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7 Brilliant Tips to Handle The Hard Tasks

7 Brilliant Tips to Handle The Hard Tasks

Accomplishing anything worthwhile in life is difficult. You’re a human being, though, and no task is impossible to us. Quitting alcohol takes twelve steps, but most of them are proprietary to AA. If you want to accomplish a truly difficult task, you need only half the steps. Here’s how to handle the hard tasks.

1. Brainstorm

Thinking is critical to our survival as a species, and creativity is much more useful than brute force in the wild. That single trait of invention is what separated early man from the animal kingdom, and led to our eventual dominance of this planet.

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When you start any project, sit down and brainstorm every idea possible. Let your thoughts and ideas flow freely; it’s during this brainstorming period that your most critical ideas are created.

2. Plan

Once you have a pile of raw ideas, it’s time to formulate a concrete plan. This plan is a step-by-step guide to each phase of your impossible task. Visualizing the realistic and practical completion of your project will lead you in the direction of actually completing it. Pretend you’re a Goonie, but you can draw your own map to One-Eyed Willy’s treasure.

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3. Commit

A plan is just a plan until you execute it. Your commitment to the plans you make is what separates success from failure. You know your plan is solid, so commit to it. It’s only by following your plan that you see the forks in the road and other obstacles you’ll encounter. Get out there and do it!

4. Relax

Sure, everything is riding on this one project. If you complete it, you’ll get a promotion, a raise, move up, buy a home, settle down and live happily ever after. If you fail, you’ll go broke, lose everything and fall from grace. It’s ok – everything in life is life or death. That’s just how life works, and we’re all going through it.

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Close your eyes. Sit up straight or lay down for a moment. Relax your body and focus on slowly breathing in…and out…and in…and out…and relax.

5. Overcome

Every path has obstacles, but when you keep pushing, you eventually overcome. The U.S. was originally settled on the East coast, but pioneers blazed a trail out west. Think about how terrifying it must’ve been to have discovered California or trekked out west during the Gold Rush.

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No matter what they hit you with, you shall overcome. Continue to get up and fight every time you’re knocked down. When people laugh at you, laugh back. If you keep your nose to the grindstone long enough, you shall overcome.

6. Enjoy

Winning or losing in life isn’t about the scoreboard. When you’re in the game, it’s easy to focus on the time, penalties, and score, but at the end of the day, you won’t look back on your life and focus on those things – they just won’t matter.

What matters at the end is that you enjoyed your time. You have very precious few moments in life, and those difficult times are the ones that define who you are. At 33, I’ve lived through some very hard times, and each one taught me a valuable lesson, introduced me to a memorable person, and made me a better person for having been through it.

Whenever you hit a really difficult time, don’t let yourself be overcome with stress. Instead think about the successful you in the future, laying on your deathbed. Think about the small toddler you once were. Both of those people would love to be in the position you’re currently in, no matter how bad it is. Keep your head up…for them.

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Last Updated on April 6, 2020

15 Best Productivity Hacks for Procrastinators

15 Best Productivity Hacks for Procrastinators

Let me guess.

You should be doing something else rather than reading this article. But due to some unknown force of nature, you decided to procrastinate by reading an article about how to hack procrastination. You deserve a pat on the back.

Fortunately, procrastination is not a disease. It’s just a mindset that can be changed, however, here are some productivity tips you need to start getting work done:

First, you need to acknowledge that procrastinating is an unhealthy habit. Not only you’re prioritizing unimportant things, basically, nothing gets done. Still unsure if you’re a procrastinator? Check out this article: Types of Procrastination (And How To Fix Procrastination And Start Doing)

Second, your commitment to change is very important. You should be physically, emotionally, and mentally determined to change this habit. If not, then you’ll just succumb to the tempting lure of doing other things rather than your tasks or chores.

Here are sthe best productivity hacks to improve productivity and keep yourself from procrastinating at work:

1. Give (10+2)*5 a Try

Let’s start with a classic but very effective hack called (10+2)*5 created by Merlin Mann,[1] author of 43Folders.com. Don’t worry. This is not a complicated Mathematical formula you need to solve.

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The (10+2)*5 simply means 10 minutes work + 2 minutes break multiplied by 5, completing 1 hour. It is crucial to stick with the time limits and not skipping work and break schedules. The point of this is for you to create a jam-packed routine of work and break schedules. The result? You will eventually skip your break schedules.

2. Use Red and Blue More Often

Clean your desk and remove things that might distract you. According to a Science Daily study[2] about which colors improve brain performance, red was found out to increase attention to details while blue sparks creativity. Surrounding your workplace with these colors not only benefits your brain, it’s also pleasing to the eye.

3. Create a Break Agenda

List all the things you want to do on your break, be it surfing the web, checking your emails, snack time, taking selfies, Facebook/Twitter—everything.

Like the (10+2)*5 hack, squeeze these in between work time but the difference is you schedule these activities for ONLY 20 minutes. Eventually, you’ll take your break minutes wisely. You’re finishing tasks while sidetracking to doing the things you enjoy.

4. Set a Timetable for Your Tasks

Like any other habits, procrastinating is a tough wall to break. Replace this habit with another habit. When you’re assigned a task, set a timetable for each step. Let’s say you have a big research task. Here’s a sample timetable:

9:00 – 9:10 am – Set up all your tools, browser tabs, emails, coffee, etc..
9:10 – 10:00 am – Internet research
10:00 – 10:45 am – Look through existing files
10:45 – 11:00 am – Break time!
11:00 – 12:00 pm – Outline the research report

Deadlines are the best hack for getting things done. Setting a specific time to finish a task creates time pressure even if the deadline has passed.

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5. Take It Outside!

Do yourself a favor and don’t ruin the comfy vibe of your home. If you need to work on a stressful project, do it in a library or coffee shop. You’ll never finish it anyway. Your cozy sofa and toasty bed will just lure you into napping yourself to doom.

6. Become Productively Lazy

Instead of finding all sorts of ways to unproductively procrastinate, use your habit to look for shortcuts and new ways to finish your tasks. Staple multiple papers at a time or master the 3-second t-shirt folding technique. A strong drive combined with laziness sometimes bring out the productive and creative side you never knew you have!

7. Assign a ‘Task Deputy’

It could be your colleague, your supervisor, or your significant other, anyone who has the unforgiving guts to reprimand you when you procrastinate. You could go the extra mile by paying up unfinished tasks or times you open your Facebook or watch a funny cat video on YouTube. Let’s see how five bucks every time you procrastinate will change you.

8. Consider a Gadget-Free Desk

According to a study by Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, average users check on their phones 150 times per day and having your phone just an elbow away just creates sizzle to this habit.[3]

Removing mobile devices and gadgets allows you to focus on your work without the constant interruption from notifications, calls, and text messages. It eliminates the very distracting ambiance and the urge to unlock your phone just because.

9. Prepping the Night

Before hitting the sack to oblivion, prepare everything you’ll need the next day. This will probably take you 15 minutes tops, saving you more time for coffee in the morning.

Spin class at am? Pack up your gym clothes, shoes, socks, etc. or better, create a checklist so you don’t miss anything. You can also prep your food into containers and just grab one before leaving.

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10. Do a 7-Minute Workout in the Morning

Exercising is proven to increase productivity and stimulate release of endorphin or “Happy Hormones”.

Take a jog outdoors and get warmed up for the day. Don’t feel like running outside? Hop on a treadmilli. It’s a great investment and there are a lot of ways you can use a treadmill like endurance running and metabolism training. On a budget? Here’s a 7 minute, no-equipment needed workout you can do at home:

11. Set-up Mini Tasks

If you’re given a big project, break it down into mini tasks. Create a checklist and start with the easy ones until you finish. Got an article to write? Just start with the title and the first sentence. Or perhaps you have a visual presentation to make?

Spend 15 minutes on your outline, take five minutes coffee break, then finish the first two slides. Accomplishing something, no matter how tiny, still gives you that sense of fulfillment.

12. Create an Inspirational Board or Reminder

I found these mini desk chalkboards from Etsy you can use to write motivating quotes.

Or you know what? Simply write “Do it now!” and stare at it for 10 seconds every time you feel like dropping by on Reddit.

13. Redecorate Your Room

Redecorating my room motivates me to maintain that ‘new’ look for some time until I get use to it and eventually stop. So I redecorate again and again, it became a monthly habit really. Here are some DIY ideas you can do to any room without spending much.

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14. Ready Your Nibbles

You know that trip to the pantry? It’s just seconds away but it took you several minutes just to get your fruit snacks in the fridge. Before starting a task, prepare your nibbles on your desk to avoid zoning out and losing yourself on the way to the pantry.

Bonus productivity hacks you can do at home:

15. Schedule Your Chores

Write down your chores in a weekly basis with matching day and time when you should be doing these.

For the artsy folks, you can create fun chore charts like these or simply stick the list somewhere visibly annoying e.g. mirrors, doors, TV. The trick is listing as many chores as you can for the week and including unfinished chores the following week. Who likes seeing a long list of chores first thing in the morning?

More Tips to Overcome Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters via unsplash.com

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