5 Tips To Minimise Procrastination and Maximise Productivity

Eliminate Distractions

Everything wants to take up all of your time and distractions are everywhere.

Whether it’s your phone, friends, parties, the beach on a hot day or any activity that doesn’t get you closer to your goals, they’re distractions.

 

“Procrastination is the bad habit off putting of until the day after tomorrow what should have been done the day before yesterday.” – – Napoleon Hill

 

Over the year I’ve spent a lot of time trying to defeat procrastination and improve my focus. I’ve found 2 things:

You Can Never Beat Procrastination, Only Minimise It

To realise this, you need to break down what procrastination actually is. I think this definition nails it:

Procrastination is anything that draws your attention from chasing your goals.

Considering the above ANY task that isn’t something that helps you get closer to your goals, is a distraction.

Meaning – sleeping, relaxing, eating (some people take bloody hours just to eat one meal), are all distractions.

Whether you like it or not.

You Need To Be Selective

Once you’ve accepted the above, you can work on this one.

Being selective with your procrastination and distractions is critical.

Things like eating, sleeping, exercise need to be done but there’s an effective way to do them.

(spending too long sleeping or spending hours eating while watching TV is taking advantage of positive distractions and so it turns into procrastination)

While things like; watching TV, partying or spending whole days at the beach are distractions that should be filtered out.

Everything is a distraction, you just need to chose the ones you’re willing to spend time on or sacrifice.

To do this, you need to have a set of rules that you use in order to make sure you keep procrastination and distractions to a minimum.

These are the ones I use everyday:

 

1. NEVER MULTITASK

You can do two things at once, but you can’t focus effectively on two things at once.

– Gary Keller, author of The One Thing

So many people are convinced they can multitask when, in reality, no one can.

All multitasking gives you is the opportunity to fail at 2 things.

You cannot talk on the phone, speak to someone in real life and brush your teeth.

But how does it relate to procrastination?

Take this example, writing a blog post and checking your social media accounts on your phone.

By doing this, you’re pulling your focus from writing and putting it somewhere it really shouldn’t be.

It can take up to 15 minutes just to get back to work. Once you allow for one distraction, you invite all of them.

When you’re doing a task, focus on that one task. Engulf yourself with it.

2. Do Things Quicker

This is one that I’m glad I figured out.

Everything can be done quicker than you think. You just allow too much time.

Especially with things like eating meals, exercising and sleeping.

  1. If you eliminated all distractions and focused purely on eating your breakfast/dinner/lunch, it should really only take about 15 minutes. Having the TV on doesn’t help.
  2. You don’t need an hour at the gym when you spend half of it taking photos, walking around aimlessly (I know you do it) and checking your phone between reps.
  3. You need 8 hours of sleep MAX. 6 is minimum. 7 is perfect. If you went to bed a little later than normal, that doesn’t mean you need to sleep in till 10:00am the next day. It just means you went to bed a little later. You should still get up a 6:00am.

If you’re doing any of the above. You’re wasting a shit load of valuable time. Time that could be spent getting ahead.

3. Use A Timer

Apart from my girlfriend, a timer has became my best friend.

(I had to say the first or else I’ll get in trouble)

Use a timer for all activities and try to beat it daily until you’re doing it as fast as you can.

This will help eliminate all distractions.

For example, I’ve been using a timer for my ’20 comments on Medium posts a day’ activity.

At first it would take me about 1.5 hours because I would let myself get distracted. Now it takes me about half an hour. I’m still putting in just as much effort, I’ve just learnt to get rid of the distractions.

4. Write It Down

This one was recently taught to me by a post I read. I wish I could tell you which one it was.

If you have an idea while you’re working on something, write it down and move on.

Then come back to it after you’ve finished whatever you were doing.

Don’t action it there and then.

5. Be Rude And Close Your Door

I learnt this one thanks to Tim Ferris’s ‘The 4 Hour Work Week’.

Where ever you work. Close the door.

I’ve found that with it open, people seem to come in for everything an anything. More often than not, with nothing worth while to say.

So I closed my door and the amount of times I was interrupted was less.

Then for the people who still come in, make it very obvious that they’re unwelcome.

It’s not that you don’t like the person or have anything against them but every distraction will ruin your concentration.

So be rude and brush them off. Sounds harsh but it needs to be done.

I’ll give you an example of why.

A few days ago, I was writing a blog post. My father came into my room to tell me he was going down the street.

Prior to this I had great flow and was getting a lot done. He came in at exactly 9:24am ( I had looked at the time). I didn’t start work again until 11:05am.

In that huge gap, I managed to sit with my dog for 20 minutes, brush my teeth for a second time that morning, call my girlfriend just to talk and spend half an hour setting up new widgets for my blog. I have no idea where the other time went. All distractions have a consequence.

All distractions have a consequence. No matter how small the distraction, it breaks your concentration and you won’t be able to get back into the rhythm.

Tips to remember:

1. NEVER MULTITASK

2. Do Things Quicker

3. Use A Time

4. Write It Down

5. Be Rude And Close Your Door

 

If this helps or you have a question, please leave a comment and I will get back to you ASAP! 

Read my popular post: Planning For 2018



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