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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According to one recent report, members of the workforce who are 50 years old or older are more likely to get hired than their younger counterparts.
The recent survey, conducted by Braun Research and commissioned by Adecco Staff, found that 60 percent of hiring managers said they would employ a mature worker, while just 20 percent said they would bring on someone of the Millennial generation.
The survey also showed that nearly all managers surveyed, 91 percent, believed that mature workers were reliable and 88 viewed these older employees as professional.
Some believe the study reveals that companies all over the country place a high value of those with more experience.

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That cute, affable guy who brags of his drunken exploits on
FaceBook.com may be meeting a lot of other partiers online, but
he’s probably not getting added to the “friends” lists of many
corporate recruiters. A recent study by the executive search firm
ExecuNet found that 77 percent of recruiters run searches of
candidates on the Web to screen applicants; 35 percent of these
same recruiters say they’ve eliminated a candidate based on the
information they uncovered.
“You’d be surprised at what I’ve seen when researching
candidates,” says Gail, a recruiter at a Fortune 500 company who
recently began looking up potential hires on the Web. “We were
having a tough time deciding between two candidates until I found
the profile of one of them on MySpace. It boasted a photo of her
lounging on a hammock in a bikini, listed her interests as ‘having
a good time’ and her sex as ‘yes, please.’ Not quite what we were
looking for.”
“Another time I went to a candidate’s site and found racial
slurs and jokes,” Gail continues. “And there was yet another
instance where a candidate told me he was currently working for a
company, yet he left a comment on a friend’s profile about how it
‘sucked’ to be laid off, and how much fun it was to be
unemployed!”
As the amount of personal information available online grows,
first impressions are being formed long before the interview
process begins, warns David Opton, ExecuNet CEO and founder. “Given
the implications and the shelf-life of Internet content, managing
your online image is something everyone should address –
regardless of whether or not you’re in a job search,” he says.
Because the risks don’t stop once you’re hired.
Twenty-three-year old Kara recently took a job as a management
consultant at a high-profile practice in the Los Angeles area. An
Ohio native, with no friends or family on the West Coast, Kara put
up a profile on MySpace in the hopes of meeting new people.
Kara was judicious in how she set up her site: “I didn’t fill
out that cheesy questionnaire many people post, where you describe
your best feature and say whether or not you shower every day.” she
says. “I used a photo that was flattering but not at all
provocative and was even careful what music I chose.”
Within a few months, Kara met many others online who shared her
interest in biking and water sports. One Friday morning, Kara
decided to call in sick and go surfing with a few of her new pals.
That weekend, unbeknownst to Kara, her friend posted some of the
day’s pictures on her profile and sent Kara a message saying, “We
should call in sick more often.”
Unfortunately for Kara, her boss happened to be patrolling
MySpace to check up on her college-age daughter and came across
Kara’s site and the dated photos!
Mortified, Kara says she learned an important lesson — not only
about honesty, but about how small the world of online social
networking can be and how little control you have over any
information put out there.
Not all employers search candidates and employees online, but
the trend is growing. Don’t let online social networking deep-six
your career opportunities. Protect your image by following these
simple tips:
  1. Be careful. Nothing is private. Don’t post
    anything on your site or your “friends” sites you wouldn’t want a
    prospective employer to see. Derogatory comments, revealing or
    risqué photos, foul language and lewd jokes all will be viewed as a
    reflection of your character.
  2. Be discreet. If your network offers the
    option, consider setting your profile to “private,” so that it is
    viewable only by friends of your choosing. And since you can’t
    control what other people say on your site, you may want to use the
    “block comments” feature. Remember, everything on the Internet is
    archived, and there is no eraser!
  3. Be prepared. Check your profile regularly to
    see what comments have been posted. Use a search engine to look for
    online records of yourself to see what is out there about you. If
    you find information you feel could be detrimental to your
    candidacy or career, see about getting it removed — and make sure
    you have an answer ready to counter or explain “digital dirt.”
This article is courtesy of Careerbuilder.com

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