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7 Reasons Why You Fail All the Time

7 Reasons Why You Fail All the Time

Frustrated with failure? Ever feel like you fail all the time? Here are 7 reasons why you fail all the time. Learn to recognize them so you can avoid them in the future.

1. You’re Lazy

Honestly, you’re not trying.

You like the idea of success, but you’re lacking effort.

You like to act like you’re trying, but you’re really spending more time thinking about how you’re going to explain your work to other people than actually doing any work.

Stop being lazy.

How to fix this: stop being lazy and start developing a work ethic. Do something — anything.

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2. You Make Too Many Excuses

See the above excuse. In addition to being lazy, you probably make excuses all the time about how something wasn’t your fault and why you’re not actually lazy, but it’s really because the stars didn’t align and someone else was somehow responsible.

No.

Stop being lazy. Stop making excuses. Get to work.

How to fix this: take responsibility for everything — including stuff that isn’t your fault.

3. You Dream Too Much

Dreaming is great — nothing has ever happened without someone first imagining that it could exist.

That said, there’s a point where dreaming is overdone. Sometimes you just need to get down and take some action. Get out of your head and start piecing together the puzzle. Stop overanalyzing everything and dreaming about what could be and get started on actually bringing it into existence.

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How to fix this: Find one actionable way to bring your dream one step closer to reality.

4. You’re Scared of Failure

This is actually a hilarious sort of reason in an ironic sense. You fail because you’re so scared of failure that you either

  1. Never start, or
  2. Are so scared of failing that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Failure isn’t a bad thing — in fact, it can be one of your greatest teachers. But you’ll never find out if you’re too scared to even try. Stop acting out of fear and start taking action.

How to fix this: Find the thing that scares you most — then jump in and do it. 

5. You’re Unfocused with Your Actions

You’re all over the place.

Sure you can blame this on ADD (see reason #2), but the real reason is that you don’t have a plan of action so you lash out at any shiny object that sounds like it will fix your problem.

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But, that’s not going to help.

What will help is a solid plan with intentional action that gets you closer and closer to your goals. Laser-focus your attention on the 20% of things that will get you results.

How to fix this: Create a schedule, a routine and a plan to accomplish your goals — then stick to it.

6. You Don’t Know How To Quit

The one thing worse than a failed project is trying to convince yourself that there’s still hope.

If the project didn’t achieve its goals, know when to cut bait, learn your lesson and get started on the next one. There’s no need to throw good money after bad on a project that wasn’t worth it in the first place.

How to fix this: Have clear goals with each project and endeavor. Abandon the ones that don’t achieve their stated purpose.

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7. You Forget The Basics

You get so caught up in the flashy aspects of the dream lifestyle that you forget the basics. You get lazy with fundamentals and spend too much time in lala-land.

Strip away the flash. Stop trying to be so hollywood and go back to the start. Get the basics right.

How to fix this: Take away the flash and get back to the basics. Get those right first.

Featured photo credit: Sybren A. Stüvel via flickr.com

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, 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.

More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

 

Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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