Do It Today – Darius Foroux
Overcome Procrastination, Improve Productivity, and Achieve More Meaningful Things
Harmful things add up too
When you complain every day, eat junk food, and never work out, those things add up too. That’s how we become miserable. You almost never hear about how one single moment destroyed a person’s life. Of course, tragedies happen. But for the majority of us, we simply let life slip away from us. We decide not to do it today. Because “what’s the point?” Well, here’s the point: Life is good if you know how to live it.
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Do you give interruptions permission?
Because focusing on a single thing is one of the hardest things at work. There’s always something that interrupts you, right?
Sure, you can blame those things, but everybody knows that those things can’t interrupt you without your permission. That means every time you’re not focused; you’re giving someone or something permission to enter your mind. Scary, isn’t it?
Eliminate, to gain focus
We accumulate so much unnecessary baggage throughout the years that we consistently need to eliminate: Ideas, Projects, Work, Objects and so forth. If you find yourself struggling to focus, try this strategy: Make your life so simple that it’s a breeze to live.
More Serotonin = More Focus
All you need to do [to increase serotonin levels] is remember positive events that have happened in your life. This simple act increases serotonin production in the anterior cingulate cortex, which is a region just behind the prefrontal cortex that controls attention.
When serotonin goes up, your focus goes up. Ultimately, that’s what you should do.
Procrastination is addictive
Procrastination is not innocent behavior. It’s a sign of poor self-regulation. Researchers even compare procrastination to alcohol and drug abuse. It’s serious.
The present evidence suggests that procrastinators enjoy themselves rather than working at assigned tasks, until the rising pressure of imminent deadlines forces them to get to work. In this view, procrastination may derive from a lack of self-regulation and hence a dependency on externally imposed forces to motivate work.
Willpower Doesn’t Work
Willpower Doesn’t Work. Systems Do.
What you really need is a system for doing work. A lot of people shy away from routines, systems, and frameworks because they want to have “freedom.” I’m sorry to disappoint you: Freedom is your enemy. The fact is that, if you want to get things done, you need rules.
Some things research proved to be effective with were:
- Internal motivation
- Self-imposed deadlines
- Accountability systems
- Working/studying in intervals
- Exercising 30 minutes a day
- A healthy diet
Manage your time
If you want to manage your time better, you have to know where it goes first.
How do you know your time? Keep an activity log. An activity log is exactly what you imagine — an hour by hour record of what you’re doing throughout the day.
Boom. That’s it. Know where your time goes. Identify the critical tasks from the trivial tasks in your life. And cut the trivial, time-wasting, tasks.
“That simple?” Yes. If you want to be a super effective person, you regularly keep a log.
Most people are afraid to say no. Maybe you don’t want to let people down. Maybe you are uncomfortable with the word no. Doesn’t matter, really. What matters is this: If you keep saying yes, you’re living someone else’s life.
Think about it. Deep down, we all know that it’s true. We’re not even in control of our own time. Want to be in full control of your life? Say no to a million things and yes to a few things that matter.
Be effective, not busy
Effectiveness, however, refers to getting the right things done. And if you want to do your job well, earn money, live a meaningful life, or learn skills, that is what matters the most.
Otherwise, you just run around in circles. You might appear busy, but you won’t achieve anything meaningful. In other words: It’s easy to do useless work. Work that doesn’t bring you closer to the outcomes you desire.
Get the book!
Results matter the most. Practically, that means this: You might work for 50 hours a week, but if you don’t experience any growth personally, emotionally, financially, you’re not effective.