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How Do I Stop Procrastinating When I’m Surrounded By Procrastinators?

How Do I Stop Procrastinating When I’m Surrounded By Procrastinators?


    I was meeting the new lady I’m dating at our local federal tax center before going out to dinner with her. This is because when it comes to filing her income tax returns, she’s a chronic procrastinator. This particular day was the deadline for filing tax returns and when we spoke just the night before, my lady friend revealed that she had not even started on her income tax yet.

    Because of her procrastination, she would have to get to one of those tax preparation services before work and pick up her completed return after the work day is over. The plan was to meet her at the federal tax office where she will be dropping off her completed return.

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    When I got to the building, the staff already set up huge bin containers in the lobby for people coming in to drop off their returns on deadline day. As I was sitting in the lobby waiting for my lady to arrive, I was actually quite shocked to see a steady, continuous stream of people coming in to drop off their returns.

    The staff told me that this would be the scene all through the evening until midnight when the deadline passes. So it seems that my lady is in good company of many procrastinators who also put off doing their taxes until last minute.

    Because procrastination is often a general habit, I’m willing to bet that these folks are major procrastinators in other areas of their lives besides just getting to their income taxes on time. And since many people are often surrounded by other procrastinators, the habit of putting off things they don’t like doing becomes quite contagious.

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    Some of the government staff actually joked to some of the public, “See you next year!”

    So this implies that the staff already knows that the procrastinators will likely repeat the same thing next year and make a frenzied run into the tax center just before the deadline.

    So if you can relate to this, you might be asking yourself, “How do I stop procrastinating?”

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    Solution To Procrastination

    Many productivity experts will suggest that a way to beat procrastination is to break up challenging tasks into little pieces. It is quite often easier to get little successes which will all add up over time to become a big success. Indeed this is helpful but I personally think that in order to really get over major procrastination, much more drastic measures must be taken.

    What I always suggest to procrastinators during my talks to audiences is to spend a bit less time around other procrastinators and instead, actively spend more time with people who are action takers. Like-minded people tend to motivate each other and if you get involved with the right group, you could end up with a few new friends who will be happy to constantly keep you in check.

    This is a secret weapon for many successful people who can’t afford to let procrastination creep back into their lives. They use such groups of other action takers to keep motivating them to push on. In fact, in many groups, people will go as far as helping each other keep accountable for their actions and more importantly, non-actions. Now that’s effective teamwork for success.

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    We see these types of interactions between people in high level sports teams as well as business groups (mastermind groups). People are there to push each other and get pushed to keep procrastination down to a bare minimum.

    Sometimes it costs membership fees to be in certain groups but if it’s the right group that can influence you to take action rather than procrastinate, the money is well worth it. I’m in such a group myself that costs me $2,400 per year to participate in (I do what I advocate here).

    So hopefully my new lady friend will start to procrastinate less if she hangs around more action oriented people. I’m sure that she doesn’t want to spend another year running around like a headless chicken during the income tax deadline.

    (Photo credit: Colleagues at Water Cooler via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on November 12, 2020

    Learn How to Be Productive and Happy With These 11 Tips

    Learn How to Be Productive and Happy With These 11 Tips

    A lack of productivity leads to a lack of happiness. When you can’t see yourself making progress or getting things done, you get anxious and become stressful. That’s why it’s so important to learn how to be productive.

    There are also many things that contribute to unhappiness here: Facebook notifications, emails, texts, and chatty co-workers are just a small fraction of the disruptions we’re bombarded with. These “little things” can stack up fast and lead to hampering your happiness and productivity levels.

    Learn how to be productive with the 11 tips below and reclaim your everyday productivity and your happiness, once and for all.

    1. Be Happy Now

    Life is too short. No matter what you’re doing or where you are, be happy now. Start by finding something to be grateful for; everyone has at least one good thing in their life, and most have many more.

    Most of the world still has trouble getting access to clean drinking water…that means you can even be grateful for that bottle of Aquafina you’ve got on your desk right now.

    2. Finish Your Day Before It Starts

    Proper planning is the secret to peak productivity, and it’s also a good idea to set important goals daily. Get yourself a planning tool and prioritize your daily tasks with it in order to spend your time on important tasks.

    If you know exactly what you have to do and the timeframe you want to complete it in, you’ll be well on your way to learning how to be productive.

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    Here’s a smart technique on planning and prioritization: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

    3. Celebrate the Small Wins

    Every time you check off a task from your to-do list, you release a “happy chemical” in your brain called dopamine. This gives you the motivation to move forward and do even more.

    For example, after I finish writing this article, and I’ve crossed it off my list of things to do today, I’ll get a nice burst of “happy chemicals” releasing in my brain. The best part? Zero side effects!

    4. Leverage Like There’s No Tomorrow

    Look for ways to use the 80/20 rule by identifying tasks that you might be able to outsource or leverage out to a virtual assistant.

    Stop wasting time doing things that don’t challenge you or ignite your passion. Hire out or automate anything and everything within your means.

    Don’t be afraid to trust others with tasks you believe they can do. They’ll likely be happy for the opportunity, and you’ll feel better about lowering the amount of work you have to get done.

    5. Recharge Your Batteries

    Figure out how many hours of sleep your body needs and make sure you get it. Take time to stretch, walk, or relax in order to recharge throughout the day and after work.

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    One study found that the best way to ensure consistent productivity throughout the day is to work for about 50 minutes, followed by a 15-20 minute break[1]. As you’re trying to learn how to be productive, follow this pattern to get started[2].

    Take breaks to be more productive

      Here are some simple ways to relax completely and get rid of stress.

      6. Become an Early Riser

      This is one of the most underused productivity “hacks” on the planet. Ever since I decided to start waking up at 5am every day, my productivity levels and happiness have gone up dramatically.

      Most people aren’t up that early, so no one can bother you or disrupt you from what you want to do. A productive person will use this time to exercise, meditate, or get a head start on their day.

      7. Do Work You’re Passionate About

      Make it your goal to blur the line between work and play by doing more things you’re passionate about. This promotes happiness both inside and outside of the workplace.

      Find what you’re passionate about and do it, even if it’s just through a hobby. Make time for the things you love and learn how to be productive more easily.

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      8. Use Time Blocks

      When I wrote this article, I gave myself a one hour time block. This prevents unnecessary dilly-dallying, like updating your social media and checking email. Instead, start developing better work habits and manage your time for a more productive day.

      There are plenty of apps that can help you do this, or you can simply set an alarm on your phone so you know when you can take a break and enjoy some free time. During your set time block[3], do your best to eliminate distractions. Find a quiet space, declutter your desk, and create a short to-do list to keep you on track.

      Time Blocking for Productivity

        9. Avoid Interruptions

        Interruptions are among the biggest barriers to both productivity and happiness. Every time you’re interrupted in the middle of a task, your level of productivity takes a hit.

        We’ve all been there: you’re fully immersed in an important project until all of a sudden the workplace chatterbox appears out of nowhere and starts talking the crazy night they had last weekend. By the time s/he’s gone, you’ve already forgotten where you were, and it takes 30 minutes to get back on track.

        Avoid this by letting people know that you’ve got important work that’s got to be done.

        Learn more about how to stay focus in this guide: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

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        10. Shut Down the Digital Disruptions

        iPhones, mailbox notifications, Twitter, Facebook, and everything that pops, slides, or fades in and out of your screen has got to go. Shut them down and focus when you want to learn how to be productive.

        It’s as easy as turning off the notifications or scheduling only a specific time to check all these notifications and texts.

        11. Measure Your Success

        Every now and then, it’s a good idea to measure your results and see how things are coming along.

        How’s your progress? Are you moving in the right direction? It’s always a good idea to track your progress regularly.

        Of course, in order to track you progress, you need to set specific milestones so you know that you’re on your way to achieving any big or small goal.

        The Bottom Line

        With these 11 effective tips, you’ll learn how to be productive and find more time to do the things that make you happy.

        Start small and take up each suggestion one-by-one. That way, you can boost your productivity, and create joy along the way.

        More to Boost Productivity

        Featured photo credit: Emma Dau via unsplash.com

        Reference

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