The guilt eats at you when you think about the day you’ve just had. You could have accomplished so much more, but here you are, feeling sorry for yourself because you’ve spent your time doing nothing but insignificant crap.
You’ve been watching videos on YouTube, snacking on cornflakes, going on Facebook – as you procrastinate on what matters most. By the end of the day, you try to remind yourself that you’ll have more productive days soon – or that you needed the break today.
But deep down you know you need to change for good… This pattern has happened once too many times for it to be an accident.
Note: I’ve been there, and I know exactly how it feels. Today I’m going to show you the 5 changes that will end this cycle – so that you can finally get more done. Also, I have a special FREE bonus to help you even further. Make sure you read all the way to the end to get it.
My Story: Avoid Procrastination by removing the possibility of choice
The most unproductive days I’ve had were down to me feeling like I had the choice of doing things later on. So, I would do what I felt like before attempting to do anything that was important. If I was given a work assignment due for Tuesday, on a Monday morning, I would tell myself: “It can wait; I’ll do it later on.”
I soon realised that if I kept beginning my day from the wrong place, I would end up in the wrong place.
My change occurred once I started understanding how important each first half of the day (first 8 hours) was to my future.
What I wish I had: Having Priorities for each day
I used to negotiate myself into doing whatever I felt like doing. I would switch between checking email and Facebook and doing work. I would then multitask between different work tasks whenever I felt bored or anxious. Or, I would just keep hacking away at a job without taking breaks. So I’d either be distracted or mentally beat.
What I was missing: A place to dump all the things I needed to do, so that I could differentiate between what was a priority and what wasn’t – and knowing when to take a break. Following David Allen’s GTD Principles, I started using Todoist to create different projects for my life i.e. Routine, Work, Contact, etc.
So whenever I thought of something that needed doing, I could drop it in there without ever forgetting about it.
That change alone made my mind so much clearer, and I began to see everything I wanted to do with a better mindset.
It’s our natural inclination to put off the things that make us uncomfortable. And yet, it’s these things that make us grow the most. Having all your tasks in view, allows you to see what’s truly important – allowing you to more easily stop being lazy and knuckle down on what needs doing.
Take-away: Find a place to write down everything that comes up in your head.
(Part of the reason we’re also lazy is because we lack an approach that allows us to feel good about our work. I’ve put together a complete system to help solve this.)
Start your day with the MIT (Most Important Task) and use a Timer
Every morning, I started to write 3-5 tasks I wanted to accomplish by the end of each day. And I would make sure to dedicate 2-4 hours to the number one priority or a single project. I would ask myself: “What’s the single hardest thing I need to accomplish today?”
Achieving it as soon as possible allowed me to move through the rest of the day with excitement and a sense of triumph.
“The hardest part of any important task is getting started on it in the first place. Once you begin work on a valuable task, you seem naturally motivated to continue.” – Brian Tracy
As my life slowly changed for the better, I began to realize unproductive days were greatly down to a lack of urgency after the early morning hours. You can stop being lazy and start getting **** done while being happier for it; once you start choosing to do what’s important.
Using a Timer increases Productivity
The other change I made was using a timer and setting it for 60 mins each time I worked on the computer. That way, I’d know I’d have a break coming up, no matter how I felt. Naturally, I’d be a lot less likely to multitask, or get distracted and it made a huge difference to my level of focus.
Quick Recap: 5 Ways to End Constant Laziness Forever
Step 1: Start seeing the first eight hours of your day as the foundation. In those hours, get as much of the high-stakes stuff done.
Step 2: Get everything out of your head using a software tool like Todoist or a paper notebook, so that you can see your life objectively. Also, write down 3-5 tasks you want to accomplish daily, either in the morning or the night before. But more importantly, know what your single biggest priority is each day.
Step 3: Use a timer and set it to no longer than 60 mins so that you have a break to look forward to when you’re working on longer tasks.
Step 4: Work on your most challenging to-do first thing after your morning routine so that you force yourself to stop being lazy.
Bonus Tip: Plan as much of your next week as you can on Sunday, theming each coming day with the single project you want to focus on i.e. do you want to dedicate Mondays to research, Tuesday to writing, and Saturday as your day off the computer etc.?
So that’s it! That’s the plan you need to follow to being a badass. I’m going to give you a bonus to help make sure you take your productivity to the next level.
- First, I’ve put together a list of the best morning routines, so that you can feel at ease each day, so you’ll approach your work already feeling productive.
- Second, I’ve included a methodology on how to split up your day into 4 chunks, so you’ll know exactly when to indulge yourself guilt-free.
- Third, I’ll show you how to consistently celebrate your small wins, so that you feel more creative and enthusiastic about work.
If you’d like to learn how to implement all of my strategies, PicktheBrain readers can click below to access my eBook (12 mins read). I’ll show you the behind the scenes to every detail of the system you need to be insanely productive. (Access here).