2 Ways To Beat Procrastination and Laziness NOW
It’s not an easy feat to literally put in 12-16 hours per day of solid work building your business. I’m not quite there yet to be 100% honest with you. But I can tell you now that every day I’m working harder than the previous day, and I have no doubt I will soon surpass 12 hours work per day and keep going.
It’s funny; I’m at the point where getting up at 4-5am every day and clearing my calendar so I can do more work isn’t weird to me. But when I mention any of this to other people they think I’m crazy. But the truth is, if you are serious about succeeding in what you do, there’s no other option than to put in 100% effort, strain your potential until the breaking point, and then keep going.
I’ve always had problems with procrastinating, like most people do. And I’ve always been fascinated by people who are able to put in the hours every day without even thinking about it. I’ve realized that it’s usually one of three reasons:
- They were brought up in such a manner that it is engrained within them to work hard.
- The end goal is so enticing that the desire to reach it paired with the fear of failure simply forces them to get the work done.
- They love what they’re doing so much that their passion is enough to push them through.
Number 1 is obviously pretty hard to control, but you can easily use 2 and 3 to your advantage by pursuing a goal that you have a passion for. So once you’ve found your passion and are motivated to get going, how do you maintain the momentum of the daily grind? Because trust me, once the honeymoon period wears off and you face adversity, you will start lacking morale.
Here’s the two most effective methods I’ve used to keep up the hard graft and bulk up my daily work output.
It’s easy to fly through the day just doing, without realizing how productive you’ve actually been. Like with any other activity that you want to improve upon, you’ve got to be measuring your results in order to review and refine. So the easiest way to track your productivity is to time track your day. Literally, note down exactly how long each activity throughout the day takes you. Be precise: Measure how long it takes to shower, to cook food, to walk/cycle/drive etc, and obviously jot down how long you take to do any task that is work related.
The key idea here is that you develop a visual representation of how you spend your time. Go back after a few weeks/months and look at days as a whole. You will see just how much time you’re spending being productive, and just how much time you’re wasting. Seeing this in front of you is a real eye opener. It seriously makes you value your time much more and feel bad for wasting precious time on meaningless things like watching TV and scrolling through social media (unless it’s work related, of course.)
I started doing this using a pen and note pad but I soon realized I was actually wasting time jotting every little thing down, so I looked for a more efficient way. I came across an app called hours, which is essentially a simple time tracker. You add in the activities you usually do, then just click on each one when you start it, and click again to stop. It meant I was spending a grand total of 2 seconds tracking every time I switched task. You can also log in online to view reports which is a lot easier than writing them up yourself. It shows you what percentage of time is spent doing each activity meaning you know exactly where you need to be wasting less time and can take action to improve your productivity.
Since I started time tracking I’ve increased my work output by at least 50%. I find that I’m thinking twice about clicking on enticing YouTube videos or going out with friends for too long when I know I need to be up the next day to get back on the grind. It’s more of a psychological thing really; seeing the results visually makes it feel like a game and I constantly want to one up myself and work harder than the previous day/week.
Hours is only available on iOS, but there are similar apps such as Toggl, Everhour & Timely, all of which are available on both Android and iOS, and offer free or paid plans.
Leveraging Procrastination time
You can’t just work 24/7, it’s always valuable to have some down time and be lazy now and again. But having smart phones and computers with us at pretty much all times nowadays means it’s easy to waste HOURS every day scrolling through social media and watching video clips without even realizing it.
So what I decided to do was to filter out any counterproductive content in my social timelines, and make sure any content I was consuming for leisure still had an element of value in it. I ended up with a YouTube subscription box filled with incredibly valuable business and self-improvement related content, a twitter timeline full of insights from some of my favorite entrepreneurs, and a Facebook newsfeed filled with content from pages that will actually be of some sort of help to me (+what my friends are getting up to, can’t just unfriend them).
I also made it a habit to only watch movies and documentaries that are somewhat motivational and/or educational. This way I’m still enjoying what I watch but it’s helping me progress at the same time. Basically, I have a very healthy information diet (another great ideology created by Tim Ferriss).
At this point in time I start my day by reading, then I’ll usually watch or listen to some sort of business related podcast/YouTube video whilst eating and making breakfast (a goal of mine is to have a personal chef one day so I won’t waste time making food). Then I’ll work all day and watch valuable content again whilst eating lunch, and in the evenings if I’m not seeing friends or family I’ll watch an inspirational movie and do some more reading.
It means the momentum is always there and never stops. There’s always something going on that’s pushing me forward. Time tracking and leveraging the time when I’m not working have both seriously helped me get to this point and it’s only going to get more intense as I build my business. But you know what? I can’t wait. I love what I do and nothing is going to slow me down.