Productivity and GTD
Tips for Starting That Job You’ve Been Putting Off
Are you satisfied with yourself?
Most people answer negative, and I get the reason. We’re lazy. We have problems. We need more money, more energy, more time!
And yet, for what? Are we doing anything important? Useful? Vital? Some of us do, some of us don’t. However, what most of us do is complain. When we complain, we’re basically showing our lack of responsibility for our thoughts, feelings, decisions, attitudes, and perspectives.
We also procrastinate a lot. It’s a fact. Procrastination is one of the most common problems in the contemporary world. We are urged to become successful in this life, so we are hurrying to get our piece of the pie. And yet, we fail to recognize the internal conflicts that prevent us from naturally flowing towards our purpose.
But what purpose?
Let’s not rush. This is just the introduction and I’ve already drifted.
In today’s post, I’ll be discussing tips and tricks that should help you “cure” procrastination and improve self-discipline. These words try to teach you how to tackle those important jobs and assignments without giving it a second thought – full attention is advised.
1. Find the Real “Why” Behind Your Task
We normally assume that we know why we’re doing what we’re doing. It’s in our subconscious mind, so we basically follow the lead and focus on the surface of things – on materialization.
However, when we have to deal with a “hard task” that scares us or bores us, we often forget the real reason why you’re working on that task. If you remember, at one point, you have decided to go in a specific direction. For example, if you’re a medicine student, your hustle will help you reach your goal of helping people. That is what matters, and that is why you’re doing it.
It goes the same with any other profession, responsibility, or assignment. Whenever it gets hard, just shift your perspective and find that genuine motive. If there’s no genuine motive, simply drop what you’re doing and start pursuing something that actually matters.
2. Understand Pain and Pleasure
Us, humans, just like animals, are driven by pain and pleasure. Our reptilian brain constantly tries to attract anything pleasurable, and constantly fights anything that might be painful.
Therefore, if you have associated a task to be painful in the past (exercise, essay assignments, daily reports, etc.), there will be an internal conflict the next time you have to repeat the task or do something similar.
That’s when procrastination arises. You simply want to avoid that pain, and you’re often unaware that this is simply a subconscious urge.
If you understand this concept, you’ll be able to move beyond pain and pleasure. Your weapon will be willpower. As you got understanding (knowledge), you need to also apply that knowledge in order to create real results (willpower).
Willpower is trainable, by the way, so the more you use it the stronger it’ll become. Keep using it every day to reject procrastination and simply use your mind to overcome the challenge.
3. Simply Disconnect from Distractions
This one is simple and obvious. If you want to get something done, you need to focus on that job and do nothing else. For example, since our mobile phones are always close, make sure you put some boundaries and silence the phone while you work. No notifications, no pop-ups, no phone calls.
Also, if you can, try to work alone in the room. Don’t clog your office or work desk. You need mental space in order to thrive. If you clear your mind and simply concentrate on that task, things will become easy.
4. Use the Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro technique is a time management strategy that involves 25 minutes of focused work, 5 minutes break, 25 minutes of work, 5 minutes break, and so on.
Getting things done is a matter of focus most of the time. If you’re willing to focus, then you need to make room (clear distractions). When you start focusing, you can leverage this technique and ditch everything for 25 minutes except for your job.
5. Think Long-Term
Long-term thinking and acting are the keys to success in both your personal and professional journey. To think long-term means to understand that it’s the process that matters (the journey) and not the individual failures.
You can lose a fight, but the war is not over. Well, that fight might be a disappointment in yourself, perhaps for the fact that you’ve been consciously aware of your procrastination tendencies while ignoring them.
Do not get demotivated. Think of the long-term journey, get back up on your feet, and try again. Eventually, you’ll get used to winning instead of losing your internal battles.
6. Get it Done Early
I know that mornings are always more difficult than mid-days, afternoons, or evenings.
I know you might believe that putting that task away for a couple of hours and “clearing” the smaller and less-significant tasks will make you feel better for a short period of time.
And I know that you actually realize that every single “hard” task should be done first to get rid of the pressure and to gain momentum. Brian Tracy, a well-known self-development author has even written a book about this simple advice – it is called Eat that Frog, the frog symbolizing the task you “fear” the most.
7. Break It into Smaller Chunks
We often delay our jobs (procrastinate) because the tasks seem to “big” or “overwhelming”. A simple trick can solve the entire problem.
Take a piece of paper, write the goal down, and break it into 5 or more pieces. Simply focus on each piece (progressively or not) until your bigger goal materializes. The key is to do this the moment you establish your long-term goals.
8. Leverage Momentum
Whenever we actually get something done, we feel empowered. There’s a boost of motivation called “momentum”, and it arises whenever you work consistently on achieving new results.
For example you have to create a marketing strategy and there are lots of aspects to consider. You break that goal into 10 pieces and get the first piece done. After the first success, you’ll be after the second. Once you get the second, you’ll think “hey, I can really do this”. And so the motivation grows.
Focus on developing momentum in every job you try to tackle. If you have that confidence and willpower, no task or assignment will give you trouble.
9. Life’s Not Always Joyful and Pleasurable
Who says that life must be all pink? Happiness, joy, love, they’re just one extremity – often considered the “good” extremity. However, the other “darker” feelings we experience are also extremely beneficial for our personal growth and motivation.
For example, if you are happy constantly, you will eventually get bored with happiness. If you’re sad for 2 months, then you might just reach the peak of your happiness in the next 2 months only because you’ve been low.
There’s a pendulum that never stops moving – positive, negative. You should embrace and acknowledge your negative feelings and find good strategies of alchemizing them into positive. The best way to do that is to follow the law of polarity, which says that everything has an extreme pole.
If you want to change your feelings, or for example change pain into pleasure, simply try to focus on the opposites. When you feel angry, find the opposite (calmness) and focus on it.
If you feel hate, turn it into love. If you feel fear, turn it into courage. It’s that simple, but you just need to do it constantly. Alchemizing states is not easy, and it can take you a while until you learn to do it effectively.
Nevertheless, when you become the master of your emotions, you’ll not only get your tasks done but you’ll also live a truly successful and abundant life!
Do you want to change your life today and clear those annoying tasks out of your schedule today?
It’s simple. Study and apply today’s advice by leveraging it in your life situations. Test and see how it goes. Simply do it, and you’ll build that momentum quick. If you reach the momentum and you’re committed to a long-term journey, you’re good!