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The 4 Things I Do Consistently to Be More Productive

The 4 Things I Do Consistently to Be More Productive


    No matter what you do, doesn’t it seem like there are not enough hours in the day?

    That’s where I was a couple years ago. I used to pull all-nighters, and was working 7 days a week to finish all my tasks. I simply had no time to spare.

    That’s when I came across David Allen’s book “Making It All Work”. It totally opened my eyes. It helped me understand that life was not about working more but about working productively. From that point onward, I started fixing my habits and developing certain skills that would make me as productive as possible.

    The strategies which I learned along the way are what I hope to share with you today.

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    Here are the 4 main things I do consistently to be more productive.:

    1. I Don’t Multitask

    The greatest “executioner of my productivity” was that I had convinced myself that I was multitasking — and therefore was doing work faster.

    Was I ever wrong.

    Multitasking is not a real thing. What you are really doing when you are (apparently) multitasking is going back and forth between two separate tasks. So rather than giving 100% to one task at a time you are going back and forth between tasks, giving each task a monumentally less amount of focus. This simply means that you end up doing both tasks at less than 100% — and you gain a whole lot of stress and tension.

    Multitasking: A nice way to say that you’re doing many different things at the same time. And since no one can divide by zero, that means you’re doing many different things half-assed. — UrbanDictionary.com

    2. Break Things Down

    Okay…so imagine a really large meatball. Got it? Good.

    According to animal instincts, the best way to eat it is to put the entire thing in your mouth and chew. Do that and you will be chewing and swallowing for the next 10 minutes.

    Sensibly and productively speaking, the best and fastest way to eat the meatball is to cut it into smaller pieces so that you can take in as much as your mouth can handle, and swallow it in less than no time.

    This same rule applies to life.

    You are only able to handle so much at one time. If you try to take on a task too big all at once, you will only get clogged up and slowed down. But if you break it down into more manageable pieces, you’ll find that you will be able to finish the task a lot faster.

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    “Break things down into little steps and they become possible. Repeat them, and they become learned.” – David Landowne

    3. Prioritize Your Tasks

    You are craving a chocolate bar…or a client is waiting for your proposal.

    Which one is more important?

    Unfortunately, thousands of people find themselves in similar situations every day. You have to learn to automatically prioritize things that are more important. This way rather than wasting energy and time, you will focus on these particular things and get them done faster. This will make you more stress-free and will greatly boost your productivity.

    4. No Distractions

    Sometimes I wonder how much time people end up wasting by:

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    • Checking email
    • Checking their cellphones
    • Idly chatting with their colleagues
    • Surfing the web

    All of these things (among others) will make you very unproductive. So when it gets down to finally getting work done, turn off or remove all distractions. Just get rid of them.

    “Work is hard. Distractions are plentiful. And time is short.” – Adam Hochschild

    (Photo credit: The Word Productivity via Shutterstock)

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    The 4 Things I Do Consistently to Be More Productive

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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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