How to get more done

“Only Put Off Until Tomorrow What You Are Willing to Die Having Left Undone” – Pablo Picasso

Do you find yourself saying:

  • I’ll finish that when ________ .
  • I’ll take care of that as soon as ________ .
  • I know I should do this now but ________ .

And, then the day sweeps away and tomorrow comes and goes?

If this behavior of putting off impending tasks to a later time is habitual, you may be a chronic procrastinator.

Procrastination is the avoidance of doing a task that needs to be accomplished. It is the practice of doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable ones or carrying out less urgent tasks instead of more urgent ones, thus putting off impending tasks to a later time.

Sometimes, procrastination takes place until the “last minute” before a deadline. People may procrastinate personal issues (raising a stressful issue with a partner), health problems (seeing a doctor or dentist), home care issues (patching a leak in a roof), or academic/work obligations (completing a report). Procrastination can lead to feelings of guilt, inadequacy, depression and self-doubt.

20 percent of people chronically avoid difficult tasks

Procrastination is the Gap Between Intention and Action

There are many ways to avoid success in life, but the most sure-fire just might be procrastination.

  • Procrastinators sabotage themselves.
  • They put obstacles in their own path.
  • They actually choose paths that hurt their performance.

Why do People Procrastinate?

1 – Twenty percent of people identify themselves as chronic procrastinators. That is as many as 1 in 5 adults (not just students!) may be chronic procrastinators.

For a habitual procrastinator, procrastination is a lifestyle, albeit a flawed one. And it cuts across all domains of their life. (Psychology Today)

Examples of a chronic procrastinator:

  • Don’t pay bills on time.
  • Miss opportunities for buying tickets to concerts.
  • Don’t cash gift certificates or checks.
  • File income tax returns late.
  • Leave their Christmas shopping until Christmas Eve.

2 – Procrastination is not a problem of time management or planning.

Procrastinators are not different in their ability to estimate time, although they are more optimistic than others. “Telling someone who procrastinates to buy a weekly planner is like telling someone with chronic depression to just cheer up.” – Joseph Ferrari, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology at De Paul University in Chicago

3 – Procrastinators lie to themselves.

When we procrastinate, we are making excuses for poor performance and behavior. We become expert at making excuses to put off things that we need to get done.

Here are some phrases that indicate you are making excuses and are procrastinating (a nicer way of saying you are lying to yourself), which will hinder your success:

“I work best under pressure.”

When you procrastinate, you try to trick yourself into thinking that you perform your best when pressured by a deadline. However, this is never the case. When you put things off until later, you have less time to review and finalize, so you have more errors in the finished product. (Ziglar Vault)

“I am too busy right now.”

Procrastinators try to justify putting things off until later by saying that they don’t have the time to do what they need to do. However, this excuse usually means that you will still be very busy later. Time is always the same, regardless of how “busy” you are.

“I’m not a procrastinator; I’m a perfectionist.”

Both types of people like to take their time, but the difference here is that there is motivation for delaying. Perfectionists want their work to be the best it can be, while procrastinators just avoid getting things done at all costs.

It's easy to procrastinate when you can convince yourself that everything is important but panic soon sets in.

It’s easy to procrastinate when you can convince yourself that everything is important, but panic soon sets in.

Effects of Procrastination

People experience the devasting effects of wasting time and not meeting deadlines at both the business and personal levels. Procrastination may result in:

  • Stress
  • A sense of guilt and crisis
  • Severe loss of personal productivity
  • Business and social disapproval for not meeting responsibilities or commitments.

These feelings can combine and may create further procrastination.

The bright side?

It is possible to overcome procrastination…with effort!

5 Hacks and 15 Ways to Beat Procrastination

Wouldn’t it be a breath of fresh air to get on top of things and stop feeling guilty, stressed, and sometimes even hopeless about our ability to stick to priorities?

Here are five hacks that will help you beat procrastination:

1 – Schedule your day in 15-minute blocks.

Multi-tasking is one of the easiest ways to procrastinate because it allows you to delay less-enjoyable tasks. The best way to prevent that and increase your productivity is by using time-blocking.

First: Start by planning out your day and everything you would like to get done.

Next: Divide those tasks into 15-minute blocks, because it will allow you to set realistic deadlines and not waste time.

Dividing time into blocks is known as the Pomodoro Technique.

Suggested apps to make time-blocking easy: TimeDoctor and RescueTime

2 – Set S.M.A.R.T goals.

A goal without a plan is just a wish. When you have concrete tasks with deadlines, your chances of delaying are much lower than they would be if the task isn’t well defined. S.M.A.R.T goals are the enemy of procrastination.

S.M.A.R.T goals are the enemy of procrastination.

Suggested apps to help track your progress: Nozbe or Strides

3 – Use the George Washington method.

The George Washington method involves picking an arbitrary point in your day and setting this as “noon”. You then move forward in segments, only focusing on the hour you’re currently in. It’s simply another way of organizing your time.

Interesting fact: This is the same strategy that the White House cleaning staff still uses today.

4 – Remove distractions from your workspace.

Busy workspaces are unfortunately very distracting and conducive to procrastination. If you’re really serious about staying focused, you need to create a distraction-free workspace. Some ideas include:

  • Position your computer screen away from the window. This prevents you from getting distracted with what’s going on outside of your office.
  • Remove knick-knacks from your desk. While stress balls, bobbleheads, and interactive gadgets may look cool, they actually reduce your focus.
  • Uninstall distracting apps from your computer and delete bookmarks to websites that don’t pertain to business. It’s amazing how much time you can waste on your computer by mindlessly clicking through these websites.

Remove All Files From Your Desktop Daily

Read: 5 Practical Science-Based Tips to Make You More Productive

5 – Find accountability partners.

One of the best things you can do is find some accountability.

  • If you work from home, this may look like asking your husband/wife to check in every day to see what you’ve done.
  • If you have a close friend or colleague who is in the same industry, then you can do a daily progress call with them.

Have a look at this infographic for 15 techniques to fight your tendency to procrastinate:

15-ways-overcome-procrastination-get-stuff-done-infographic

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Procrastination isn’t something you can afford to take lightly.

What are you tips to beating procrastination?

We’d love to hear from you.

Please share!

See the original post: The Psychology of a Procrastinator: 15 Ways to Overcome and Get Things Done

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bad posture can affect your health, mood, productivity, and even success?

In our ongoing series of sharing productivity tips to help improve your work-life equilibrium, read more to discover how improving your posture can impact your chances of success (including social media).
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In recent posts, we’ve drilled down into why sitting all day at work is considered the new smoking and even gone so far as showcasing some awesome standing desk ideas.

Sitting = Smoking

But in addition to the health issues associated with a sedentary lifestyle, did you know that having bad posture can affect your health, mood, productivity, and even success?

The correct position of the spine

According to data from the makers of the Lumo Lift (a lightweight wearable solution for your posture), the majority of American workers spend an average of only 36% of their workday in good posture.

Workers are spending as much as 38 minutes per hour slouching, says Monisha Perkash, CEO of Lumo Bodytech. Women’s postures are 20% worse than men.

Sitting or standing with your head up and shoulders back, in what is often called a “powerful pose,” can:

  • Help prevent back pain
  • Improve your physical well-being
  • Make you better at your job (think social media blogging)
  • Reduce stress
  • Increase chances for success

What are Power Poses

Amy Cuddy, a researcher at Harvard University, who studies body language and the impact it has on your hormones classified different body positions as “high power” or “low power” poses. In general, the high power poses are open and relaxed while the low power poses are closed and guarded.

Below is an image showing the different types of power poses.

High Power body language is open and relaxed. Low Power body language is closed and guarded.

Striking a powerful, expansive pose changes a person’s hormones and behavior, just as if he or she had real power.

From Fast Company, here are three surprising ways your posture impacts your success:

1 – Good posture improves productivity

The bad news:

  • Poor posture is one of the leading causes of back pain, which is the second reason for visits to the doctor, outnumbered only by the common cold, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
  • Poor posture-related back pain costs American employers over $7 billion a year and is the leading cause of disability for employees under the age of 45.

The good news:

Proper posture contributes to productivity by keeping workers at the office and away from filing disability claims, but is also associated with other health benefits, including:

  • Higher levels of energy
  • Reduced incidences of migraine headaches
  • Lower stress
  • Greater concentration

2 – Good posture improves productivity

The “powerful pose” releases chemicals in the body that can make you more confident.

When you open your chest (push your shoulders back and lift your head), two things happen:

1 – Testosterone, a hormone associated with greater confidence and power, is released.

2 – Cortisol, a hormone associated with stress, is lowered.

One Ohio State University study showed maintaining poor posture for 30 minutes significantly increases stress levels, depression, and fear while holding yourself in an upright posture results in greater confidence and lower stress levels.

3 – Good posture improves communication

“Having poor posture detracts from your leadership.”

Social psychologist, Amy Cuddy, discussed how ‘power poses’ can make you feel more confident in her 2012 TED Talk on posture.

In the animal kingdom, power and dominance is about expanding; making yourself look bigger. When animals feel powerless, they crunch up, making themselves appear small.

When in control:

  • Cuddy says we mimic this behavior, standing tall with our hands on our hips when we’re feeling in control and when we want to exude dominance over someone else.

When in self-doubt:

  • We slouch, sometimes even wrapping our arms around our bodies.

According to Cuddy, changing your body language and engaging in the power pose makes you feel more powerful and confident, allowing you to be a better leader.

Stand Like This for 2 Minutes Per Day

The most well–known and versatile high power pose is nicknamed “The Wonder Woman” pose.

From James Clear’s post on How to Be Confident and Reduce Stress in 2 Minutes Per Day.

The most well–known and versatile high power pose is nicknamed “The Wonder Woman” pose. You just stand tall with your chest out and your hands on your hips. The images above show powerful women like Christine Lagarde and Beyonce in classic “Wonder Woman” pose.

***Just to be clear: despite the nickname and the photos, the impact of these poses is just as relevant to men as it is to women.

Making This Work in Real Life

If you’re aware of it, body language is easy to adjust throughout your day.

But if you’re like most of us, you get busy with other tasks and completely forget to check your body language. Because of this, get into the habit of starting your day in a power pose for 2 or 3 minutes.

Start your day in a Power Pose:

1. Wake up and stand in a high power pose for two minutes.

2. Close your eyes, breathe in deeply for a count of 3, hold for 1, and then breathe out fully for a count of 5.

3. Start your day – relaxed and confident!

If you are unsure how to stand, try these two alternative’s to get into good posture:

Lightly clasp your hands together behind your back while standing. Stand flat against the wall so that your head, shoulders, arms, and feet all touch the wall.___
Are you standing in a posture of confidence (head up, shoulders back)? Continue to use your power pose and you’ll be well on your way to improving your health, reducing stress and impacting your chances for success.

Did you find this post helpful? Please share pictures of your power pose and comment below!

Originally posted here: Two-Minute Trick to Increase Confidence and Impact Your Success

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Been Told You’re Overqualified?

On January 14th, 2014, posted in: Job Search Tips by Mike

Have you been told you’re overqualified for a job?  Check out this article by J.T. O’Donnell. She offers some excellent tips.

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If the housing market is truly RED-HOT in Central Ohio, that has to be good for jobs! From The Dispatch.

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This is exciting – Columbus: Among the Four Strongest Jobs Markets

Read the full Dispatch article

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