How to Overcome Procrastination and Boost Your Productivity
We all have days that feel extremely busy, but at the end of the day, we feel like we haven’t accomplished anything meaningful. We look at high-achievers around us and wonder how they manage to get so much done. Unfortunately, we live in an era filled with distractions; our minds are constantly being bombarded with information, making it difficult to focus. As a result, we often feel overwhelmed, and this leads to procrastination.
However, creating a powerful mind capable of focus and productivity is not impossible. Here are five tactics that can help you dramatically boost your mind’s ability to focus and fend off procrastination:
1. Control Your Physical Clutter
How does your environment look around you? Is your desk or bedroom organized or chaotic, with items scattered all over? Our physical surroundings tend to reflect our mental states. Therefore, a messy physical world can draw energy away from productivity.
Every time we see a mess, we’re reminded of what needs to be tidied up, and this saps our energy. Marie Kondo’s book, The Magic of Tidying Up, is an excellent resource for organizing your physical space. A minimalist lifestyle can create a more productive space in our minds. Going through old items and donating clothes can make you feel like you’ve lost ten pounds of mental load. Steve Jobs wore the same outfit each day, emphasizing the power of simplicity.
2. Control Your Virtual Clutter
How many notifications are on your phone? How many unread emails are in your inbox? Virtual clutter is a very real thing, and it can cause us to waste a lot of time and energy. Unsubscribe to emails you don’t find any value in, ask to be taken off email chains that you don’t need to directly respond to, and decrease the amount of email coming in. Once done, take time to practice ‘inbox zero,’ to optimize your time spent there. Social media can also be a huge energy drainer, so clean it up just like your email. Unfollow people who post things that negatively impact your mindset.
3. Become Unafraid to Say NO
If you find yourself consistently feeling overwhelmed and busy, it may be time to say ‘no’ more often. Determine what you can handle, and don’t be afraid to decline invitations or offers. Saying yes to taking on more work only compounds feeling overwhelmed. It is only by saying no that we can truly control our energy, focus, and time. For instance, Richard Branson’s assistant declined an offered speaking gig because his current strategic objectives were different.
4. Schedule Your Time
Set defined schedules for important tasks. If it’s not on the schedule, assume it doesn’t exist. Trying to remember all the things you need to do without a set schedule often results in things never being done or taking more time than initially planned. Create a non-negotiable scheduled time to complete important tasks, and guard that time vigilantly.
Think about someone who wants to get in shape. If they try to hit the gym whenever they’re free, chances are they will never or rarely make it to the gym. The same principle applies to productivity. Plan the time when you will work toward your goals and have it at the same time each week. Emphasize this point to people who may ask for your time during the dedicated time.
5. Upgrade Your Lifestyle
In order to create a powerfully productive mind, we need to build a lifestyle that creates energy to be our best selves. Having a healthy mind and body allows you to get more done, battle procrastination and get you exactly where you want to go in life. So take care of yourself like you would a Rolls Royce. Don’t neglect your sleep, your nutrition, or your fitness. Richard Branson even claims that working out each day gives him an extra four hours of productivity.
In conclusion, overcoming procrastination and boosting productivity can seem like an insurmountable task. However, by controlling physical and virtual clutter, learning to say no, having defined schedules, and creating a healthy lifestyle, anyone can achieve a productive and focused mind. So, take back control of everything that enters your mind, and focus on the things that matter most.