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What should you be doing right now?

As you know I am a huge procrastinator. When I have a big deadline looming, that’s normally the exact time I decide cleaning my apartment is super important! Or I’ll spend hours researching a topic to write a post about, instead of just writing it!

The bigger and more demanding a task is, the bigger our reasons for not doing it become. For example, if you want to write a book tidying up your apartment is probably only going to buy you a day or so and then you’re going to have to write that book! Read more

Don’t Waste Your Sunday

I love Sundays! There’s so many things you can do with this final day (or first depending on how you look at it) in the week. You can catch up on errands and chores, relax with a bottle of wine and Netflix or get some much-needed sleep. The only problem with Sundays is that they feel really, really short!

It’s fairly normal to get to 9pm and look back and wonder where the day has gone. This can sometimes lead to “Sunday Evening Bum Out”. It can really set you off on the wrong foot for the start of the week.

Here are some ways to make sure you get the most out of this day so you can start on Monday feeling refreshed!

Plan your Monday on Friday – As tempting as it is to rush out of the office as soon as you can on a Friday – it might be worth to take a little bit of extra time to plan out your Monday. I like to make an action plan all the things I have to do so I can hit the ground running when I get into the office. It’s also smart to get your desk space and your email inbox tidy as well. Now you can relax all weekend knowing that your Monday will run smoothly. Read more

The 3 Classic Flaws of Productive People

What makes a person organized? If you ask my friends and family they’d say that I was born with stellar time management and organizational skills – but that’s not true!  I’m actually a procrastinator and it wasn’t until I became a TV producer that I got my act together because I had no other choice!  When your segment is going live – you need to be ready…no procrastinating allowed!

When I started to think about it – I  realized this is actually the case of most of the super-organized people I know. Many of them were once disorganized or procrastinated just like me.

So what changed? How were they able to overcome it? They found a coping system. A hack to make sure they accomplished their tasks despite their flaw. Here’s a few of the most common ones:

 

Being Forgetful – Whether it’s true or not, I forgot always sounds like the lamest excuse. While we are all permitted the occasional bout of forgetfulness, frequent memory lapses are seen as an excuse for laziness or a lack of motivation. In order to get by,  genuinely forgetful people turn to list making and organization as a way to keep themselves in line. Many forgetful people will develop a daily routine so that they don’t forget key tasks. They tend to struggle with too many lists as they compulsively write everything down.

Tip – A great trick that I use all the time myself is setting reminders in my phone. If a friend tells me she’s heading off to vacation on Friday, I set a reminder in my phone and then I don’t forget to wish her a good trip.

 

Perfectionism – It seems obvious, but many productivity obsessed people are perfectionists from a young age. Everything must have a purpose and a place – there is no room for error. Perfectionists also turn to lists because they hate it when things go wrong. So they will often make a backup plan for a backup plan! Their only downfall is they can sometimes waste time making sure their list is juuust right instead of getting on with it. Part of the problem here is also getting everything in line before getting started on a task.

Tip – Sometimes you just have to say “I’m going to work on this thing for 10 minutes and see how it goes.” Oftentimes that’s the only push you need to get started and combat being a perfectionist.

 

Handling Procrastination – As I’ve always said procrastination is my fatal flaw. I can always think of at least 10 other things I could do instead of the task I should be working on! So I started using lists to force myself to keep on track. The one problem I have though is that I will often waste time looking up apps or websites that could help me complete my tasks, when it would have been quicker to just do it!

Tip – Making daily lists of what I need to get done and breaking up a task into steps has been amazingly helpful when getting through my daily to dos.

What’s your flaw that forced you to be more productive?

 

10 Activities to Reward Yourself the Right Way

Reward yourself the right way with thisI’m going to let you in on a little secret.  I’m a huge procrastinator and sometimes the only way I can get anything done is with a reward.  You know — a light at the end of the tunnel type thing.

If you have nothing to look forward to, your workload can quickly overwhelm you. So I’m a big fan of rewarding yourself after completing a time-consuming task.

However, it’s also important that the reward matches the progress that you’ve made.  So if you spend 20 minutes replying to your emails, you probably should treat yourself to a marathon Netflix binge.

But put a limit on it.  Will you watch 1 episode of House of Cards or 2?  If you plan out your reward in advance – it will be much easier to stick to it and get back to work.

There’s the thing though — a reward doesn’t have to take hours to be effective. There are some quick ones that will do the trick just as well.

Here is my list of small rewards you can treat yourself to without feeling guilty:

  1. Make a cup of tea.
  2. Go for a walk for 15 minutes.
  3. Listen to your favorite song.
  4. Watch a cute animal video for 4 minutes.
  5. Send a silly text to your friend.
  6. Eat some dark chocolate.
  7. Go on an adventure via Periscope for 10 minutes.
  8. Look up something you want to buy online for 15 minutes. (But don’t actually buy it until you’ve finished all your to-do’s for the day!)
  9. If you like to exercise, you could go for a quick jog or do some 10-minute yoga.
  10. Read a chapter of a good book. (Sign up here for a free chapter of Listful Thinking!)

How do you like to reward yourself?

Getting to Your Forgotten To-Dos

ShineonWe all have that one thing at the bottom of our list. The thing that keeps popping up over and over again and getting copied from list to list. My friend Karen Rizzo, author of “Things to Bring, S#!t to Do.” – an autobiography in lists, had ‘learn Italian’ written on the bottom of her list for years. Other people have different goals like learning a musical instrument or running a marathon.

Well now it’s crunch time.

The first thing you have to think about is – Do I actually want this? It’s fun to dream about learning a new language, but the reality is  — it takes a lot of time and work. Do you have that free time? It’s okay to let it go if you don’t. We can’t do everything.

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