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Wellness

How To Stop Procrastinating–and Start Doing Your Stuff

The most effective way to stop procrastinating is to stop thinking about what to do and start doing it. It’s a simple, straightforward principle, if you will. Once you’re done thinking, you’ll probably feel more organized, less like a zombie, and more like you can really commit to anything.

While there is no evidence that a lack of procrastination results in a lack of productivity, it can definitely speed up time-consuming tasks. As much as I hate to admit it, I’m guilty of procrastinating. I procrastinate on stuff because it’s easy, or because I’m worried it won’t make me look smart, or because I’m overwhelmed and can’t think of a way to do it. But the truth is, the only way to stop procrastinating is to actually do what you’ve procrastinated on and start the process over again. You never really “save time” by procrastinating – you only save time by being proactive and not getting sidetracked by what you need to do now, or what’s being talked about on the news. But by making sure you do what you “should” be doing — regardless of whether or not you feel like it or like you feel like doing it — you’ll be able to enjoy a much more productive and time-efficient lifetime.

There are a lot of strategies for procrastinating, most of them involving “getting going” and “just starting doing it” instead of putting things off. There are ways to “stopping procrastinating” too – but, unfortunately, most of them seem to involve “getting started” but putting things off. One of my favorite techniques? Not procrastinating at all .

Do you ever feel like going to work would be a waste of time and effort? Do you often feel the same way when you are trying to get things accomplished in your life? If you don’t do your work while thinking about it, you might feel like you’re just wasting your time doing this type of work. In this article I’ll discuss a number of strategies and techniques for stopping procrastinating, which is a much more time-efficient process than most people seem to realize: 1) Stop thinking about what you need to do, start doing it. 2) Get started on your work NOW.  Don’t worry about doing it while it’s on your mind. 3) Do one thing at a time. Do exactly one thing at a time and stay present with it for at least 15 minutes. 4) Don’t take on new things if you are not 100% sure that you’ll enjoy them. Don’t waste valuable time going elsewhere for advice or information, or spending days searching the web for answers. The most productive thing you can do is simply to take action now. Try these ideas and see if it helps you stop procrastinating.

The Art of Thinking

In The Art of Thinking, Daniel Kahneman explains all of the major areas in which we can increase our mental agility. It’s a very practical book, which I highly recommend. In one of the chapters, Kahneman discusses the way thoughts are like chess pieces. Each thought has a value. Some thoughts are useful, and they can play an important role in determining how you live your life. Others are unimportant, and if used too much, they can actually hinder your productivity. Some pieces can be moved around for better play, or put back where they came from if not played well enough. If a piece is not played well enough, the other pieces will be playing well enough. As each movement around the board becomes more and more favorable based on its value, the opponent’s pieces will move in the opposite direction. If your opponent can move all of the “bad” pieces around and still leave you with a piece, the best thing you can do is move all of the good pieces away from the player with the piece that is the only piece you can’t play. But if you play your best piece — or one of your best pieces in the first place — away from the opponent, then all of his “bad” pieces can be removed from the board without having to lose too many of your “good” pieces. Thinking is like chess: It’s all about trying to determine what your value is to your current and future plans. As you move from one spot to the next, try to determine which of those spots will give you the best return for the time you are willing to put into it.