Every single one of us is different.
No matter if you’re a dad, a son, a student, a grandma, an online entrepreneur (hint!).
Fact is, we all procrastinate and we all get things done.
But we like to do it our way.
Hence why there’s a ton of different advice on learning how to beat procrastination in the form of books, courses and even coaches because there’s not a single formula that can help us all.
One of the most ironic things that happened to me recently, was that I recommended a book on how to be more productive.
It was a free download behind an opt-in page so it was, perhaps a one minute job.
Well, somebody told me “I’m going to set a reminder on my to-do list to download the book, thanks!”.
A one minute task.
Seriously. That totally happened.
And hopefully, you can begin to see how far we have taken procrastination and accepted it as part of our everyday lives.
Productivity Hacks You’ll Find Online
“Be nice to yourself.” – Never thought about it, thanks.
“Get a good why.” – Well, of course, I want to get shit done and live the internet lifestyle!
“Be mindful.” – As in… I’m one with the Earth and my surroundings?
“Wake up early.” – Ok.
“Go to sleep early.” – But why?
“Cut cable.” – No thanks, I actually like to bet and watch NFL games.
“Follow a task list.” – You don’t say!
“Stop checking your e-mail.” – How can I reply to my friends then, telepathy?
As you can see from just these simple recommendations, there’s not a “one-size fits all” kind of checklist that we can all follow in order to beat procrastination.
That’s the main reason why you need to find out what works best for you and the best way is to actually start testing small things out and see for yourself.
Where I Currently Stand About Procrastination
You should know that I’m a married guy (no kids yet though), I have a very demanding full time job and I have a family that requires my attention on weekends.
My job starts at 8:00am I get a two hour lunch break and ends at 7:00pm.
No 9 to 5 shit here… ooops sorry, I actually meant “shifts”, in Mexico.
I come back home at around 7:30pm, grab something quick to eat and by 8:00pm, I’m ready to rock.
And then I’m presented with choices.
Actually, tons of them.
I can go out for a jog, I can start playing video games, I can go to the movies, I can take my wife out for dinner, I can buy a 12-pack of beers and do nothing but listen to music, I can actually get some work done (hint!) you get the idea.
And this is exactly the moment of truth, when you ask yourself…
Am I going to be productive or not?
It’s literally a two second answer.
Find Something Fun In Your Tasks
Answering “yes” to that simple question is not an easy thing.
Sometimes work can be fun, you’re learning something or you are simply doing something that you love so making the choice to work, it’s actually quite easy.
The problem is, when the work required is a task that you hate doing.
It can be boring, repetitive, mind numbing, gross (hey, somebody has to clean the toilets!) or whatever.
A simple trick I do that works wonders for me, is I try to find out (in advance) what’s the fun part on doing a certain activity.
Once I’ve identified a fun part, then the activity itself, is no longer difficult.
I just go out there and do it.
Cross it off my list and grab a beer or pat myself in the back with a little treat.
Correct Use Of To-Do Lists
So instead of following hundreds of rules about procrastination, I kind of created my own way of doing things.
I keep everything separated and I mean everything.
I have a to-do list at work, that only contains stuff from work, nothing else.
I have a to-do list in my home office, about internet marketing where I enter small bits of projects, branding, content creation, anything that has to do with the things I do online.
There’s a fridge to-do list, that has food needs, dates to pay for apartment services, rent, reminders for house errands, etc.
And I finally have a Sergio Felix to-do list, where I enter social meetings, running races, family birthdays, things like that.
This last to-do list, it’s mostly things I jot down on a calendar hanging out on a corkboard I have on my home office so it doesn’t need that much attention.
That’s ALL I have.
I keep all of these short, straight to the point and I try to avoid adding 100 different things to a single day.
What I Personally Do To Be More Productive
I have something like an “inner system” where I do one or two things I don’t want to do but that are very important and then I take a rest or do something fun.
If I’m working at my home office, I’ll reward myself playing one game on playstation, getting one beer, mess around a bit on social media, things like that.
If I’m at my job’s office, I’ll read an article I wanted to read, watch a video that interests me, go to the near-by store to get something to drink or a snack, etc.
I don’t use reminders, do not carry a ton of pads with me, I stopped using post-its, I like to live a simple way and I really enjoy it.
I do have pen and paper and I keep a very small pad (like the ones you get from hotels) and then I plan my entire day there.
I enter one activity per line and as soon as I finish something there, I cross it.
I will never know what actually happens (in our brains) when you put your activities down on paper and cross them as you go.
But doing something as simple as that, actually helps builds momentum and that, feels great!
At least it does for me, I’m not saying this will work for you.
So there you have it.
I’m not giving you 100 different ways to beat procrastination and this is not meant to solve all your productivity problems either.
It’s a fun and informal way, to understand we are all different and if you have failed before, it’s only a matter of time until you find out what works best for you.
I wish you nothing but the best on finding clarity and the best formula for making the most out of your time.
And remember, productivity is a matter of choice.
Let me know what you think in the comments area.
Take care and talk soon!