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Shake That Ass: A New Twist on Productivity and Time Management

If you ask any  individual about the secret to their productivity, they will likely tell you that one of the main components to their success is how they manage their energy. I believe that how we manage our energy is what determines the experience we will have, the results we get, and the happiness we feel. The key to greater productivity is managing our energy. Today, we are going to talk about one easy step that will help you get a hold of your energy and make you the most productive you can possibly be. All you have to do is get up and Shake That Ass! How can “Shake That Ass” be a major key to managing your energy? Read on!

man with a wing up key in his back

In my best selling book, The Productivity Zone: Stop the Tug of War with Time and my keynote speeches, I talk in more detail about what are the drivers of our energy. Understanding these drivers and how to use them helps us create what I call a “Championship Psychology”. Champions are not born, they are self made and they do it by managing their energy. After all, you and the most successful people on Earth have the same amount of hours in the day. Do you ever wonder how they somehow managed to accomplish everything? Well it all goes back to the concept of energy and how to use. It all starts with them developing life changing habits like getting up early in the day and using their time wisely. When you start your day earlier, your energy reserves are fuller and fresher than when you’re winding down at the end of the day. Not only that, but it’s how you use the energy that you that allows you to maximize your outcome. 

Some great speakers such as Tony Robbins have harnessed this ability and have made it possible for your everyday average Joes to understand it as well. In fact, this past weekend, I was at a Tony Robbins event in San Jose. It was held in a hockey stadium and had 10,500 people. Watching the crowd and energy that was created in that stadium was outstanding. Words can hardly describe the experience other than a self-development rock concert. To learn more about TonyRobbins Events Click here

What are some energy and productivity traits

When it comes to understanding how energy and productivity are linked, there are four traits that you really need to focus on. These energy and productivity drivers are 1) Motivation, 2) Self-Talk, 3) Focus and 4) Physiology. Everybody has a certain level of control over these four traits. The determining factor is actually committing yourself to improving the way you control these traits. Today, we are going to focus on the last one; physiology. “Shake That Ass” is one strategy That encourage you to change your physiology to better manage your energy. 

Take control of your energy 

Everybody knows that your brain has a high level of control when it comes to your energy Reserves. For example if you do not get enough sleep, then you will be too tired to take on the adventures of the day. But, did you know that your physiological makeup is just as valuable a component in energy management as your mindset? Physiology is one of the easiest ways to shift your energy from a stage of stagnation to a state of productivity. There is so much power in how you physically approach your day that will allow you to enhance your use of energy. We will talk about the ways you can do this in just a moment. The only daunting thing that keeps a lot of people from effectively using their energy is the thought of actually doing what they say they are going to do. As Jim Rohn used to say, “It is easy to do and easy not to do.”

Going back to the Tony Robbins event I just mentioned, when I was standing in the stadium it was clear to see the physiological impact that was laced through the presentation. At this event, One of the best ways movement was used to enhance energy was through the encouragement of dancing and cheering. In fact, check this video out- we made a world record in the #manequinchallenge. 

The simple act of getting up and dancing can be super beneficial because it’s your body’s way of encouraging you to feel the potential energy that you are capable of. For example, we have all been in a situation where you enter a room that is filled with people who are timid, not exuberant, and just downright unenthused. Perhaps It is a conference, or an office setting, you can immediately feel the palpable and unenthusiastic tone in the room. This lack of spirit, if you will, will quickly transfer onto anyone who enters the room. While it may seem from on the outside productivity is happening, there is an obvious lack of excitement or enthusiasm. Inevitably, this muted environment will often be the culprit of creativity killing. And when you do not have creativity floating around, you can only be as productive as the setting will allow you to be. 

Some of the most successful corporations including Google, Uber, and Apple pride themselves in the physiologically stimulating environments their workers spend their time in. While we’re not saying you have to be cheering and dancing throughout your workday, it certainly does make an overall difference in how productive you can be in the long run. 

“Asstitude”

Joseph McClendon took the dancing concept one step further by lighting up that physiological change with some added fun. He calls it “Asstitude” He says this is his “Legacy”. Any time you find yourself entering a state of stagnation, you need to change things up. A state of stagnation can look like anything from being stuck to being overwhelmed, to being bored. When this happens, Joseph McClendon popularly encourages you to get up and just “Shake That Ass”. 

asstitude_defined

When in doubt – “Shake That Ass”.

It might seem a little silly, but I dare you to try it. It took changing my physiology into a whole new realm of fun and playfulness. You’ll be surprised at the burst of energy you will get when you get up and move around the next time you feel yourself entering a state of stagnation. Not only that, but there is a whole rush of feelings that come with it while you are “shaking your ass”. 

Most people on the face of this Earth love music and when you get up to the beat of the song, you can’t help but smile.  This will automatically trigger the chemical reaction in your brain that takes away to build up cortisol, the stress hormone.  Immediately you will feel yourself starting to loosen up and you really can’t feel bad anymore.

Changing your habits

Another neat component of getting up and moving around is the fact that you’re actually changing the habits that are leading you to the point of stagnation. That change in your physiology by “Shaking That Ass” breaks your unproductive thought patterns.  Instead of being stuck in a cycle of frustration, you allow your brain to see problems in a different light. 

If dancing just isn’t the thing for you, then that’s not a problem. The beauty about the “Shake That Ass” philosophy is that you really can do any activity so long as you’re ass is shaking!  that means you can get up and walk around, you can get up and do some stretches, you can get up and even run a lap or two if you don’t mind getting a little sweaty. Whatever it is that you choose to do, movement is the key to implementing this philosophy throughout your day.

Now, I am sure that there are those of you who are scratching your head at the reliability of this. However,“Shake That Ass” makes you happy, and it’s not just a theory either. The University of Pennsylvania has done a lot of work around the science of happiness. In their studies, there was a positive correlation between the effects of movement such as dancing and the levels of endorphins, serotonin, and oxytocin that is released. 

When to know it’s time to “Shake That Ass”? 

Whether you are working on a project, or trying to get through your work day, when you are finding yourself entering a state of unproductiveness your body will act by shutting down slowly. It is at this time that you know it’s time to get up and move around. Yet, many people will often forget that this is an option. Instead, they’ll resort to doing other things to try to distract themselves in hopes of getting back on track. Avoid the urge to get off task just to get sucked into another tasks like checking social media or answering emails. Instead, you need to remind yourself to get up and actually move around.

Set a routine for yourself

One of the best ways to do this is by setting a time for yourself throughout your day to get your movement in. For some, there’s a natural break in the day that allows you the opportunity to move around. For others, you will likely just have to wait until you feel like it’s time to get up and move around. Whatever method works best for you, you have to make sure that you eventually get up and “Shake That Ass”. 

We did 4 days of conditioning an Unleash the Power Within (UPW). If you are committed and disciplined (and want to add some more fun in your life) you can condition yourself without going to an event.

Here are some suggestions how to get yourself started on Shake That Ass!

1. Create a morning routine

Create a morning routine to “Shake That Ass”. What better way to wake up than to do a dance and “Shake That Ass”. You do not need to commit a whole lot of time to this either. A simple 5 or 10 minute time frame is really all you need to get you started off on the right foot. One of the best  ways to implement this is to get yourself in the zone during your morning routine. Whether it’s brushing your teeth, getting dressed, or preparing breakfast. Make sure that at some point you are moving around in a way that encourages your body to get out of its state of rest.

Speaking of morning routines, you want to make sure that you are consistent with this routine. Make it a habit to set a fixed time that you get up every morning.  I recommend giving yourself just enough time to have some “you time” before you get your day started. Allotting about an hour or so all to yourself before you head out to work or getting started on that project is ample enough to have you feeling like yourself before buckling down for crunch time. 

2. Constantly remind yourself to stay on task

Be sure to put the definition of “Asstitude” up in your wall or computer, on your cell phone cover. This next tip might sound silly,  but it is especially helpful when it comes to remembering how to Shake That Ass. It is one thing to have a mental note of Shake That Ass on your brain, but when you have it on the forefront reminding you, then you are more likely to get in touch with that concept and do it. Also, having the reminder of Asstitude front and center will be a constant reminder of how you approach the obstacles in your path. 

Your attitude is the key to resolving issues that may arise. If you find yourself getting bored, stressed, or overwhelmed, your attitude can make or break the outcome. Do yourself a solid and remember that your attitude is solely dependent on your “ass”.  when you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, literally get off your butt and do something about it!

3. Set alarms

Set alarms throughout the day to “Shake That Ass”. We talked About  this a little bit earlier, but, it is important that you regularly and routinely get up Shake That Ass. If you’re one that gets overwhelmed easily, then one of the best ways to ensure that you “Shake That Ass” is by setting alarms. Set alarms throughout your day beginning with your morning routine to help encourage you to get up and move around. If you work in a team setting or have other members that can naturally take a break with you, then one of the best ways to “Shake That Ass” is to get up and do it as a group.

4. Get creative

As we mentioned earlier, when you “Shake That Ass”,  you can really do it the way that best fits your needs. That means if you’re not a dancer,  maybe exercise or a simple walk through the park will be enough to remedy your stagnation. For some, meditation and yoga are enough to help them find moments of clarity. 

Are there any other ways that you already use that fall in line with the Shake That Ass  philosophy? Be sure to let us know below!

Switch it up

The beautiful thing about Shake That Ass  is the fact that it is not limited to individuals and isolation. One of the best ways  to incorporate this method is by doing it as a group or even company-wide. Create common break times that require people to leave their desks. this time can then be dedicated as professional Shake That Ass  time. speaking firsthand, I can attest to the Wonders that company-wide brakes can survive. For example, When I lived in Zurich, Switzerland the Swiss companies all took a break at 9:30 and 3:30. As a company, you can also create a “Bad Ass” award and other “asstitude” awards. the possibilities are Limitless and you really have plenty of room to  shake that ass a whole. if you do choose to implement this philosophy as a whole, you want to make sure that you select time periods throughout the day that do not interfere with personal X such as lunch time. Just as important as it is to shake that ass, it is just as important to have personal time as well. 

Do not underestimate the power of movement

 all too often, I meet people who have a true misunderstanding of the power of movement. Just because you are sitting at your desk connected to all the latest technologies that can enhance your workflow does not mean that they can provide the solution you need. Your brainpower is  a Trevor trolls that is waiting to be unlocked. Unfortunately, hitting the same wall over and over again and wallowing in stagnation, stress, and paperwork is not the way to do it. Getting up, moving around, and letting your ideas low creatively certainly is. This is the new twist to boost your energy management simply by changing your physiology. It is that easy to get better results in the area of time management and productivity. All you need to do is what? “Shake That Ass”.

Bring it to the whole team

You can integrate the art of “Shake That Ass” into your leadership training and other management trainings as well. Keep people learning principles of leadership and engagement and get some fun injected in your organization.

It should be noted that if you do choose to shake that ass, you do need to approach with caution. if you use this strategy you are likely to have more fun, get people more engaged, be more productive, be happier and even lose a few pounds over time.

So what are you waiting for? Get up and “Shake That Ass”!

via GIPHY

Procrastination Quotes and 14 Ways to Stop Procrastination

Blackboard writings "Procrastination is the thief of time"

Who Doesn’t Love Procrastination Quotes?

Many people struggle with putting off tasks until the very last minute. For some it’s snoozing their alarm 10 times, leaving them with just a few minutes to get ready. For others, it’s having three weeks to work on a project, only to start it the night before it’s due. Can you relate? How do you procrastinate?

On that note, here are some funny procrastination quotes as well as some anti-procrastination quotes. Hopefully, these will help get the ball rolling for you (or maybe, allow you another excuse to procrastinate even longer):

“One of these days I’m going to get help for my procrastination problem.” ~Anonymous

“The sooner I fall behind, the more time I have to catch up.” ~Anonymous

“If it weren’t for the last minute, I wouldn’t get anything done.” ~Anonymous

“Hard work pays off later. Laziness pays off now. I’ve always been one for being in the moment.” ~Anonymous

“Procrastination always gives you something to look forward to.”~Joan Konner

“Procrastination is like a credit card; it’s a lot fun until you get the bill.” ~Christopher Parker

“I like work. It fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours.” ~Anonymous

“Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.” ~Mark Twain

“The best part about procrastination is that you are never bored because you have all kinds of things that you should be doing.” ~Anonymous

“Warning: dates on this calendar are closer than they appear.” ~Anonymous

“Anyone can do any amount of work, provided it isn’t the work he is supposed to be doing at that moment.” ~Robert Benchley

“Tomorrow is often the busiest day of the week.” ~Spanish Proverb

“When you have to make a choice and don’t make it, that in itself is a choice.” ~William James
“If you want to make an easy job seem mighty hard, just keep putting off doing it.” ~Olin Miller

“How soon ‘not now’ becomes ‘never.’” ~Martin Luther

“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” ~Stephen King

“A year from now you may wish you had started today.” ~Karen Lam

“Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.” ~Pablo Picasso

“Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.” ~David Allen

Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.” ~Napoleon Hill

“Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.” ~William James

“You may delay, but time will not.” ~Benjamin Franklin

“To think too long about doing a thing often becomes its undoing.” ~Eva Young

“Procrastination is opportunity’s assassin.” ~Victor Kiam

What quotes about procrastination would you create? Have these procrastination quotes sparked some inspiration in you? Perhaps you have realized that procrastination, while seemingly harmless, has been what’s holding you back from the very thing you want all along.

Here are 13 ways to beat procrastination:

1. Reduce Stress

Is it worth the stress you create for yourself? Who else is affected when you procrastinate? Often you are not the only one affected by your procrastination. Maybe looking at who else is affected by the stress you create can cause a shift in the way you look at this behavior.

2. Create a New Identity

Don’t define yourself as a procrastinator – this will keep you caught in that procrastination trap. Decide this is not who you really are and connect to a different way of defining yourself. This in itself can create a huge shift.

3. Challenge Your Excuses

Listen to the crazy excuses in your procrastination quotes and challenge them as BS. Excuses don’t get results. Decide that you won’t accept the excuses anymore. Focus on the anti procrastination quotes and find a way. Where there is a will there is a way. You will get more creative when you don’t take no for an answer.

4. Try “Temptation Bundling”

Temptation bundling is a great strategy to get rid of the procrastination bug. We hear a lot of talk about creating rewards to look forward to after a task is completed, but with this system, you make it so that you are getting something you don’t enjoy paired with something you deeply enjoy, and that in turn makes you want to do the annoying task more. An example of this would be to listen to something that interests you, like your favorite musical album or your favorite podcast, while you go for a jog. You may hate jogging, but you love podcasts or music and listening makes jogging more desirable. 

Another great thing to do would be to go to your favorite coffee shop when you are doing a difficult work task that is monotonous and not very enjoyable. This allows you to sip on your favorite coffee drink and enjoy the atmosphere of the shop while doing something you don’t love. You can bundle pretty much anything. In my work, when I have to do stuff with websites that are pretty monotonous and do not require a lot of thinking, I will sometimes watch my favorite show while I do it. This makes the time go by very fast and it makes me look forward to the task because I’m able to do something I like along with my not so favorite work task.

5. Set Yourself up for Consequences

I know, I know, you’re used to hearing about setting yourself up for success. But setting yourself up for consequences in the near future if you do not complete the task in a timely manner can deeply motivate you to get it done! This is kind of the same method as exercising with a partner. If you don’t show up, you risk upsetting your friend and partner. Because of this, and you will probably end up coming because you had already sent the plans in stone with another person. If you exercise alone and you skip workouts, the only person who suffers is you. 

For me in my life, a good place for this is with my writing. I write both professionally and personally, but I have noticed that my personal writing can go through phases where I don’t publish stuff for huge lengths of time. I may fail to publish a blog post as often as I said I would or I won’t post articles on my website as often as I told myself I could. If I do this, no one suffers but me. These are my goals and if I don’t hit them, I am not held accountable to another. 

In order to combat this, what I have begun to do is write articles for the sites of others or guests posts for the blogs of others. This holds me accountable to them. This way, if I don’t write the piece in a timely manner and send it in, I lose an account that was worth a lot and I make myself look unprofessional to the world in which I work. This change helps me to really sit down and get it done, even when I don’t want to. It then spills over into motivating me in my own work.

6. Try “Commitment Devices”

There is a term used in psychology called “commitment devices”. What this means is setting things in place now that will help you in the future. Setting your future self up for success is a huge deal and is greatly necessary if you want to be successful at all. An example of this would be to recognize that your social media time is taking over your life. Instead of resolving in your mind that you will not use it at all and then going right back to it when you get bored, you would delete the apps altogether. Keeping them out of sight keeps them out of mind as well.

The same thing goes for food. Health specialists or anyone who has tried to eat healthily will tell you that the way to eat healthily is by not purchasing unhealthy foods. When it is late at night and you want a snack, it is easy to reach for the nearest junk food, but if you keep healthy snacks in the cupboard, you will only be able to eat healthy snacks. It makes it harder to eat the bad stuff.

Of course, with this type of method, you are still able to break the rules you have set. You are an adult and you are fully capable of reinstalling social media apps or eating the bad snacks by just going to a drive-through. But the point is that it makes it much harder to do this and therefore you have more time to really think about if this is something you should be doing, instead of just running to it easily because it’s second nature.  

7. Break the Task Up

This next suggestion is truly the best possible option for beating procrastination. Breaking the task up into small, manageable chunks gives you a sense of success every time you complete one. The main reason people find it hard to get started on a task is usually that they have trouble just getting started. That’s why it’s important to make it as easy as possible to simply start.

Tell yourself that you will clean the room that is so messy for five minutes straight. Set a timer and stick to it. You’ll be amazed how much you get done in that five minutes when you’re motivated by the small gap of time. I know people who say that they can clean the entire house in 10 minutes but it will sit around with it messy for days when they think about how overwhelming it is to clean over long periods of time. Guests coming over will motivate them to do it quickly, and that chunk of time is their lifesaver.

Writers break their work up into small increments as well very commonly. For me, I will set a 25-minute timer and write 250 to 500 words depending on the topic in that period of time. A task that looks so overwhelming and as it would take me all day can get done in two or three hours (depending on my word count) if I use this method. Different people call it different things. Some call it time blocking, others call it the Promenade Effect.

The amount of time you set is really up to you because different tasks require different lengths of time. But when you start implementing breaking up hard tasks into small chunks, you will see how effective it is to set a small amount of time for a task that you dread and swore would take a long amount of time. You can get so much done in a small period of time when you’re motivated by time!

Many entrepreneurs, influencers, work from home professionals, freelancers and contracted workers, as well as high-level executives, break their work up into days. They schedule a full day for let’s say writing, another for podcasting, another for editing, and another for checking emails and creating schedules and routines. This allows them to do whatever job it is well instead of trying to cram everything into each day. This helps to keep up consistency and it brings a lot of motivation.

Another example would be to create a cleaning schedule. Bathrooms on Monday, laundry on Tuesday, so on and so forth. No matter what work you are trying to get done, you can accomplish it if you set sustainable goals.

8. Know Your Limits

Knowing what your limits are will keep you from burning out or getting to a point of exhaustion. Set schedules and time limits for the taxing task. A lot of the reason for procrastination is because we have gone overboard in the past and are scared that we will get to that point again in the future. Don’t overwork yourself or overwork a task, just know your limits and make sure that you set them well.

9. Don’t Multitask- It’s a Trap

Multitasking is a killer. Isn’t it crazy that we did not always know the effects it had on our work and life? Decades ago, multitasking was all the rage. Every expert and amateur in the business would suggest multitasking. It used to be taught that with multitasking, we get more done in less time. People used to believe that it would make you extremely productive. But as time has gone on and we have gotten smarter as a culture, we have learned that multitasking is actually not as great as we think it is.

It can actually be a great step back in getting stuff done, especially when you struggle with procrastination. Multitasking adds on a lot of pressure to do a lot of things but not to do any single one well. Instead of multitasking like you may have been taught, focus on one task at a time so that you are not overwhelmed. Once you are done, move onto the next. Single-tasking is a system that will make you productive. Doing it all at once can lead to a lot of mistakes as well as having a hard time starting, because of how overwhelming doing too many things at once is.

10. Use Routines as Triggers

When we hear the word trigger, we often don’t think of anything very good. I know for me, a trigger has a lot to do with mental health and past trauma when I hear it because I have spent a lot of time in the psychology world. But triggers can also be really good things depending on what they are.

For instance, I read 30 minutes before bed every single night. Even if I’m not tired at all, reading triggers me to get drowsy and it tells my body that it’s bedtime. It allows the melatonin to flow, keeps me away from being on my phone, it reminds me that I’m about to fall asleep in a few minutes. This has been very helpful to someone who has struggled to sleep all her life until she implemented this.

Another way to trigger yourself is to work in the same place every single day. Whether that’s an office, the kitchen table, one specific coffee shop, or wherever else you decide to work, working in the same place every day makes it so that when you sit down in your chair in that location, you are mentally and physically ready to get started. A common trigger that you may know well is coffee.

For many people, when they wake up, they immediately drink coffee to start the day. Coffee wakes them up and gets them motivated. It’s a task-driven trigger, even if we don’t realize it, for many of us. Set up some triggers. Maybe you can think of a few, but you call them routines or habits. Whatever you decide to label it, setting up things in your day that remind you of the next thing you need to do is a great way to get your body into a rhythm.

11. Check It Off

Keeping schedules, to-do lists, and task lists are huge motivators for many people. Some people are not motivated at all by these and will easily skip over them. But those who are, usually Type A people, are greatly helped by keeping tasks in list form in order to check them off. You can use so many different tools in this day and age. Not only to set a list, but also to track your progress.

For me, keeping a calendar on my phone that has a list of things I need to do on that day that I can swipe to check off is useful. So is a good old to-do list that is handwritten. I even use a list to check progress for things like reading. I set a reading goal at the beginning of every year, and I have a system to log each book I read, keeping track of every single book and making sure that I hit the goal. 

It feels so good when you’re able to check something off of the list every single time you finish it. It gives a great sense of satisfaction, even for small or mundane tasks. The reason for this is because a visual cue allows the human brain to feel as if it is being highly productive. Productivity that you can see is a great motivator!

12. Find and Take Advantage of Peak Hours

A great method that helps me to be productive is to remind myself of my peak hours. For me, working on the hardest and most mentally taxing tasks before noon is always best. Once I hit about 1 pm, I get into a slump of sorts and just want to do the easier stuff. After 3 PM, my motivation is almost completely gone. Because I know that I do my best work before lunchtime, I get right to it the second that I get into my office space.

As a writer, the hardest thing that I do is writing and editing. There are millions of other small tasks that go into it. Sending emails and responding to them, learning how to operate blogs and websites, using social media and creating social content, all of these things are involved. But it is much easier for me to send an email than it is to write and edit. So I start with writing and editing and I try to get that chunk of work done in the hours before noon.

I also know that if I start earlier than 8 AM I will be drowsy and unproductive. That gives me five hours (8-1) to do the hard stuff and then the rest of my workday is spent doing the other tasks. After lunch, I take care of the details and the stuff that keeps my business running.

But not everyone is like me. I have friends and loved ones whose peak hours are late at night and I say more power to them! My husband is a songwriter and he does his best work late at night and no time before 5 or 6 pm. One friend of mine works from home, but she does not keep a normal schedule. She saves her entire day for hiking and other outdoor activities and works from 11pm-3am! We are all on different biological clocks and is important that we know exactly how ours works!

When are your peak hours? What schedule is your biological clock on? When are you most productive in the day and when are you least productive? Once you figure this out, you will be well on your way to daily success!

13. Get Good Accountability

Accountability is important for every area of life. No matter if it is in your work, parenting, marriage, or keeping up with your exercise goals. Having a friend or a mentor to report back to is one of the best ways to make sure that you stay on track. Whatever area you want to be more productive in, you can do this well if you have good accountability.

Find someone who you trust and who knows you well. Someone who knows your flaws and the areas where your week in getting it done. Then ask them to check in with you and make sure you’ve done it. This will help to push you to make whatever task you are pushing off till a later date one that you want to get done on time.

Accountability can be something as simple as you reporting to another person, but I can also be checking in with an app or with a record-keeping system. There are ways to be held you accountable without involving another human. But it is usually best to get accountability from another person who understands your areas of procrastination and your Achilles heel in doing the hard tasks.

14. Learn to Take Breaks

Sometimes all you need is to learn how to take a rejuvenating break. Learn a thing or multiple things that get you back into a good headspace to continue. For me, making sure that I take a lunch break, drink tons of water, and eat snacks throughout the workday helps me to stay focused. If I get hungry or thirsty, I tend to get unmotivated, which leads to procrastination and low productivity.

I make sure that my lunch break is at least half an hour to an hour. When you work from home or even in an office, it can be very easy to skip a lunch break in the name of being productive. But taking this time is not in vain. You can use it to rejuvenate you. Some people go for a short walk, listen to a podcast, call a friend, or do something else that really gets them motivated to complete the workday.

Taking breaks is not just something you should do in a work setting. It is also something that can help you when you were cleaning or cooking or helping your kids with homework. Learning when to take a break means that you do not get yourself to a point where you cannot focus and in turn procrastinate.

Learning how to break and rest is a skill that can be hard for some. Especially if you are a workaholic or really invested in whatever you do, it can be hard to learn to take days off or vacation or take a lunch break. But it is the best way to break the procrastination issue, because you will not have an excuse to procrastinate. Learn to take regular breaks. 

Final Thoughts on Procrastination Quotes

You can read through the procrastination quotes all day long and learn every single one of the tips that the best in the business give. But if you are not following through, you will stay in a stuck space of procrastinating your life away. Don’t fall into this trap!

Once you get the hard stuff done, you’ll feel so much better and be able to move on with your day and your life. Get into a habit of breaking your procrastination habits and working towards your goals every single day. We hope this article helps you to learn something new, and more importantly, we hope you begin implementing all that you learned into your life.

“The worst form of procrastination is reading a procrastination quote, feeling the guilt and not doing anything about it.” ~Anonymous

Go forth and be productive.

 

Applying The Minimalist Lifestyle Values To Your Scheduling

White and black desk beside bed and window

Even if your head and heart have good intentions, you may run around tirelessly trying to meet all of life's demands. When you take a second to catch your breath, you may find that you have not been intentionally living. Instead, your life has been filled with unimportant items and activities that take up space in your life, otherwise known as clutter. Clutter keeps us from living the life of our dreams. It gets in our way and slows us down. The cost of clutter is that it keeps us from doing the things we most value. To live the life you want, exert your time, energy, and money on the things you value most. With a minimalist lifestyle approach, you focus only on those things that add value to your life.

What Is a Minimalist Lifestyle?


A minimalist lifestyle is about more than having a clean, neat living space free of distractions. More than anything, it is about intentionally making time for things we value and living a life we desire. Here are some important aspects of living a minimalist lifestyle.

Owning Less

People are unproductive, anxious, and ruminative in crowded and messy environments and work better in minimalist environments. The removal of unnecessary items from living and work areas frees up space for more important things to take their place.

Decluttering

A minimalists lifestyle approach does not stop at decluttering the environment; it expands to all areas of your life, including your diet and thoughts. To declutter your life, you may clean out that "junk" drawer or closet in your house so you can more easily find the things you need. You could also delete unused icons on your desktop so you won't get distracted when you're trying to work on a task.

Mindfulness

Having a clutter-free environment will help, but it won't do much if our brains are cluttered with unnecessary thoughts. When your environment is cluttered, you may not focus on anything but about how you need to clean it up. An uncluttered environment provides you with the ability to think with clarity and focus more clearly. You will not be living reactively, but instead will think about what you want and focus solely on that.

Freedom

By clearing room in your mind and space, you are free to create the life you want. You can pursue your passions and do things you've wanted to explore for a while now but haven't gotten around to. You can go to a coffee shop on a weekday afternoon without worrying about what you need to do or what you should do instead. The possibilities are endless.

Relationships Of Value

Taking a minimalist lifestyle approach can help create stronger relationships and friendships. When you spend your time intentionally, you connect with people on a deeper level than just hanging out and passing the time. Spending time with people who encourage and inspire you will bring great value to your life.

Applying It to Your Schedule


Young man wearing stripes sweater

image source: pixabay.com

Since everyone's life is different, everyone's approach to tackling their clutter will look different. Here are general tips on how to use a minimalist lifestyle approach to help you live the life you want.

Accept That You Can’t Do Everything

As much as we all want to be Superwoman or Superman, there is only so much we can do with our given time. There are countless ways to spend our time, but we have limited resources to do so. So, we must make crucial decisions about how to spend our time. We have to eliminate the clutter. We can't do everything, but we can do a few things of value intentionally.

Find What Makes You Feel Alive

Our lives are too short to be spent doing things that do not help us feel alive. Dedicate your time to the things that breathe life into you and pull at your heartstrings. These things could be anything you love to do, like painting, running, dancing, or playing guitar. Even if it is random and seems silly, if it has your heart, do it. It does not have to have a greater purpose.

Define What Is Important To You

Ideally, your time should be spent on things that are important to you. When you are not sure what those things are, you are not directing your time toward a valued path. You won't be able to plan how you spend your time if you don't know what you what to spend your time on and why. Ask yourself the following questions to become clear about what is important to you:

  • What type of person do you want to be?
  • What do you most want to achieve or experience?
  • What relationships, friendships, or commitments are the most important to you?

Determine How

Once you have defined your what, ask yourself how you can spend your time on what's important. Without a plan, your life will not be filled with things important to you, but instead, you will be a victim of time and circumstance. Remember, you decide how your time is spent. Figure out what actions are required to reach your goals and live your values and what tools you will need to accomplish that. Then, plan accordingly.

Learn To Say No

We may engage in unhealthy behaviors or spend our time with people who try to sabotage our efforts. Even good things that are not the best things for us can be a hindrance. We have limited time, and we have to make firm choices about how we spend our precious time Saying yes to our dreams means we have to say no to many more things to bring our dreams into reality. Get comfortable saying no. As uncomfortable as it may feel while doing it, the overall impact of doing so is positive.

A Minimalist Family Schedule


Family of three walking on grassy field

image source: pex​​els.com

As parents, we want our children to have as many opportunities as they can. Unfortunately, this often leads to an over-packed schedule that leaves kids feeling stressed out, less productive, and in need of more free time. Extended free time is essential for kids to explore their imaginations and develop awareness, self-regulation, and empathy skills. Here are tips to tackle your family schedule with a minimalist lifestyle approach.

Determine The Source Of The Motivation

Take an honest look at the activities, clubs, or whatever else is taking up your child's schedule. Is the motivation for your child or your child's best interests? Perhaps there are personal motivations, like trying to impress other parents or relive your childhood through your kid. Just because it was best for you as a child does not mean it is best for your child now.

Determine The Ideal Number Of Hours For A Planned Activity

Without looking at your calendar, ask yourself the ideal number of hours your child should spend in out-of-school activities. Individual needs, age, and personality are all factors to consider. Once you have determined a number, look at your current calendar. If the number is not about the same, consider what adjustments may need to be made to the schedule.

Plan For Family Dinner Time

Having dinner together as a family is a positive experience that will continue to shape the lives of kids well into adulthood. Eating dinner as a family encourages the growth of love and understanding. Even if you are not able to eat together every night, perhaps you could do it three times a week or maybe just on the weekends. Find a baseline number that works for you and plan your other activities around that.

Schedule Quality Time

Spending quality time with your child is crucial since you are the biggest influence on their life. Determine how much quality time you would like to share with your child. Raising children is a big commitment, so it is important to make room in your schedule for it by removing less important commitments.

Create Space

When you create space in your schedule, you allow time for relaxation and reflection. This may mean waking up early to relax before work or rearranging the scheduling of an errand so you can enjoy more time having coffee with a friend. By creating space in your calendar, you are also leaving room to add new opportunities or emergencies that pop up.

Develop A Weekly Routine

Start with school, sports, and other activities that cannot be worked around. Then, schedule things like bathing, chores, and family time. Intentionally make a routine that your family can rely on from week to week.

Conclusion


Black wooden chair

image source: pexels.com

Children, like adults, need space to be with themselves and explore the world on their own. The more you own and commit to, the more time you have to spend taking care of those things. In this busy, on-the-go world, adopting a minimalist lifestyle approach to your schedule can change your life and help you achieve your goals by removing the clutter. By decluttering your environment and schedule, you free up space and time for the things that add value to your life.

How To Prioritize And Make Your Life A Lot Easier

Does your daily to-do list feel like it goes on and on until it makes its way into tomorrow’s list? If it does, you’re not alone. There’s so much to do every day it’s easy to replace productivity with being busy. But, just because you’re working doesn’t mean you’re getting the right work done. To be productive and reach your biggest goals, you need to know how to prioritize.
checklist

A lack of prioritization leads to constant work but little accomplishment because it means you’re focusing your time and energy on tasks that aren’t priorities. In the end, you’re left feeling tired, stressed, and likely disappointed that you aren’t reaching your goals, but this is all avoidable. We know that you have a lot going on and you’re great at what you do, so to help you reach all your goals we’ve got what you need to know about how to prioritize, right here.

Secrets to Prioritization

post it notes reminders

In today’s world of busier and busier schedules, understanding how to prioritize is the secret to success. If you’ve ever felt like there aren’t enough hours in a day to get everything done, then you’re in the right place. The key is that you don’t have to get everything done in a day, you just have to learn how to prioritize.

Before we dive deep into prioritization and show you how to prioritize when everything feels important, let’s cover some key components of how to prioritize.

Focus on Growth

More often than not, people are busy but not actually productive. A huge step in learning how to prioritize is understanding that not all work is equal. To boost productivity, you need to focus on what helps you grow.

Whether it’s personal or business goals, determine the key drivers of growth that will push you towards your goals fastest and most effectively. Then always prioritize the tasks that most directly impact this growth. Chances are that while deeply considering the themes of growth for your personal and business goals, you’ll realize there are some tasks you need not focus on or even do at all.

Do the Hardest Thing First

checklist composition

To successfully learn how to prioritize you need to know to always do the hardest thing first. It’s tempting to push harder tasks aside and leave them for later, but this is not the way to go about productivity.

When you do the hardest thing first, you get it out of the way, tackle it when you have the most energy, and start your day with a sense of accomplishment. When the hardest task is completed, you can breathe easy knowing the rest of your day will be easier. The relief and accomplishment that will come from having your hardest to-do completed will fuel you for getting through the less difficult tasks.

Keep It Flexible

man writing a memo for a meeting

Unexpected work, last minute deadlines, or out-of-nowhere meetings happen, so when you think about how to prioritize keep flexibility on the mind. Being flexible will help you manage the unexpected aspects of life while still focusing on completing the tasks you’ve committed to.

Manage Your Time

Work often takes up the amount of time allotted to it, so when you take on a task, especially one you perform often, determine how long the task will take and give yourself a deadline. Setting deadlines for yourself will help you get things done much faster, so instead of spending four hours on something that could have been finished in two, you’ll be finished and on to the next task.

Keeping these foundations for how to prioritize in mind, let’s dive into prioritizing when everything is important.

How to Prioritize Work When Everything Is #1?

person writing her plan on a notebook

Sometimes it can feel impossible to prioritize because all of your work feels essential. When each task feels important, it’s especially useful to know how to prioritize to keep from getting burnt out. Heres how to prioritize work when everything is important:

List All Your Tasks

Categorize Urgent vs Important

Determine Value

Determine Effort

Understand That You Can’t Do Everything

Use These Prioritization Methods to Do Only the Work That Matters

to do list calendar agenda

Now that you know how to prioritize and the important steps to getting the most important work done, you can use these prioritization methods to make it all a little easier.

1. The Eisenhower Matrix

eisenhower matrix

Image via luxafor

We mentioned before that part of how to prioritize is determining which tasks are urgent and which tasks are important, and The Eisenhower Matrix is a method for doing just that. This method organizes your tasks into four categories:

  • Urgent and important: work on these tasks right away
  • Important, not urgent: determine when to work on these tasks and set deadlines
  • Urgent, not important: Delegate these tasks if possible
  • Not important, not urgent: Drop these tasks

Here are some factors for determining task urgency and importance:

Important Task:

  • Impacts many people if not completed
  • Needs to be completed in order for other task completion
  • Is high value

Urgent Task:

  • Is overdue
  • Is due soon
  • Demands immediate attention
  • Has immediate negative consequences if not completed

2. ABCDE Method

 ABCDE Method

Image via toodledo

When you have many tasks to complete that all feel like they are just as important, it’s useful to have a go-to prioritization method. Brian Tracy’s ABCDE method is great for prioritizing work when you have multiple tasks with similar priority levels. For this method list all of your tasks and give each item a letter from A to E, with A being the highest priority and E the lowest. Then for each item marked with the letter A,  assign a number and continue until each item has a letter and number.

Once each task has a latter and number assigned to it, get to work. You can’t move on to the next letter until the previous letter is complete. This simple method gives each task multiple layers of prioritization, really showing you what matters most.

3. The Goal Strategy

 The Goal Strategy

Image via adviso

The last method for how to prioritize comes from super successful Warren Buffett, so you’ll definitely want to try this one out. The premise behind this method is that it doesn’t matter how hard you work if you’re not working towards the right goals.

For this method of how to prioritize, make a list of your top 25 goals. These goals can be career goals, personal goals, education goals, etc. After you’ve got them all down, circle your top five goals and only focus on tasks that move you towards those goals. Forget about tasks that don’t relate to your top five goals, these are tasks that seem like priorities but aren’t moving you towards your main goals.

Conclusion

Whatever your big goals are and whatever important daily tasks you have to tackle you’re now equipped to crush them all. It’s time to replace feeling busy with being productive and achieving the success you deserve. Through knowing how to prioritize you can leave the busy work behind and focus on what matters.

How To Keep Selfish People From Stealing Your Time

One of the most precious things in life is your time. You can always make more money or more friends, but you can never conjure up more time. When a moment is over, it’s over, so it would be wise to take a hard look at how you’re spending your hours. Are you letting it be wasted by selfish people?

Since your time on Earth is limited, it makes sense to spend it with people who empower you rather than people who drain you. How do you know when you’re surrounded by selfish people, though? How do you avoid these emotional vampires? This is a skill that’s worth developing.

How Do You Identify Selfish People?

An Eye

Selfish people have certain patterns that become more obvious. In this sense, selfish people will often identify themselves for you. Here are some glaring signs of a selfish person to watch out for:

  • They never contribute to your life
  • They only call you when they need something
  • They get upset when you say no or draw boundaries
  • They try to manipulate you to get what they want
  • You find yourself avoiding them because they are just so emotionally draining

Selfish people make their world all about themselves. Since there’s no room for anyone else, your needs will rarely get met in the relationship. They are always taking from you and are full of excuses when you need help from them. When you ask for something, they make you feel like it’s a huge imposition.

Egocentric people show a lack of compassion and caring. In the selfish person’s mind, any agenda besides their own isn’t important. For instance, let’s say your friend asks you for a ride, but you cancel last minute because your spouse broke up with you, and you feel too emotional to drive. A selfish person may not hide their annoyance at being inconvenienced, or they may even get upset that you canceled. It doesn’t matter that you’re going through a crisis; the only thing that matters is that they didn’t get what they want.

Making Friends with Selfish People Is Not Worth It

Making friends with people like this — even if they are in high positions of authority — is usually a waste of time. You will get little out of such a relationship. Trying to squeeze any value or reciprocation from them will be like trying to milk a stone. Even if you can get something from them, it will never feel like a win-win situation. It will just feel like they are paying you back out of duty, and they will give as little as they can get away with. It will never feel like they are contributing freely as a friend.

Worse still, this selfishness can infect you as well! If you live in a world where people are constantly trying to drain you, it can make you defensive and you may think the only way you can meet your needs is by similarly taking advantage of other people. It turns into a vicious cycle. It’s also self-perpetuating since acting selfishly will attract even more selfish, low-quality people into your life.

Sometimes, when you’re surrounded by selfish people, you may not even realize that this behavior isn’t normal! Just as a fish doesn’t know what water is, you may not know your friends or family are toxic until you meet someone who treats you well for the first time.

Raise your standards. Real friends don’t get mad if you tell them no; they try to help you in any way they can, and they don’t make you feel used.

Why Should You Avoid Selfish People?

Selfish people can make your life miserable. You might not even realize how annoying they are until you finally push them out of your life. Selfish people could waste your time by trying to manipulate you into serving their ends and you might not notice all the mental energy you’re putting into dodging these manipulations.

For example, let’s say you’re improving your life and finally eating healthy and a selfish person in your life has grown jealous. Everything is a competition to selfish people. This person may criticize you or discourage you because they feel threatened by your success. After all, anything that doesn’t glorify them isn’t interesting to them.

As you can see, you should avoid selfish people for very practical reasons:

  • To keep yourself on track with your goals
  • To not let toxic individuals sap your energy
  • To avoid falling into the trap of competition and jealousy
  • To make room in your life for people that will help you, not hinder you

Every moment you spend with a selfish person is a moment you could have spent with a genuine friend who wants to cooperate with you and help you grow as a person.

Selfish people are like burdens that are constantly hanging over you, draining your energy and pushing you away from your goals. Therefore it’s important to avoid them like the plague if you’re trying to improve your life.

How to Keep Selfish People from Stealing Your Time

Time

Selfish people often ignore your wishes, so what should you do if they keep trying to steal your time?

Well, first, you need to recognize that unless someone is physically forcing you to do something, you are the owner of your time. You are 100% responsible for how you allocate your time, and no one can really steal it from you. Even if the selfish person is your time-wasting boss, you still have the option to leave the situation — even if you might fear the consequences. 

Sometimes letting go of selfish people who play an important role in your life can be scary. For example, maybe you’re in a relationship with a selfish person and you feel you have too much to lose if you let go. In cases like these, the transition can be slow and painful, but you will feel better in the end if you let go.

To let go of the selfish people in your life, follow these steps:

1. Draw Boundaries Often and Clearly

2. Be Your Complete Self and Don’t Apologize for It

3. Open Yourself Up to New People and Patterns

Conclusion

Selfish people are not just a waste of time, they are a waste of energy! You only have so much of both, so don’t squander it by spending your precious life with a toxic person who makes you feel drained. Look for people who will actually contribute to your life and who will celebrate your triumphs. Having upbeat people who are on your side will skyrocket your personal growth in ways you may not even imagine.

10 Great Time Management Worksheets to Keep You On Task

You cannot make more time, but you can feel like there is more time in your life by using an effective time management worksheet. This type of worksheet helps you to plan your day, week or month and filter out all the unnecessary noise, giving you time to focus on what is truly important.

Finding the right time management worksheet for you is critical in managing your time effectively, both in your personal and professional life. By getting your work done on time, you eliminate unnecessary stress, are looked up to by your peers and have more time to spend doing what you love

Benefits of Managing Your Time

There are many reasons you need a time management worksheet to help you manage your time more effectively. Here are some of the benefits you’ll enjoy by learning to manage your time:

  • Freedom
  • Simplicity
  • Improvement of your reputation
  • Opportunity
  • Less time wasted
  • More free time gained
  • Less friction
  • Fewer errors
  • Accomplish more
  • Reduced stress

A great time management worksheet allows you to budget your time so you have the most quality time to dedicate to important things. Excellent time management skills also simplify your life. Who wouldn’t want to do something the easy way? A good manager of time will be regarded as highly reliable in both his personal and professional life. Your boss will come to you with more responsibilities, which may lead to a promotion or better title. This extra responsibility will not be a detriment because you are a master of your time.

The best time management worksheet allows you to use your time more efficiently. A slight adjustment in the time you leave for work could turn a 90-minute one-way commute into a 30-minute one. That is 10 extra hours a week to weed your garden or teach your child how to play an instrument. By planning and preparing your day, week or month, you avoid unnecessary stress in life. A little quality time management goes a long way in managing unnecessary friction in your personal and professional life.

The more organized you are in managing your time, the fewer mistakes you will make; which results in spending less time re-doing your work. Planning your day before you start it will also ensure you do not forget something crucial, like the donuts you promised for after your kid’s soccer practice.

Being able to manage your workload better and knowing when to delegate tasks to others allows you to be more productive, which leads to positive feelings and mitigates negative feelings. Also, knowing exactly what is coming eliminates stressful surprises and difficult, tight deadlines and leaves you better prepared for the curve balls live throws you.

Tips for Effective Time Management

Time management worksheets are a great tool to manage your time effectively, but there are lots of other tips.

1. Know Your Goals

2. Prioritize

3. Just Say No

4. Plan Ahead

5. Focus

6. Relax

7. Self-Care

10 Great Time Management Worksheets

Now that you know the benefit of excellent time management and tips on how to achieve it, here are the 10 best time management templates. Feel free to create your own if none of these are perfect for you.

1. Weekly Time Management Template

Weekly-Time-Management-Schedule

2. Weekly Time Management Template

daily-time-management-template

3. Daily Task List

Daily Task List

4. Daily Time Log

Daily Time Log

5. 90-Day Calendar

90_Day_Calendar

6. Chores Template

Chores Template

7. Daily Time Tracking Template

Daily-Activity-Time-Log3

8. Class Schedule Template

Class Schedule Template

9. Rolling Action Item List

Rolling Action Item List

10. Prioritized Task List

Prioritized Task List

Excel has more built-in templates for time management worksheets than you could ever use. The worksheets we linked to above may be either printed out or replicated using your favorite software. A good template will help you visualize the priorities of the tasks you need to accomplish and give you a great idea of when things need to be completed. Try to get a high-level view of how all your tasks work together.

Conclusion

Time management worksheets are crucial for reducing stress in your life and improving productivity. Time management skills will cause your peers to look up to you and trust you as reliable. You will be happier and have more time to do what is important to you. Taking care of your priorities quickly and delegating unimportant tasks positions you to take opportunities you would have missed if you had been crunching to meet a deadline.

Use a template to create the best worksheet for your needs, be it studying, working on a group project or completing chores around the house. Outline what needs to get done for the day and use a large worksheet with many days to see a high-level picture of where you are and what you need to accomplish.

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