The Secret to Defeating Procrastination
“Another day to set the world on fire
If you are feeling low, aspire higher
Sing if you sing and write if you write
You never know, you might be a light!”
Many books, blogs, and online courses have been written on the subject of conquering procrastination. If you are like me, you want to know how to get rid of this bad habit, so you can become insanely productive!
Well, the truth is, there is no secret to defeating procrastination. While there are tips and strategies professionals and non-professionals alike can use to minimize it, the only way to truly defeat it is to do the work.
With every letter I type as I am writing this post, I am winning the battle against it. You can join me by opening up a word or google doc and typing something, anything (after you read this post!). It does not have to be perfect (you can go back and edit it later).
Just type away…If you need a writing prompt, ask yourself the following questions:
- Why do I want to become more productive?
- How will becoming more productive benefit my career?
- What’s stopping me from being productive right now?
Why do I want to become more productive?
For me, I want to become more productive so I can reach my goals faster. Becoming more productive will allow me to increase my chances of succeeding as a creator. How can I even refer to myself as a creator if I don’t “create” anything?
How will becoming more productive benefit my career?
Being more productive will allow me to develop new skills. I have been lying to myself about wanting to learn new skills, finish the coursework for my google analytics certificate, and write daily for the past year. The truth is, I don’t want to do it badly enough. I’ve gotten caught up in the there-is-always-tomorrow kind of thinking. Tomorrow may never come!
Now, in addition to landing that contract, she has had the chance to interview with several software development firms in our area. I have a feeling she will not be around much longer. Her story has inspired me to focus more on developing my own skills.
And that requires minimizing procrastination!
What’s stopping me from being productive right now?
The only thing stopping me from becoming more productive right now is myself. I can try to blame it on impostor syndrome, fear of failing, or the world conspiring against me.
While those may all be legitimate barriers (minus the world conspiring against me) to overcoming my lack of productivity, I have conquered those things in the past. How come I cannot defeat them today?
I blame it on a sudden lack of confidence. While researching impostor syndrome, I learned that one of my favorite poets, struggled with it at times.
Even after writing several best selling books, and penning some of the most amazing poetry, she still felt like a fraud at times. She wrote, “I have written eleven books, but each time I think, ‘uh oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.”
Learning about Maya’s battle, reassured me that I was not along in this struggle, but it did not answer why I felt like a fraud in the first place.
I believe I felt like a fraud because, even though I study a lot, there is so much in the world I am clueless about. While I may know more than your average polar bear about personal finance, I don’t consider myself an expert.
At 31 years of age, I have so much more to learn about the world, and I look forward to satisfying my curiosity every chance I get!
Now that I have shared my answers to the questions above, what are your answers? Let me know in the comments section!
While doing research on how to conquer procrastination, as a writer, I discovered some powerful strategies that might help me become productive in all areas of my life. These strategies will be mentioned in the following section!
In my search for secret to defeat procrastination, I came across a book by Laura Vanderkam titled 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think. As a journalist, she became more productive by creating a time management spreadsheet to track 30 and 15-minute blocks of time.
On a related note, I also read a book by Cal Newport titled Deep Work that discussed the concept of time blocking to perform deep work.
Cal defines deep work as, “Professional activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to their limit. These efforts create new value, improve your skill, and are hard to replicate.”
The concept of deep work is similar to the concept of “work bursting” Doc G writes about on his blog. According to Doc G, work bursting is “the process of accomplishing difficult tasks with intermittent bursts of intense focus.”
I think scheduling, focusing on deep work or work bursting can are all great strategies to use in the battle against procrastination.
To use these strategies, require you to minimize distractions and focus on the task at hand.
We live in the digital age where distractions are ubiquitous. Instead of doing my work, I sometimes find myself mindlessly scrolling through my Facebook or Instagram feeds, swiping left and right on Tinder, or randomly checking my Google analytics.
To minimize these distractions, I tried to go cold turkey and remove every distracting app from my phone. I deactivated Facebook. Within nanoseconds, I was downloading them again (a true social media addict).
I underestimated how powerful my addiction had become to technology. Plus, I realized I needed to keep Facebook for business purposes.
How else would I be able to login to the FinCon Facebook group to see if anyone needed a roommate for the conference?
For me, I found that the solution was not to eliminate social media entirely, but to schedule times for checking it. That way it would not have such a negative impact on my productivity.
- What advice would you give to someone who is battling procrastination?
- What tools, if any, have you used to boost your productivity?
- Would you pay money for an app that helps you become more prolific?
Jerry is a Business Insider Contributing Writer who is obsessed with personal finance. He believes you can improve your financial situation by applying principles taught by the financial independence community to your financial life.
If you are having trouble saving, he recommends that you join the SaverLife Savings program where you can get a $60 reward after six months (no income requirement). All you have to do is put a minimum of $20 a month into a savings account. Easy, right?
For a fun read, check out his article 10 Signs You’re a Personal Finance Addict to see if you are a personal finance nerd.
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