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The 12 Days of Giveaways: Day 10 – Evernote

The 12 Days of Giveaways: Day 10 – Evernote
    Evernote T-Shirt Design

    We only have a couple of more days left in our 12 Days of Giveaways where we have been giving away some of the best productivity apps, services, and products that the web has to offer. We are quickly approaching the end of our giveaway and today we have one of the best offerings to date from our friends at Evernote. But, we first need to congratulate the three winners of Patrick Rhone’s “Keeping it Straight” books.

    First, aaron_z in the comments from yesterday’s giveaway talked about keeping college and life straight. He’s getting the ebook version of Keeping It Straight. Here’s an excerpt:

    “Walking is like meditation for me. A morning walk will allow me to clear my head and focus on what I am going to do *today* and go to college with a smile on my face. :)”

    Mario Kroll commented on Facebook about how he wants to clean the cruft out of his life. He’s getting the print version:

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    “I’m going to try and keep straight what is most important in my life, my work and my interpersonal relationships and focus on those, while passing on or reducing the many things that add very little value to those aspects or even take away from them.”

    And then Erin Feldman commented on Facebook about responsibility. She’s taking home the signed copy of Keeping It Straight!

    “… Another item is to stop apologizing when I shouldn’t. I need to learn to balance my own sense of responsibility with the realization that I’m not always to blame.”

    Congratulations to our three winners! We hope you can gain some insight that helps you simplify your life and productivity in 2012.

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    Today’s Giveaway

    I have been an on-again-off-again user of Evernote for years now and in the past few months I have added it back to my list of daily productivity tools (with some recommendation from Mr. Mike Vardy).

    To be absolutely frank, Evernote is the best digital notetaking and information management application I have used to date. What makes Evernote so darn good is that I can use it on my Mac, my PC at work, my iPhone, or even my Android device. I can even use it with my Livescribe Pen. Talk about ubiquitous capture.

    Evernote allows users to take notes (rich text too!), send and keep pictures, tag pretty much everything, create notebooks where you can combine notes, and much, much more. Also, Evernote has been picking up its game lately with the addition of the new Evernote Food (for tracking your food choices in Evernote) and Evernote Hello (for keeping track of all the faces of the pretty people you meet). These two apps show that Evernote is trying to place itself as the “one” app that you need to keep track of everything.

    But, instead of me telling you about the awesomeness that is Evernote, we are going to be giving away some prizes that do that much better. Today we are giving away one lucky Lifehack reader

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    • A 1 year subscription to Evernote Premium
    • A stylish Evernote t-shirt (Editor’s Note: If the winner is from outside the continental US, the shirt will not be part of the package due to shipping restrictions. Rather than limit the whole giveaway to this area because of this, we decided to make it global with this exception. Thanks for your understanding.)
    • And the be-all-to-end-all getting started guide for Evernote, “Evernote Essentialsby the infamous Brett Kelly.

    With this prize pack you will be set to use Evernote to become and stay more productive in 2012.

    How to Enter

    In order to enter to the giveaway, you need to leave a comment below or on our Facebook fan page that answers the following:

    “How will you use Evernote in 2012 to stay more organized and become more productive?”

    Leaving a comment on both our Facebook fan page and here at Lifehack.org will get you 2 entries, so but you need to give us two items that you like the most – no copying and pasting!

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    The Fine Print

    Employees of Stepcase and Evernote (including current independent contractors of both) are not eligible for this contest. The winning entry will be judged by the Stepcase Lifehack editing team and the winner will be notified on the platform in which their winning entry was placed (either on the Lifehack.org Facebook wall or by email through our commenting system here on the website). For those entering the contest with a comment on our site, in order to be considered eligible, you MUST leave a contact email when leaving a comment (it’s the only way we’ll know how to contact you). Entries must be submitted by 10 am Eastern the following weekday and winners will be chosen by 12 pm Eastern time on the same day. The winners will be announced the same day on Lifehack.org, and will be notified beforehand.

    Good luck!

    More by this author

    CM Smith

    A technologist and writer who shares advice on personal productivity, creativity and how to use technology to get things done.

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    Last Updated on August 6, 2019

    Why Do I Procrastinate? 5 Root Causes And How To Tackle Them

    Why Do I Procrastinate? 5 Root Causes And How To Tackle Them

    Procrastination is something many people can relate to and I, myself, have been there and done that. Yes, I write all about productivity now, but when I first started out on my career path, I would often put off work I didn’t want to do. And most of the time I didn’t even realize I was doing it.

    So what changed?

    I thought to myself, “why do I procrastinate?” And I started to read a lot of books on productivity, learning a great deal and shifting my mind to the reasons why people procrastinate.

    My understanding brought me a new perspective on how to put an end to the action of procrastination.

    Procrastination slows your goals and dreams way down. It can create stress and feelings of frustration. It rears its ugly head on a regular basis for a lot of people. This is particularly apparent at work with day-to-day projects and tasks.

    But, why do people self-sabotage in this way? Essentially, there are 5 reasons behind procrastination. See if you can identify with any of these in your own work life.

    1. The Perfectionist’s Fear

    Procrastination is sometimes a subconscious fear of failure.

    If you put off a task enough, then you can’t face up to the potential (and usually imagined) negative results. If you’re a stickler for minor details, the stress of getting things ‘just right’ may be too much and cause you to delay continuing the task.

    Either way, fear is at the root cause and can sabotage your desire to move forward.

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    How to Tackle It?

    Try visualizing the completion of your task in a positive way.

    For example, you have a presentation that your boss wants you to conduct for a potential client. Visualize yourself standing in the meeting room confident, meeting the eyes of the client and seeing them light up as you explain the concept simply and concisely.

    Imagine your boss telling you how great you did and you were the best person for the job. Think about how it would feel to you and focus on this as you move forward with the task.

    2. A Dreamer’s Lack of Action

    This is a person who is highly creative and has many brilliant ideas but can’t quite seem to bring them to fruition.

    The main reason for this is because there’s usually no structure or goal setting involved once the idea has been created. This aimless approach ends up manifesting as a lack of decision-making and significant delays on a project.

    How to Tackle It?

    Write down a timeline of what you want to achieve and by when. Ideally, do this daily to keep yourself on track and accountable for progression. Creative minds tend to jump from one idea to the next, so cultivating focus is essential.

    If you’re designing and creating a new product at work, set out a task list for the week ahead with the steps you want to focus on each day. Doing this ahead of time will stop your mind from wandering across to different ideas.

    Learn about how to plan your time and take actions from some of the successful people: 8 Ways Highly Successful People Plan Their Time

    3. An Overwhelmed Avoider

    This is one of the most common reasons for procrastination; the sheer overwhelm of a daunting task.

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    The complexity of a task can cause the brain to lose motivation and avoid doing it altogether choosing instead to stay in its comfort zone.

    The search then starts for a more enjoyable task and the harder tasks are put off. This can cause stress and dread when the task inevitably comes up to be completed.

    How to Tackle It?

    Break the challenge down into smaller tasks and tackle each one individually.

    For example, if you have a project that has technical elements to it that you know you’ll find challenging, list each step you need to take in order to complete these difficult elements. Think of ways you can resolve potential hurdles. Perhaps you have a coworker that may have time to help or even consider that the solution may be easier than you initially think. Put each task in order of most daunting to least daunting. Ideally, try to deal with the more challenging parts of each task in the morning so that momentum is created as the tasks get easier through the day.

    A reward system will also help you stay motivated so, once completed, you can enjoy your treat of choice.

    If you want to know how to better handle your feelings and stay motivated, take a look at my other article: Procrastination Is a Matter of Emotion, Here’s How to Stop It

    4. The Busy Bee Who Lacks Prioritization

    Either you have too many tasks or don’t truly acknowledge the differing importance of each task. The result? Getting nothing done.

    Time is spent switching constantly from one task to another or spending too much time deciding what to do.

    How to Tackle It?

    It’s all about priorities and choosing important tasks over urgent ones.

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    Make sure to question the value and purpose of each task and make a list in order of importance.

    For example, throughout your work day, you can waste a lot of time dealing with ‘urgent’ emails from colleagues but, you need to ask yourself if these are more important than working on a task that will affect, say, several office projects at once.

    Help yourself to prioritize and set a goal of working through your list over the next few hours reassessing the situation once the time is up.

    In my other article, I talk about an effective way to prioritze and achieve more in less time: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

    5. The One with Shiny Object Syndrome (Distraction-Prone)

    This is another common cause for procrastination; just simple distraction.

    Our brains aren’t wired to focus for long periods of time and it looks for something else. So throw in a bunch of colleagues equally looking for distractions or checking your phone mindlessly, and you’ve got a recipe for ultimate procrastination.

    However, this type of procrastination may not always be an unconscious decision to sabotage and put off work. It’s simply a result of your work setup or types of coworkers you have. Only you know the answer to that.

    How to Tackle It?

    Be mindful of your workspace and potential distractions. Schedule a specific time to converse with your coworkers, put headphones on to minimize listening to what’s going on around you, and switch your phone off.

    Aim to do this for 20-30 minutes at a time and then take a break. This will be a much more efficient way of working and getting what you need done. This is also why scheduling down time is so important for productivity.

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    Whether this type of procrastination is self-sabotage or being a victim of a distracting environment, either way you can take control.

    If you need a little more guidance on how to stay focus, this guide can help you: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

    Bottom Line

    I’m going to be bold and assume you identified with at least one of these procrastination pitfalls.

    You could be trapped in the endless cycle of procrastination like I was, that is, until I decided to find out my why behind putting off tasks and projects. It was only then that I could implement strategies and move forward in a positive and productive way.

    I killed the procrastination monster and so can you. I now complete my tasks more efficiently and completely killed that feeling of stress and falling behind with work that procrastination brings.

    I know it’s not easy to stop procrastinating right away, so I also have this complete guide to help you stop it once and for all: Procrastination – A Step-By-Step Guide to Stop Procrastinating

    Featured photo credit: Luke Chesser via unsplash.com

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