You wish that one day procrastination will end and that you can simply do the work that needs to be done. Every time you sit down to work on something, you feel like checking your Instagram feed first. This may feel frustrating, but you can fix it. Let me show you 10 ninja tricks to fight chronic procrastination and boost your productivity.
Chronic Procrastination hinders your goals
You have goals. You want to learn a new skill or improve your social life. But always something gets in the way.
24 hours in a day don’t seem enough, time passes, and you’re left with unmet goals. You are busy, but you feel like you’re not accomplishing anything.
Distractions as a Service
You think that, if you would have lived 200 years ago, it would be easier to be more productive. And you are right.
In the past life was simpler. People had less choices in terms of education, activities and how to spend their time.
Nowadays it feels like everyone and everything requires your attention. The technological advances of the 21st century brought us everything on our screen.
So, now you must deal with all the news, social media, chatting, media streaming, online searching and the list goes on.
You're left with no other choice other than to procrastinate or even worse you develop a form of adhd and then you start seeking for therapy.
It’s not as dark as it seems
Luckily technology doesn’t only bring us trouble and distractions. It also gives us tools to fight these distractions.
Below I am giving you 6 online and 4 natural ways to boost your productivity and fight chronic procrastination.
1. Learn touch typing
Unless you went to a school where touch typing was part of the curriculum, you probably do not know touch typing. A couple of years ago, I was also in the same spot when I moved to a country where touch typing is being taught at school.
The result? Every single student of this country knew touch typing, but I didn’t. What did I do? I started learning it online. I was practicing every day for 15 minutes and after 3 months I was at a decent level.
After 1 year I was nearly at the same level with these people who had been using the blind typing system, since they were kids at school.
Learning touch typing is like an investment. You spend time now, in order to be able to write faster (and cooler!) for the rest of your life. Also, remember that you do not practice solely through the online platform that you may use; You will practice typing during many instances of your life, like when you use social media, write articles or notes. So, the process gets easier.
Back then I was using a free online tool called TypingClub, which is a cakewalk to start with.
2. Check email and social media only once a day
The practical results of this action are obvious (less checking means more free time), but what I want to stress are the mental benefits of this action. Communication in general, including communicating via email and social media, is great.
We are social human beings and most of us cannot do without speaking to others. The bad aspect, though, regarding email and social media is that, despite the values that can offer you (e.g. chatting, news), they contain a lot of crap too.
Crap in social media is everywhere. Crappy useless news, stupid photos of your ‘friends’, who are addicted to social media, notifications about someone asking you to like his Facebook page and so on. In emails crap mostly appears in the form of newsletters and especially spam messages.
Of course, besides crap, both social media and emails contain useful info too but checking them only once per day (I suggest you do it in the morning) will make you feel much calmer and unstressed.
3. Do now what needs to be done
Let me explain with an example. In the previous tip I suggested you check emails once a day. So, when you check your emails, you will have to respond to some of them.
What you should do is to take care of business right away, if possible and not let this thing bother you again.
Set your own deadlines and make them as short as possible.
4. Start using a Tasks Management tool
What do you do when you come up with a new idea or just something simple that you must do (e.g. repair your car)?
You think about it for a minute and then forget about it and continue with what you were doing until that moment.
If it was a new idea about a project/business, you may never remember it again. If it was about repairing your car, you’ll remember it but probably when it’s too late.
Even the strongest minds can’t remember everything. What they do instead is taking notes the moment they think about something.
You can go naturally and write your notes on a notebook or you can do what I do and use an online tool like Trello for a more advanced experience.
With Trello you can create tasks, set due dates and checklists for every task, upload images and many more.
You can also download the mobile app, so as when something comes to your mind on the road you can create a task on your mobile phone, and it will synchronize with the desktop version.
Trello is free to use and it’s the most productive tool I’ve ever used.
5. Start using shortcut keys
On your laptop’s keyboard you can combine pressing 2 or more keys, in order to perform an action faster than you would do it by using your mouse.
Some of the ones I use regularly on my Windows laptop are:
Ctrl + C
Copies text & files
Ctrl + V
Pastes text & files
Ctrl + X
Cuts text & files
Ctrl + A
Selects All text & files
Ctrl + B
Types bold text
Ctrl + I
Types text in italics
Ctrl + U
Types underlined text
Ctrl + S
Saves a file
Ctrl + Z
Undoes an action
Ctrl + Y / Ctrl + Shift + Z
Redoes an action
Ctrl + T
Opens up a new browser tab
Ctrl + W
Closes the browser tab you are on
Ctrl + Tab
Navigates through browser tabs
Ctrl + Shift + N
Opens up a new browser window in incognito mode
Ctrl + Shift + Tab
Navigates backwards through browser tabs
Ctrl + Shift + Arrow keys
Selects entire words/lines
Alt + Tab
Navigates through different open windows
Alt + Shift + Tab
Navigates backwards through different open windows
Shift + Arrow keys
Selects text letter by letter
Windows key + L
Locks your laptop’s screen
Windows key + P
Opens up the projection options
If you replace mouse clicking with only some of the above shortcut keys, you’ll save precious time.
6. Use a password manager
Besides the security aspect of using a password manager, it also saves you precious time. How many times have you forgotten a password and then struggled to recover it?
With a password manager tool, you don’t have to remember your passwords anymore. You can set strong passwords for all your logins and then let the tool do the authentication for you.
If you are using Google Chrome, you can use Chrome’s native password manager. For something more advanced you can check out LastPass, which is super convenient, and it lets you store additional data like social service numbers, credit card details etc.
7. Quit masturbating
This hack mostly applies to men, since women usually claim that they rarely masturbate (let’s believe them for now). Why you should stop masturbating then, guys? First thing is that masturbation absorbs your energy.
Quit masturbating for a week and you will notice that you will be full of energy to go out and take care of business. Being busy (in learning and creating, not working 10 hours a day) can make you more attractive to women, as you will be much more confident and you will know much more things to help you have a discussion with a chick in a variety of topics.
Finally, masturbation is clearly a substitute of sex, and this means that it helps you live without having sex. That’s it. I don’t think that people who have tried both think that a debate exists over which one is better…
8. Eat healthy
This is a matter of eliminating distraction. When you eat a lot of junk food the short-term consequence is that your stomach may complain a lot, because of the large quantities of sugar, preservatives and bad fats that you consume.
The long-term consequence is that you will be more prone to a disease like diabetes or others that will cost your time, by having to visit doctors and stay at hospital.
On the other hand, when you eat fresh healthier foods full of vitamins and good fats, then you feel better and you also minimize the chances of spending time and money on healthcare.
Exercising obviously takes time but has many benefits that can save you time in the future. First thing is that exercising increases the levels of your general health, which means less time spend in hospitals.
It also makes you stronger, which becomes handy in everyday life (lifting and carrying things easily). Finally, being fit boosts your confidence, which is something that you'll need on your way to success.
10. Read books
And blogs of course! Go for whatever kind of books you like (strategy, novels, scientific). True education is reading the content you choose and like.
Through strategy and scientific books, you learn things you can apply in your life. Novels are entertaining, contain hidden life messages and can also help you sleep more easily and so you don’t waste time trying to sleep every night.
BONUS 11. Outsource
This, of course, requires you can afford it. You can outsource certain tasks you do in your daily life like cleaning your house or cooking. If you run a business you can outsource things like web development of your website, photos/logo creation or even hire a personal digital assistant to handle you email accounts.
In both these cases, outsourcing can save you precious time, so as you
can focus on more important things in your (professional) life.
So, these were my 10+1 best productivity tips. What I want you to do is pick one of them that seems easy enough to you and start implementing it.
Try it out, measure your progress and let me know of the results in the comments below.
Also, if you think I missed something or if you know of any other productivity trick, I would love to learn about it.
Until next time.