Here is the magic anti-procrastination potion for you:
An Ounce of Self-analysis
As much as you cannot base your work habits on motivation alone — it’s important to examine your deep desires and follow them. Becoming productive for the sake of productivity will not cut the mustard!
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We are social animals. According to Jim Rohn, one of the finest business philosophers of the 20th century, our motivations come down to different groups of people.
Some people are motivated by their social status in the eyes of their peers, some want to impress their mentors, others do all they can do for their families. The last category of motivation applies to the wellbeing of humanity as a whole.
You need also to take an inventory of your talents, strengths, and passions. We are naturally drawn to activities that we excel at. I have many talents, but I was never attracted to art. I suck at painting and every other artistic activity.
Daily habit: Journaling
Every morning I write half a page in my calendar ruminating about my ambitions, fears, struggles and hopes. Do it every day and you will quickly create a base for the overarching self-awareness about your purpose and strengths.
A Pound of Basics
Everybody wants to be more productive, but very few people take care of their wellbeing first.
You need a healthy body, mind and spirit to function optimally. Instead of focusing on mastering a time management framework, most of us would do better by simply getting enough sleep.
The same goes with spiritual practices. Everybody wants to have infinite motivation, but very few try to regularly reach the only infinite Source with their prayers. I am an Energizer Bunny; I’ve worked insane hours for the last six years, but I draw my motivation from the divine, from Someone so much bigger than me.
Daily habits: Thus, I urge you to focus on basics first. Sleep enough, pray, exercise, read, hydrate yourself properly, train your mind, eat whole foods.
Cover the basics, then think about productivity.
One Dose of Why
It’s good that whatever you do connects with a bigger picture. It’s also good to have a very personal motive for any particular goal you pursue.
Part of Jim Rohn’s goal setting exercise was to ask yourself why you want to achieve this goal… and if your answer doesn’t sound convincing you should never start at the first place.
I watched an excellent video where comedian Michael Jr. asked a guy from the audience what he does.
The man responded that he’s a music teacher. Michael Jr. asked him if he could sing. The guy sang a few lines of “Amazing Grace” pretty well. Then the speaker asked him to sing like his Uncle just got out of jail and he was shot in the back. The guy sang SO much better with this “why”.
Daily habit: refer to your personal mission statement
Every morning I look at my vision board based on my personal mission statement. I also repeat my mission statement in my mind as soon as I open my eyes.
My personal mission statement is my compass for life, something that deeply motivates me. It’s not a temporary whim and it deeply connects with who I want to become.
Oh, you need to write your mission statement first, of course.
A Pinch of Smartness
You know, all of this time management mumbo-jumbo. It really makes sense, when you focus on your why first and cover the basics.
Set only one priority for a given day. Tackle it first, before doing anything else.
Keep a detailed time journal for two weeks.
Write down all your projects.
Break down bigger tasks into smaller chunks and repeat the process until each task is broken into its smallest subtasks.
Prioritize and serialize the subtasks, taking note of interdependencies and tasks that have a specific order.
Prioritize your to-do items and block time for each task.
Take on the hardest task first each day.
Exercise stepping out of your comfort zone.
Prepare a list of filler activities in advance; don’t spend your energy on wondering what to do next when you have a few minutes to spare.
Break big tasks into smaller chunks, so you can do them “in the meantime.”
Use the Pomodoro technique.
Reward yourself after doing the work.
Take often breaks.