact.

1. Use a treadmill desk

I begin each workday with a 3-4 mile walk, but instead of losing an hour for a leisurely stroll through the neighborhood, I’m getting things done right away.

With a treadmill desk, you walk at a slow enough pace (1-2mph) to not break a sweat or breathe heavily, but it has the effect of getting your blood flowing and your metabolism going first thing in the morning.

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Where the productivity element comes into play is in the physical and mental momentum you build by walking. The very nature of a treadmill forces you to consciously keep moving, and that inertia can be powerful. It takes a concerted effort to get off the belt, like a total change in direction.

You can cheaply build your own treadmill desk from parts on Craigslist (mine cost $250 to assemble), or go with one of the premade models which will obviously be a better aesthetic fit in a professional office. A top-selling model is the LifeSpan TR1200-DT5, available on Amazon.

2. Track your time

By tracking your time, I don’t mean messing around with egg timers or Pomodoro apps. Instead, keep track of how long you spend on each particular task.

This has the psychological effect of “game-ifying” your work time. Sometimes simply knowing that the clock is ticking is motivation enough to try and see how efficiently you can get something done.

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One of my favorite tools for this is a free (and premium) time-tracking app called Toggl. How it works is you type in the task you’re working on and hit the start button. Then stop the timer when you’re done.

It’s a glorified stopwatch, but comes with some interesting reporting features as well so you can see what tasks eat up the most of your day, how your performance improves over time, and maybe even opportunities for delegation.

Tom Morkes of Insurgent Publishing recently published a report on the Toggl blog reporting a 238% increase in productivity using this system.

3. Take cold showers

I promised you a weird list, right? Well, I haven’t had a warm shower in over four months and my friends and family definitely think I’ve gone off the deep end.

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But here’s the thing: there’s something about the mental challenge of having that cold water hit you that motivates you to seize the crap out of the rest of your day.

Oh, it’s uncomfortable, to be sure. You’ll shiver and swear (I know I did!), but you’ll feel alive. The cold water turns the shower from a place of mindless relaxation to a place of conscious awareness. Why am I doing this to myself? What other challenging things do I need to accomplish today? They’ll probably seem like a piece of cake after this.

Maybe it’s a placebo effect, but even so, if the results are a more motivated and productive self, isn’t it worth a shot?

Give it a try for week or take the 30 day cold shower challenge and let me know how you feel!

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Your turn!

Do you have any “out-of-the-box,” weird productivity tricks that work for you? Please share in the comments below.

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.imgix.net

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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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