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Monday morning tips:

1) Focus on starting, not finishing. - The idea of having to finish a pile of work only brings stress (stress --> procrastination).

2) Start small - If you can't work for 4 hours, work for 2, or 1, or 30 minutes, or 5 minutes. Every minute counts. Start.

We're often held back by our own hesitance and indecision.

Staring at a screen or reading more articles won't help then. It's just procrastination masking as research.

Need to make a decision?

Isolate yourself with it.
No people, no distractions.
You and the decision.

Simple tip:
If you're procrastinating, take a 10 minute break from all technology.

Stare out of the window, sit and think, eat a snack...
Often that's enough to get into the right frame of mind.

Long to-do lists only stress you more. Hide them. After all, you can always take on more tasks from them once you're done with the short list.

A to-do list is a tool - it should help you take action, not stress you out.

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Instead:⠀

1. Make the long list.⠀
2. Select 1-4 items from it and make a separate list.⠀
3. Hide the long list from sight (where it won't stress you).⠀
4. Select 1 item from the short list and start working on it.

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If you don't know where to start, a good place is making a list.⠀

However, it shouldn't stop there.⠀

If you make a long list of everything you wish you'd do, tomorrow you'll take 1 look at it and feel overwhelmed.

The longer you've been putting something off, the smaller the initial goal should be.

If you haven't run in years, a marathon likely will be too big of a challenge.

But 1 mile? You can do that easily. That's a good start.

Thinking about a long list of things you have to do is exhausting and overwhelming. (Speaking from experience.)

Forget the pile of to-dos and ask yourself:
What's 1 thing I can start on right now?
Just 1 thing.

Read 1 page, write 1 paragraph, create 1 slide,...

Start there.

2 minutes of breathing deeply alleviate much stress.

Stress is what we want to escape by doing anything but work (=procrastinating).

If you lower stress, you lessen the need to escape.

2 min. Breathe. Go!

Warning:
Not resting at all combined with guilt or shame produced by procrastination lead to chronic stress.

Chronic stress is not good for us at all.
Which is why it's a good idea to rest.

Find at least a couple hours when you don't expect yourself to do anything productive.

Do you have an inner critic in your mind?
A tiny persona telling you your work sucks, isn't going to amount to anything?

Ignore the guy at the outset.
Just keep writing, recording, coding...

Only once you have something, gradually start listening to it to improve your work.

How to procrastinate:

Someone tells you (or you tell yourself):

"This task is very, very important and if you can't do it perfectly on your first try, it will have profound negative impact on the rest of your life. And you can't do it over."

Challenge this subconscious pattern

There are no perfect ways to start things. What only matters is actually starting.

Starting in 5 min imperfectly is way better than starting 2 months from now because you found THE perfect way.

Many students, entrepreneurs and creatives struggle with procrastination because there's no external institution creating structure in their lives (school, company...)

If that's you, realize calendar is not an enemy
Put fun in it first, then work.

Create your own structure.

You can work on the same document, same presentation, or same program forever, and not see visible results. It's demotivating.

Manual work is easier (you get feedback fast) you see a tidied room, a mowed lawn, or a finished painting.

Create your feedback. Make progress visible.

One reason why productivity can sometimes be so elusive is the initial effort required.

When you open Twitter, Netflix, or start a game, you just click/tap and you're rewarded. You feel good.

But remember:
With work, the reward is slower to come, but much sweeter in the end.

Many students, entrepreneurs and creatives struggle with procrastination because there's no external institution creating structure in their lives (school, company...)

If that's you, realize calendar is not an enemy
Put fun in it first, then work.

Create your own structure.

Feeling overwhelmed?
Too many tasks on your to-do list?

Here's a short audio mini-lesson to help you:

soundcloud.com/deprocrastinati

If you don't know where to start, a good place is making a list.

1. List tasks on your mind.
2. Prioritize them (add numbers or ⭐️).
3. If you're feeling confident, start on the highest priority task. If not, start with any task at all to build momentum. Then move to ⭐️

Helpful?

It's an example of a "protocol" a step-by-step manual on how to get from procrastination to productivity.

Find more here:
deprocrastination.co/demo

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3.
Work for 10 minutes

Start with something mildly productive, not wildly productive.

If you don't feel like continuing after 10 minutes, take another break.

After your break, you should be in a state of mind that is better for work (less reactive and impulsive).

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