EP023: 8 Ways To Bust Procrastination and Become More Productive

1. How to Eliminate Distractions

While on The internet

  • While removing the Internet is a great idea, if you don’t need the Internet, the best thing to do is to just disable your Wi-Fi completely.
  • The other suggestion I have is to use a neat little program called “Self Control” which can be found on Google. The program is completely free and is made for the Mac.

With your Mobile Phone

  • If you work at a desk job or have your own business – the worse thing you can do is place your phone next to your computer or keyboard. The chances of you checking out your phone are a lot higher than simply keeping it in your pocket.
  • I think I read somewhere that the average person reads text messages in less than 4 minutes – now what does that say about productivity and procrastination?

While watching TV

  • First of all, I hope in this day and age, you’re watching a lot less TV. TV is one of those things were hours can pass by and you will never get anything done. If you’re really interested in watching a TV show or a movie, then set up time blocks while you plan your week.
  • As an example, if you need three hours to watch TV in a week because of all of your recorded shows, then your time block can be setup for those times and days and once it is done. You can shut your TV off.

2. How to Optimize Your Study Environment

Becoming Clutter free

  • How you do anything is how you do everything – look around in your house, do you have clutter in your home? If you do, then chances are your closets are cluttered and so is your desk.
  • When we have clutter in our desktop, regardless of our computer desktop or work environment, and, as a result, our mind becomes cluttered as well.
  • When we have a cluttered mind, that’s when we procrastinate more often.

Creating Project Folders For assignments

  • Assuming that you’re working on big projects – if that is the case, then you want to go to an office supply store and get yourself project assignment folders so you don’t have papers everywhere.

3. How to have better Time Management

Using a daily diary

  • All very successful people have a diary. By a diary, I am not talking about writing your confessions for the day or talking about how your most intimate moments – instead, I am talking about tracking your progress from day-to-day.
  • In your diary, you should be tracking your goals, your progress and everything that you have accomplished.

Setting up a Wall Calendar

  • If you don’t have a wall calendar, maybe its time you get one so that all-important due dates are written down on it.
  • I personally have a dry erase board behind me and every week, I note all of my deadlines.
  • What gets put on the calendar is what gets done.

4. How to Watch your thoughts

Avoid thoughts that move you away from your goals:

  • I’m a loser!
  • I can’t do it!
  • Its too hard!

Instead, think positive, constructive thoughts

  • I am a champion!
  • I’m focused and making progress!
  • I can do this!

5. How to Break projects down into chunks

Take one bite (step) at a time:

  • One of the biggest reasons why I used to procrastinate is because I was always doing more than one project or task at a time.
  • While its great at first to take on all of these projects at once – later, we feel inundated and overwhelmed. Instead, the best way to work on projects is one at a time.

Setup Time Blocks

  • Time blocks are great. Since you should be planning your day the night before, when you start working, you should have your todo list in front of you.
  • Anytime you start working on a task, you should time yourself and finish before the timer runs out. This way, you don’t get tossed in different directions and procrastinate.
  • My suggestion for you is to buy a timer and keep it on your desktop. It should have a flashing and vibrating function so that it scares the hell out of you if you don’t finish in time.

6. How to Visualize Your Goals

Practice visualization

  • Between written words and visuals, I operate best when my goals are done both ways.
  • As an example, every big goal or project I have is first planned out on paper – yes, I am still using the old fashioned pen and paper method – after that is done, then I go to Google and do a search for the image that best represents my goal.
  • After I print all of the images, I then make a collage out of it. The collage is then called my vision board.
  • Vision boards are great because it keeps the mental image of our goals fresh in our minds so that we don’t forget it.
  • Often, when we forget our goals that is the time when we procrastinate a lot. However, if it is always fresh in our minds, we realize the importance and tend not to get distracted.
  • In fact, athletes visualize their goals all the time – if you ever notice an Olympian, they will first visualize the goal or the trick they are performing in their mind, then attempting to do it.
  • Everything that happens first happens in the mind.

7. How Goals are like pets

Feed and nurture them

  • Goals need constant attention. As a suggestion, you need to nurture your goals at least 2-3 times per day.
  • The best method I found is to read them at least 3x a day but at a bare minimum twice a day.
  • When you wake up in the morning, you should be reading your goals as part of your morning rituals. If you don’t have a morning ritual, then I suggest you check out podcast #15 on “how to become happier so that every day feels like Christmas” In this podcast, I give you exact details on how you can have a great morning and evening ritual so that you can get things done.
  • However, if you don’t have time or you’re busy, the short version is: give yourself at least 15 minutes in the morning to not only read but to also visualize your goals and give yourself another 15 minutes in the event.
  • The morning ritual sets the tone for the day and the evening ritual sets the tone for the next day keeping it fresh in your subconscious mind when you sleep.
  • Now if you want to make it really effective, I would suggest not watching TV for the last 2-3 hours before you sleep. TV has so many different negative elements these days that really mess with our overall moods – although its just made up stuff on TV – when you combine it with the news and everything else, this usually ends up robbing you of your feel good emotions.
  • If you’re going to watch something on TV, instead, be intentional about it – something positive like a comedy.
  • TV is good but only if you’re being intentional about what you’re watching.

8. How to Deal with setbacks

Be gentle on yourself

  • We’re often our own worse critics – we live in a world that doesn’t appreciate the good the world offers as much as the bad… we often see so much negativity on TV and on the internet that we somehow mirror our own lives in the same way.
  • Ever since I began going to Strategic Coach earlier in the year, I’ve learned that I need to start recording my wins, no matter how small. You need to do the same because as I mentioned, we somehow live our lives like only remembering the negative but we must first remember the positive and what has worked.
  • I use this great little app for my iPhone called “Winstreak” which is pretty cool and best of all, it is FREE!
  • If you have an iPhone and are interested, you can find the link to the app in the show notes. I would highly recommend you try it out for yourself.
  • Its OK to fall over
  • We all face adversity but it is how you handle adversity that matters most. Are you willing to get back up and brush yourself off or are you the type to continue to beat yourself up?
  • In every part of life, we fail but its best to fail forward. By failing forward, we learn the important lesson and avoid making the same mistakes over again. Yes, you will fail again but that is part of the learning process.
  • You can take failing using two different approaches – one is to be afraid of failure so you end up never trying anything new.
  • The second method is always trying something new, knowing that you will make mistakes early on, learning from it and moving on. The choice is yours.

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