We all do it. Put off the things we know we need to do for five more minutes, or until tomorrow. We sit around doing nothing, or completely meaningless tasks, all the while telling ourselves "I need to start...."
I don't know a single person who isn't guilty of it; because that's what it makes you feel t the end of the day, right? Guilty and disappointed, and sometimes even overwhelmed because we just made tomorrow's to do list even longer by not completing the tasks for today. Why do we do it? Believe it or not, it has nothing to do with not having "enough time" or "enough hours in the day" (you spent 4 of them scrolling through Instagram, c'mon) and everything to do with self-doubt and fear. We are either afraid to fail, or even worse, afraid to succeed. We procrastinate because it is easy. It's easy to do easy things instead of the hard things we know we have to do to move forward; and so we stay stuck and comfortable. Success means growth and change and we are so terrified of change we would rather sit and do nothing. Let's not forget... nobody wants to fail. It isn't a good feeling at all, but on the other hand, success is nothing but a bunch of failed tries until you got it right. You can't fail if you do not try, but you can't succeed either. (click to tweet this)
Nothing will ever be perfect, and it is insane to use the fear that everything will not be perfect as a reason not to do what we need to do. Luckily, there are some actionable steps you can take to get out of the cycle of procrastination and start having more productive days.
1. Make a List
Writing down you goals will help you put your day into perspective and help you to navigate through tasks more easily, as well as a reminder and reference. Checking things off your list feels pretty damn good too!!
2. Do the EASIEST thing first.
Huh? Yep. But it goes against what I've been told! Yep. I am sure you have heard that in order to be more productive you should tackle your hardest task first and breeeeze on through the rest of the day, easy-peasy, right? Nope. Not if you're a master procrastinator. That's the one thing you've been putting off for months, why would you wake up excited to get it done now? You wouldn't. Put the most simple to complete tasks on your list first...it will require minimal effort and give a feeling of great reward. When your friends say "what did you do today?" your answer is no longer "oh, nothing..." you did something! Now you feel motivated to do more right? Right.
3. Stop Excusing It
How many people do you know (besides yourself) who claim they "work best under pressure" and so they always wait until the very last minute to even start something they need to do? Or how about they say they are greeeeat at multi-tasking (aka they put off tons of things and now have to do them all at once). You're all wrong. In reality, you work your very worst when you are under pressure and against the clock, and you only started out of that pesky fear (failure, disappointing others, etc) of not doing it at all. When you rush...you do not perform at your highest ability. Juggling several different tasks with a very short time-frame does not allow you to fully commit to each things and you will also under-perform in all areas. Stop excusing it.
"When you rush...you do not perform at your highest ability."
(click to tweet this)
4. Hold Yourself Accountable (and enlist a friend too)
Not only will it help to write out your list of tasks, but telling someone, posting it to social media, or asking your friend to be your accountability partner will help to keep you on track. Once you let the world know your plans, your more likely to stick to them, and friends will often check in on your progress.
5. Break it Down
Break harder and larger tasks down into more manageable things you can do in a short amount of time. Even small amounts of progress, bit by bit, add up to larger lasting productivity. If you are dreading cleaning the house, maybe work on one room at a time. Keep putting off cleaning out your car? How about just collecting all of the half empty water bottles from the floor to start. It's easier to eat the pie if you slice it first.
Even small amounts of progress, bit by bit, add up to larger lasting productivity.
(click to tweet this)
6. Pomodoro It!
There is a brilliant time management hack called the Pomodoro Technique that has been proven to be a life saver for procrastinators. You simply set a timer for 25 minutes and begin working on a task, completely uninterrupted. When the time runs out, you reward yourself with a 5 minute break. Take a stretch, drink some water, browse the web. Then another 25 minutes and either complete the task or if it is done, move on to another. Not only does this keep you focused and on task because doing something for only 25 minutes is not too daunting...we also work towards the reward of the break.
Implementing these tasks will not only help you stop procrastinating and get things done, but also give you more confidence and sense of accomplishment. This will fuel you to do more and more and before you know it you have moved from Procrastination Nation to Productivity Paradise! :)
The C-word. It's a daunting thing. Your credit report and credit score can drastically affect the things in your life such as interest rates, loan approvals, and sometimes can even get you denied to rent a property. That is a lot of pressure, stress, and anxiety from one little number. This is why fixing your finances is absolutely a part of gaining total wellness. You want to feel in control and relaxed when you go to make a big purchase like a new car or home, without the added stress of being turned away for not proving your "credit worthiness".
Only about 1% of the entire population has a perfect credit score. As discouraging as that sounds, it is my personal belief that this percent would be a lot higher with a little education and effort. If you are reading this, you are looking to improve your credit score, and the great news is it is absolutely possible by just doing a few simple things. The first thing you will need to do is obtain a copy of your credit report and score so that you know what you are dealing with. Even if you do not know what the numbers mean, your score will clearly let you know if you have an excellent, good, or poor score. There are a number of steps you can take to make that number go up, and improve your chances of credit approval.
1. Search For Errors
Studies show that about 80% of credit reports contain errors. Your credit history could span back decades, so start with personal information like inaccurate addresses. Other errors your report could contain are accounts or charges that were not authorized to be opened by you, accounts that have been closed or paid still showing as open, and open accounts that report the wrong amount owed. Dispute all errors, as they will likely be removed.
2. Check and Eliminate Balances
If you have credit cards, it is important that you not only pay down the balances on those accounts, but that you are also keeping your income to debt ratio down. Even if you pay your balances in full each month, it will not look good to utilize your full credit limit each month. So pay your balances, and keep them low. Also, make sure you do not have too many open accounts with balances on them, as this could affect your score. It is often better to have one card with an $80 balance than two cards with $30 and $50 balances. Low balances and on time payments are key.
3. Pay Bills on Time
This is probably the most important thing on the list. When you are applying for a loan or credit card, the creditor is basically checking to make sure you have the ability to make on time payments to your debts. Falling behind on payments can result in your credit score being lowered, even if you are only a few days late. If you need to, enroll for automatic bill payments or schedule auto payments on collection debts so that you stay up to date.If you have any late payments, catch up and stay on top of it. You could even pay your credit card balance early, and the bureau reporting will reflect a lower amount due, which is a factor in your credit score.
4. Keep and Use Old Accounts
Some people think that closing old credit card accounts they have not used in a while will help them not to overspend. However, this could end up being bad for your score, because the length of time an account has been open raises your score, as it establishes your credit history. People with credit history of less than a year often have very poor scores, and people who possess perfect scores, among other things, have had accounts open 20 years and upwards. Along with this thought, you may want to spread your charges out among your older cards with a charge or two each month to still keep your balances low and assure you can make your payments. That's because credit card companies have started closing inactive accounts, so you want to show some activity in order to maintain credit history and continue to raise your score.
5. Get a Pro
Depending on the state of your credit, you may benefit from the help of a financial planner, or a credit repair specialist. They are trained in this area and working with a credit repair expert can alleviate some of the pressure of contacting creditors and develop an action plan to reach your financial goals.
Krysten Jai is a professional organizer, certified life coach, and wellness consultant. Her blog, UrDailyFix and business under the same name are catered to personal development, productivity, and wellness.