Procrastination frankly just feels good—right up to the minute when we recall that we really must get things done. That’s when it gets ugly. All of us hop into ninja mode and then scramble around until everything gets accomplished—of course, half-heartedly.
Then we vow to ourselves that we’ll never procrastinate again. But, deep inside, all of us know it’ll happen repeatedly. It is a vicious pattern, and it won’t stop unless we break it by becoming productive. Here are 10 productivity tricks successful people use.
1. Wake Up Earlier
If you rise one hour earlier than usual each day, you will be shocked at how much you will get accomplished in a week. Additionally, rising at the same time each day stabilizes your circadian rhythm. Having a circadian rhythm that is steady allows you to become more productive during the daytime because you will be energetic and alert.
2. Create a List
Few things are more satisfying than crossing an activity off the to-do list. It is tangible evidence that you truly got something accomplished, and it may motivate you to tackle your whole list in a day.
3. Take Baby Steps
Did you ever put a task off only to find out, when you finally got around to it, that it took just 10 minutes to do? A task, oftentimes, seems more daunting than it really is.
Rather than telling yourself that you must do five loads of laundry before tomorrow, concentrate on just separating your laundry—a chore which is quicker and easier. As you get all of the laundry separated, say, "Now it is time to toss the whites inside the washer."
When the whites are finished, concentrate on putting them into the dryer and the towels into the washer. Concentrate on every step, and soon enough, all five loads will be washed, tumble dried, folded, and put away.
4. Consume Your Broccoli First
If you eat your broccoli before consuming anything else on your plate, you are getting past the most dreaded portion of dinner so you finally can relax and appreciate everything else.
Apply this philosophy to other aspects of your life as well. If you do the most difficult task first thing in the morning, you’ll alleviate yourself of stress and better appreciate the remainder of your day.
5. Beat the Clock
You can play a game: Try to beat the clock! Set a timer for 50 minutes and accomplish a task with complete concentration. As that time is up, take a 10-minute break. Start working again for 50 minutes, then take a 10-minute break. Repeat this cycle until everything is completed.
6. Voice Commitments
A vow to yourself is a lot easier to break than one you have given to somebody else. You are more likely to get something accomplished if another individual holds you accountable. Locate an entrepreneurial buddy to monitor your progress as you start a business.
7. Remove All Temptations
Checking your Facebook alerts and reading a text might seem like a harmless action that takes no more than five seconds, but doing this really snaps you out of your zone of concentration—which you’ll take a while to get back into.
8. Enforce the 5-Minute Rule
If an activity takes five minutes or less to finish, do it immediately. This rule is particularly great for responding to emails or washing the dishes. When faced with an activity, instantly ask yourself if it will take five minutes or less to accomplish. If so, do it!
9. Trap Yourself
If all else fails, it is time to leave yourself without any option. This means taking drastic measures to make yourself finish a task. For instance, if you have to change your car’s oil, have somebody lock you out of your home until your car’s oil pan is put away and clean.
10. Accept That You’re Just Human Like Everyone Else
Know that nobody is perfect and you will not be rejected for not flawlessly performing a task. As faced with a challenging activity, tell yourself, “I am only human, and it is all right to make a mistake.”
How do you stay productive?
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Photo of clock courtesy of Shutterstock.