Staying Productive When You're A Perpetual Procrastinator
'Eventually' has been a prominent word in my vocabulary for as long as I can remember. I am a master at putting things off, unless, of course, my inevitable worrying takes over and urges me to complete a task. I used to think I suffered from procrastination because of laziness or a lack of will, but as I've grown older and learned more about my behaviour, I've realized that it goes a bit deeper than those shallow reasons. I find that a lot of the time I put the brakes on any motivation or any will I may be experiencing because of fear; the fear of failure, of rejection, etc. Whatever it is, you name it, and I've feared it at some point or another.
With time, this fear can be curbed, especially when it comes to work or school - this was when I learned how important getting things done really is. We are all working towards something, and to just let it slip through your fingers because of something as a frivolous as procrastination seems counterproductive. Work is hard, but dealing with the repercussions of not doing it can sometimes be harder.
Be A Little Anxious
I'm sure the last thing that anyone wants out of life is to feel stressed out, but I've learned that sometimes being a little anxious is a well-needed kick in the butt. There are countless essays and work assignments I wouldn't have gotten done if I wasn't an innate worrier and feared what people would think of me if I let them down. Going with the flow or letting whatever happens happen are great mentalities to have in general, but when it comes to work and actually getting shit done, feeling the pressure can be a vital tool in staying productive.
Write It All Down & Talk It All Out
I have always been an advocate of writing things down. What a shock, coming from someone who owns a blog and freelance copywrites, I know! Honestly, though, making a list of tasks and to-dos has been a game changer for actually accomplishing certain goals. This works especially well with daily lists because that way a bigger goal or project that might take a few months to be completed can be broken down into small fragments of the total effort it will take. Tricking my mind has worked wonders for my productivity.
However, I've learned that when you write down tasks you are the only one who knows about them and the only person that can truly hold yourself accountable. So, I've also started voicing my goals to the people around me who I think will be supportive and offer constructive feedback. This helps, not only in recognizing a different perspective in the methods you are taking to complete your work, but also in understanding that you are not the only person who knows and cares about it.
Allot Your Time Wisely
Just telling yourself that you'll "wake up early" isn't going to help when trying to get your work done. Without a schedule (even a rough one) you won't have a guide of how to allot your time and how long each task will take to be completed. I am a huge fan of the antiquated agenda - it's great for jotting down small to-dos, but also scheduling every hour of the day and giving yourself some time to just relax and recuperate.
Don't Start Working On An Empty Stomach
Some people equate 'the grind' to skipping meals, but I just can't do that. I enjoy food and the act of eating too much to push it aside for something as trivial as making money. I like to start my day with a hardy breakfast and a hot cup of coffee - I don't feel like a fully functioning person until this ritual has been completed. Once I feel somewhat rejuvenated from my long sleep (I always aim for 7-8 hours, otherwise I just can't function) I can sit down and start grinding away.
The notion that you are not accomplished or successful unless you are suffering in some way is completely ridiculous and I refuse to fall into that trap. We are allowed to achieve our goals and still live to tell the tale. In my opinion, it's all about allowing time for the important things and what you think will make you the most productive. For me, an empty stomach will only leave me grumpy and unable to work.
How do you squeeze productivity out?