Posted tagged ‘motivation’

The Trick to Getting Things Done!

May 21, 2014

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Research shows that about 20 per cent of adults are chronic procrastinators. Despite all the proven benefits of being productive, many of us tend to put off until tomorrow what we need and even want to do today. Yet, what we don’t realise is that it’s undermining our happiness. It stresses us out and prevents us from reaching our goals in life. Studies suggest that procrastinators tend to be more stressed than people who don’t have this habit.

But why do we procrastinate? Despite knowing that they will probably be worse off after delaying their tasks, why do some people still procrastinate? Why would a married couple delay having a child? Why would a person not leave the job he hates? Why would others prefer to defer a difficult project and prioritise easier ones? It’s not that they are lazy or laid-back.

Research shows that procrastinators may actually dread failure. They may have a fear of success, an urge to be defiant, a perfectionist streak or a need to take risks. All these behaviours affect their ability to make decisions.

How about you? What triggers you to procrastinate? Check the following procrastination triggers and how you can address them.

Fear of failure

Fear of failure. We all have a bit of it. Who doesn’t want to fail? But if your fear of failure is so great that you no longer want to try new things anymore, procrastination becomes a big issue. Perhaps you hardly ever work out because you fear feeling so tired and worn out. Or you don’t apply for promotion because you fear getting rejected.

The next time you are faced with a difficult challenge, give yourself a chance to take the risk. Remember, getting something done is better than not doing anything at all. Who knows – it could take you to your dreams or unlock the door to new opportunities.

Cramming

Do you thrive on the excitement of scrambling to hit deadlines? Do you prefer staying awake for two consecutive nights just to finish off a report which you could have done earlier? The habit of cramming is one of the most common triggers of procrastination. You probably think there is plenty of time to do things so you just wait until you have very little time left.

If you think you’re at your best when under pressure, prove it. Do it hours before schedule, as you always do. Then, try doing the task ahead of time. You will most likely notice that your overall routine seems a little saner and that you have more free time on your hands when you knock stuff off early.

Additional Tips to Stop Procrastination

Start your day early.

Not only can you stretch your time by waking up early. But also, you get to enjoy quiet moments and have plenty of time reflecting and planning your daily routine. Starting your day early helps you concentrate on a few big tasks as soon as you get up and get a bunch of work done that would have taken many more hours during the bustle of the day.

Go to sleep early.

You can’t wake up early if you don’t go to sleep early. You need to recharge your batteries to sustain your daily activities. Exhaustion is definitely a motivator to keep procrastinating.

Don’t overwhelm yourself. Take easy on your to-do list.

Accomplishing tasks, no matter how small, gives you a higher sense of accomplishment – which in turn boosts your motivation to handle bigger tasks. Try starting with smaller tasks and reserve more of your energy on more difficult activities.

Think of an ominous task.

Think of something you really don’t want to do (.e.g. clean the attic, wash the dishes, or do the laundry). Soon you’ll find yourself doing what you really need to do because it’s better than the dreaded chore. You will also realise that even though some activities could be mundane, they are not really as bad as those chores you hate.

Set up daily reminders.

Whether it’s every 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or one hour – set up a reminder that you should be working on something and not wasting your time. You can also set up reminders that give you motivational quotes.

Make yourself accountable.

Give yourself the full responsibility of every task you handle. This ways, you are motivating yourself to push harder and give it your best. Consider announcing your change publicly. Be vocal about it. Hit the social networks, blog, write letters, and do whatever it takes to make yourself more accountable to getting work done.

Become mindful

Be aware of what you are doing. Don’t get mindlessly stuck on social networks and leisure activities that distract you and prevent you from getting more work done. And don’t forget to give yourself some quiet time. We are constantly plugged in to our digital world. It can be overwhelming and stressful. Give yourself at least 15 minutes of quiet every day to refocus and be with yourself.

Let me know which tricks work best for you,

Richard Scott
Clinical Hypnotherapist
http://www.greymatterz.co.uk

facebook.com/greymatterzhypnotherapy

Twitter: @RichGreymatterz

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Beat procrastination at work!

January 6, 2014

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Most of the time, it may feel like procrastinating leads to disappointment, anxiety and stress. But procrastination is not always evil. Sometimes, it’s our inner self’s one way of saying “hey, you need to take a break”, or that something isn’t right.

Among the benefits of procrastination include putting unpleasant tasks aside in favour of pleasurable ones, avoiding the possibility of failure-or success, and lowering your anxiety.

But like all other things, too much procrastination is unhealthy. One major consequence is that it can make you less productive. It may also hinder you from working hard to achieve your priorities and getting what you really want in life.

If you find yourself procrastinating more than actually taking action, then you could be in real danger. Try doing the following tips and tricks to overcome too much procrastination and turn your plans and thoughts into a productive action!

Set up reminders.

It’s really a good idea to buy a daily planner so you will be guided of the things you need to accomplish for the day, or for the entire week. When you know what your priorities are, you will be more motivated to limit procrastinating and work more.

Wake up early.

If you do, you are more likely to finish your tasks early, especially if you work from home. And even if you are a regular office employee who has a fixed 9-to-6 schedule, you can still benefit from being an early riser. How? By getting up earlier than usual, you can actually give yourself time to reflect, make your to-do list, and probably formulate better solutions for your work issues.

Get up and move.

Being inactive can make you feel drowsy, unmotivated and uninspired. On the other hand, being physically active can spark your creativity, make you energetic and happier! So when you find yourself straying from your task to surfing the internet, browsing your FB news feed, or watching video clips, consider doing some stretching first. Just 10 minutes of physical activity can power your body up and activate your creative mind.

Find a healthy outlet.

Doing same things everyday can really be stressful at times, no matter how much you love your craft. And when you are stressed, you are more likely to procrastinate. To avoid this, find a healthy outlet. It can be something that you enjoy doing – cooking, sketching, reading, taking photos, etc. Give yourself at least 30 minutes everyday to do things you are passionate about. Call it “my time”.

Time yourself.

This is a very good way prevent procrastination. Set a specific timeframe for each task you need to do – say, 45 minutes, and then you can rest a bit. This helps you avoid burnout, especially when you’re working on complex projects.

Be mindful.

Be aware of your surroundings. Be aware of what you feel. When working, try hard not to let your mind wander from the present moment. This way, you can exert all your brainpower to your work and you can ensure a good outcome at the shortest possible time.

Give time for quietness.

Most of us spend lots of time plugged in to the digital world. But it can be overwhelming and stressful too. Set aside at least 15 minutes for mindfulness and quietness. Just free your mind. Think of nobody, think of nothing. Just focus on your breath. You will be surprised of how relieving this simple mental practise is!

Give yourself a break.

Don’t be too hard on yourself. As mentioned, procrastination is a warning sign than you need to rest or slow down. It’s okay to give in to procrastination once in a while. No matter how tight your schedule is, give yourself some time to rest. You deserve it anyway.

Work less.

One common reason why we procrastinate is that we bombard ourselves with so many tasks that even before we start, we are already feeling tired and overwhelmed. Learn how to prioritise your tasks. Identify which are urgent and at the same time important (not just urgent or not just important).  When you distribute your workload properly, you won’t feel too stressed. Also, learn to delegate some of your tasks. You are not a superhuman. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to lessen your load.

Just do it.

When all else fails, just carry on with your work. Don’t get caught to making excuses. Just do what you’ve got to do. That task, no matter how difficult or overwhelming, will have an end.

Whenever procrastination is affecting your productivity, pick one or two of these strategies that are most suitable to your situation. They may just be what you need to stay focused and on track.

 

As always, I welcome your comments. And if you find this article useful – do let me know.

regards

Richard Scott
Clinical Hypnotherapist & Psychotherapist
greymatterz.co.uk

@RichGreymatterz

Part of the Core Health Centre