Ready to stop procrastinating and make some progress? Try one of these seven simple hacks to motivate yourself into action. Give them each a try over the coming days and weeks and find the ones that make the biggest difference for you. Whenever you find yourself procrastinating, come back to this list and employ one or several of these hacks. Your productivity will soar.
Tip #1: Pick Something Small
One of the big reasons we procrastinate is because something feels overwhelming. There’s too much to do, so we choose to forget about it for a little while. It’s a coping mechanism, just not a very productive one. Instead, pick one thing, something small that you can do right now to move you in the right direction. This creates momentum and forces you to take action.
Tip #2: Set A Time and Go
Another hack that works like a charm is to set a timer. Your phone has one built in, as do most smart watches. Set it for fifteen or twenty minutes and chip away at a task you’ve been procrastinating on. This works just as well for declutteingr your closet as it does for filling out those dreaded expense reports. If twenty minutes feels too long, start with ten. Again, the goal is to start and do something.
Tip #3: Bribe Yourself
There’s nothing wrong with bribing yourself if that’s what motivates you. Work on a home improvement project for an hour and then watch an episode of your favorite show. Or promise yourself a new gadget or pair of shoes when you finish painting the living room. Come up with something that motivates you and go for it. Remind yourself of the prize at the end of the project whenever you’re tempted to put things off for another day.
Tip #4: Find an Accountability Partner
Find someone else who’s either trying to be more productive or beat procrastination themselves. Check in with each other daily. Share what you want to accomplish and what you will get done today. Knowing you have to report to someone else makes you take action. It’s also motivating to see the other person do the same. Try it. I have an Inner Circle that I meet with weekly, and we keep each other accountable. Want in? Message me and I’ll give you the details.
Tip #5: Measure Your Progress
When you’re working on something long-term like losing thirty pounds for example, it can be tempting to procrastinate because it doesn’t seem like you’re making much progress. Instead, prove to yourself that you are getting closer and closer by tracking or measuring it. Make a chart, use a spreadsheet, keep a journal. Find a way to measure your progress and use it to motivate yourself to keep going.
Tip #6: Remind Yourself of Your Why
There’s a reason you’ve decided to do that thing you keep putting off. Think about why you want to get it done. Is it so you get your tax refund? So you can run around with the kids? So you can find the clothes you actually want to wear? Find out your why. Write it down and then keep it front and center. Look at it every day before you get ready to get to work.
Tip #7: Just Start
I've saved the best for last. It's the easiest but also the most powerful. Hear this. Just get started. That's right, sometimes all you have to do is just get moving in the right direction. Do something. Do anything. Even if it's something super small. You get over that initial hump and start to build some momentum.
Forgive yourself for procrastinating in the past
Getting over procrastination takes action. Of course that is easier said than done. Today I'm going to share a simple three-step process with you that will help you get off your butt and get more done than you ever thought possible.
It all starts with a goal. You have to know what it is you want to accomplish. If you don't know what your goal is, it's hard to know what you should be doing first or what you should be doing right now to move in the right direction. So what do we do instead? Anything other than the work we know needs to get done.
Your goal is simply putting what you know you need to get done into words. A good goal has defined parameters and a set deadline. That doesn't have to be complicated. Here's a simple goal we all strive to accomplish. We have to file our taxes by April 15th. You have a pretty good idea of what paperwork you need, what forms you need to fill out, and where you need to turn them in. You also know what your deadline is. In other words, you have a well-defined goal when it comes to filing your income taxes. And yes, I realized most of us still procrastinate when it comes to this particular task. That's why the remaining steps are just as important as the first one. For now I want you to think about one thing you need to get done and turn it into a goal.
Write it down. I don’t care if you find a random scrap of paper, use your favorite notebook, or type a note to yourself on your phone. The important part is that you put your goal into writing. This does two things. First of all, it helps you clarify what your goal is. You have to get pretty specific when you try to put what you want or need to do into words. Secondly, writing it down gives you something to look back on. It serves as a reminder and as a tool that you can use when you are tempted to procrastinate.
Last but not least, it’s time to get started. That’s often the hardest part, isn’t it? You’re tempted to skip your workout until you lace up your shoes and get started. Once you’re off and running, it’s much easier to keep going. Once you have your goal written down, think about something you can do right now to move you in the right direction. Go do that. Then come back and do something else. Each morning, start by looking at your goal and challenge yourself to take action. Before you know it, you will have made some serious progress. And you’re starting to beat procrastination.
What goals are you going to commit to for this month? How about for the rest of 2021? What about in the next year? Let me know and I'll help you stay accountable.
Forgive yourself for procrastinating in the past
Over the course of seven blog posts, I’m going to share my best tips and strategies for overcoming procrastination with you and we start today with - Forgiveness. I know it seems like a strange place to start, but it’s an important first step. Here is why forgiving yourself for procrastination should always be the first step.
Here's the thing. There's nothing you can do about the past except learn from it. Beating yourself up about not following the plan you made for reaching a goal does you no good. Quite the opposite actually. If you stress yourself out and engage in negative self-talk, you make it worse. Those feelings of anxiety will enforce your habit to procrastinate again the next time.
The next time you find yourself procrastinating, tell yourself that it's okay. It's not the end of the world. Say it out loud and then promise yourself to try to do better. Trying is the important keyword here. You're working on mastering a new skill and changing a habit. That takes practice, time, and often failing a few more times, too. Remember, it's part of the learning process.
You may feel frustrated at times about your lack of progress. It's normal. If you can, tap into that frustration and use it to motivate you. Vow to try again and do better. Look at your mistakes. What caused you to procrastinate this time? Learn from it and you will start to do better.
Maybe there's a big task and you started strong, chipping away at it a little at a time. Then you missed a day, and another. That's okay. Not great, but okay. You did well for a while. It's good practice and maybe this particular experience taught you that you can't allow yourself to skip more than one day on an ongoing project.
There's always something new to learn whenever we fail at something or slip back into a bad habit. At the very least we figure out that something isn't working for us. Maybe you do better with three to-do's per day. The Oola Framework is a great way to get better at setting goals and getting three action steps done a day with the Action Tracker.
Forgive yourself for procrastinating so you can move on and practice some more. But, the trick is to move on and keep working at it. Don’t give up.
Tell us - Are you a procrastinator? I am when it comes to doing the dishes. What things are you most likely to procrastinate about?
The best way to insure that happens is to plan your meals ahead of time. If you’re already familiar with meal planning you’ll be pleasantly surprised how quick and easy the process of planning and preparing your meals becomes when you’re only cooking once per day.
Intermittent fasting is a great way to improve your health and lose weight, but when you’ve been fasting all day, it’s easy to undo all the good you’ve done if your daily meal consists of junk food and sweets. Instead, make an effort to eat a healthy and balanced meal. Fill your plate with plenty of salad and veggies, healthy fats and a good source of protein Then round it out with a few treats you’ve been looking forward to all day. This way you can indulge in a handful of potato chips or a small slice of cake instead of ravenously finishing up the whole bag or way too much cheesecake when it’s time to eat.
Here’s how I go about planning my meals. I start with a healthy main dish. That could be grilled chicken, fish, a steak or even a burger. Soups or a bowl of chili are favorites in the winter time. I may even fix my favorite pasta dish every once in a while. Next I plan on having a large portion of steamed veggies or a big salad along with another side dish if needed. That’s what goes on my meal plan and everything I need for the week goes on my shopping list. This makes it easy to shop. I know I have everything in the house to cook my healthy meals at night.
Of course a few treats for dessert are fine as well. If your main goal is to lose weight, you want to stick to low carb options with your main meals in general and treats in particular. Dark chocolate, dill pickles and smoked almonds in moderation are all good choices. If your body can handle the natural sugars, some fresh fruit is another great option. Sliced bananas topped with a little heavy cream or whipped cream are a delicious treat.
You might find it helpful to plan in your treats and desserts as well and only by a few small things. Not having a lot of food, particularly anything you tend to crave, is a good way to keep temptation to cave at bay when you’re fasting during the day. Of course it will also keep you from overindulging when it’s time to eat.
Give it a try and see if planning and prepping your meals ahead of time makes it easier for you to stick to your intermittent fast.
Check out more of my blog here: https://cathrynknock.com/blog
We talk about breakfast all the time. And if you believe your mom, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It isn’t but that’s a topic for another day. For now, let’s talk about the word itself and its origin. When you break it down its break - fast, or breaking your fast. It’s the meal you eat to break your fast and when you think about it, we all fast a little each night. We make it for 10 - 14 hours without food from the time we eat dinner to the time we eat breakfast.
And breaking your fast is an important part of any fast. It doesn’t matter if you’re intermittent fasting or doing on a long traditional fast. Eventually you need to break it and start eating again. And what you eat makes a difference depending on how long you’ve been fasting.
BREAKING YOUR INTERMITTENT FAST
This is the easiest fast to break. You’ve only gone without food for a few hours, basically just pushing back breakfast by a few hours. Or maybe you’ve fasted for a full 24 hours with nothing but a little Topo Chico to sustain you. In either case there aren’t a lot of rules to follow.
Just make sure you don’t eat too fast when you start your main meal. Take it slow and give your body a chance to tell you when you’re full. Since you’ll be skipping some meals it’s also important to pack all the nutrition into the meals you do it. Start with plenty of veggies, add in a quality source of protein and then round it out with the foods you’ve had on your mind while you were fasting.
If you’re sticking to an intermittent fast to lose fat, limit the carbohydrates and sugars in particular as much as possible. You don’t want to cause your insulin to spike and load up your liver with glycogen that you have to burn through before your body can shift back into fat burning mode.
BREAKING A 36-42 HOUR FAST
If you are fasting for longer periods, you also want to start things slow. Break your fast with a cup of broth or some thin soup. Stick to a salad next and slowly start to introduce more solid foods.
Even during a relatively short fast, your digestive system starts to slow down. You don’t want to overwhelm it with a bunch of hard to digest food. Start slow and listen to your body.
Breaking your fast the right way will make sure you get the best benefits possible from your fast and it allows your body to adjust to food in a painless and healthy way.
Intermittent fasting isn’t hard to do, but we all have days that are harder than others. As a general rule of thumb, the first few weeks will be the toughest to get through. After that your body (and your mind) will be used to not eating during your fasting hours.
That said you’ll occasionally have days that are tougher than others. Most of the time it’s little mind games we play. We tell ourselves that we are hungry, not feeling well, bored, sick, and we just need a little food to make it all better. And those thoughts are enough to get the hunger pangs started.
The key to getting through those days is to distract yourself until it’s time for your next meal. Here are five tips to help you do that.
TIP #1 - STOP STARING AT THE CLOCK
The first thing you need to do is to stop staring at the clock. Time moves much slower when you’re watching the seconds tick by. Don’t even allow yourself to look at the time. Go do something else. Anything!
Get some work done, call a friend, go clean the bathroom, or walk the dog. It doesn’t matter. But whatever you do, don’t look at the clock for a good long while.
TIP #2 - MAKE A CUP OF TEA OR COFFEE
The ritual of making a nice cup of coffee or tea can calm and center you. Take your time and make it last. Then curl up and enjoy that cup. Not only will it help you pass the time, it also fills your belly and that may be just what you need to make it through those last few hours until it’s time for breakfast / lunch.
TIP #3 - GET OUT OF THE HOUSE
Sometimes one of the best distractions is a change of scenery. Go get out of the house. Run some errands, head to your local park with a blanket and a good book, meet a friend for coffee or just head into the back yard for some gardening.
TIP #4 - LOSE YOURSELF IN A GOOD BOOK OR MOVIE
Do you have a book or audiobook that you love? How about a Movie or Netflix Series? Find something you can lose yourself in and use it as a last resort distraction for those days when you can’t get anything productive done or you’re ready to relax and make it through that last hour or two of your fast.
TIP #5 - EXERCISE
Last but not least, get some exercise. Go for a walk, head to the gym, practice yoga, or dance to a Zumba DVD. It doesn’t matter. Not only will you pass the time while burning more fat but, exercise also releases endorphins that will make you feel better.
I hope you’ve found these tips helpful. Do you have some ideas of your own? What’s your favorite way to distract yourself before it’s time to eat again?