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Ethan O.

@ethho518

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Procrastination is a lifestyle

20% of people identify themselves as chronic procrastinators. For them, procrastination is a lifestyle, albeit a maladaptive one. 

It cuts across all domains of their lives. They don't pay bills on time. They miss opportunities for buying tickets to concerts. 

@ethho518

Why We Procrastinate

psychologytoday.com

Procrastination represents a profound problem of self-regulation. 

There may be more of it in the U.S. than in other countries because we are so nice; we don't call people on their excuses ("my grandmother died last week") even when we don't believe them.

Procrastinators are not different in their ability to estimate time, although they are more optimistic than others.

Telling someone who procrastinates to buy a weekly planner is like telling someone with chronic depression to just cheer up.

It is one response to an authoritarian parenting style. Having a harsh, controlling father keeps children from developing the ability to regulate themselves.
It is a manifestation of generalized problems in self-regulation. That is over and above the effect of avoidant coping styles that underlie procrastination and lead to disengagement via substance abuse.
  • "I'll feel more like doing this tomorrow." Or "I work best under pressure." They do not get the urge the next day or work best under pressure. 
  • Another big lie is that time pressure makes them more creative. Unfortunately, they do not turn out to be more creative; they only feel that way. 

They squander their resources avoiding.

Procrastinators actively look for distractions, particularly ones that don't take a lot of commitment on their part

Checking e-mail is almost perfect for this purpose. They distract themselves as a way of regulating their emotions such as fear of failure.

  • Arousal types, or thrill-seekers, who wait until the last minute for the euphoric rush.
  • Avoiders, who may be avoiding the fear of failure or even fear of success; they would rather have others think they lack effort than ability.
  • Decisional procrastinators, who cannot make a decision. Not making a decision absolves procrastinators of responsibility for the outcome of events.
  • Health. Just over the course of a single academic term, procrastinating college students had such evidence of compromised immune systems as more colds and flu, more gastrointestinal problems. And they had insomnia
  • Procrastination has a high cost to others as well as oneself; it shifts the burden of responsibilities onto others, who become resentful. Procrastination destroys teamwork in the workplace and private relationships.
Procrastinators can change their behavior. It doesn't necessarily mean one feels transformed internally. It can be done with highly structured cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Learn how to set delayed email deliveries

There is no rule stating that every email reply must be sent immediately after being written unless it's urgent. Many email programs support a delayed delivery system where you can schedule when your reply or email will be sent.

If you're fond of clearing out emails on a Friday afternoon, delaying email responses until Monday will lessen stress on both yourself and your coworkers and you can both enjoy your weekends.

The 4 Brutal Rules of Email Management - Nir & Far

nirandfar.com

We tend to receive tons of emails from old newsletters we've signed up for, but are now just taking up space. To resolve this, you can just unsubscribe to the ones you no longer find useful or set up a black hole program where you won't be able to hear from that specific sender ever again.

Managing unwanted emails take time, but it's worthwhile.

Do you open an email just to read it and close it afterward to send a reply a little bit later? It's actually a huge waste of your time if you habitually recheck your emails.

Learn how to tag your emails into categories in order for you to prioritize what is needed that day and what you can handle on different days. Allocating time to tag emails correctly will help organize your emails and lessen the time you use for email checking.

Scheduling office hours will allow messages to be received and be responded to on a schedule. By asking the other party to wait, you are giving them the chance to come up with an answer on their own, because if it's actually difficult, it's better handled in person than over email in order to avoid misunderstandings.

Asking people to discuss complex matters during regular office hours leads to better communication and fewer emails.

Productivity is a way of living

It’s about achieving maximum output, getting shit done, and not wasting time. Tools, apps, or hacks, don’t work if you lack the right mindset.

20 Things That Will Make You More Productive Than Ever

dariusforoux.com

Say no

...to things that don't thrill you. When you think ‘meh’ about something, always say NO. That eliminates wasting time on shit that you're not excited about.

Willpower is overrated

If something distracts you, eliminate it. Don’t think you’re immune to your distractions. Remove them.

Keep it simple

Keep a simple work and living environment. A desk, a laptop, and a notebook. You don’t need any fluff.

With a cluttered brain, you can’t get stuff done.

Routines work

Decisions fatigue your brain. And routines eliminate decisions. Which ultimately means more brainpower. Routines are not OCD — they are efficient. 

Do important stuff in the morning

Take that first hour to think about the day ahead of you, read a book, enjoy your breakfast, coffee or tea. 

A smartphone’s primary function is to interrupt you. Don’t let other people or apps interrupt you during the first hour of your day.

Stop doing unnecessary things

Ask yourself the question Is That Really Necessary?  as often as you can. You will find that your answer is usually: Nope. 

Focus on 1 thing 

If you have recurring tasks, try to do as much of the same thing on one day, so that nothing else gets in the way.

High-Quality Work Produced = (Time Spent) x (Intensity of Focus)

Deep Work: How to Develop the Most Valuable Skill of the 21st Century

dansilvestre.com

Deep work vs. Shallow work
  • Deep work: Professional activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to their limit. Creates value.
  • Shallow work: Noncognitively demanding, logistical-style tasks, often performed while distracted. Doesn't create value.
  • Monastic: maximize Deep Work by minimizing or removing shallow obligations. Isolate yourself for long periods of time without distractions; no shallow work allowed
  • Bimodal: divide your time into some clearly defined stretches to deep pursuits and leave the rest open to everything else. Reserve a few consecutive days when you will be working like a monastic. You need at least one day a week
  • Rhythmic: involves creating a routine where you define a specific time period — ideally three to four hours every day — that you can devote to Deep Work
  • Journalistic: alternate your day between deep and shallow work as it fits your blocks of time. Not recommended to try out first.
  • Where: identify a location used only for depth, such as a conference room or a quiet library
  • How Long: set a specific time frame for each Deep Work session. 
  • How: your ritual needs rules and processes to keep your efforts structured. 
  • Support: to maximize success, you need systematized support — so you deplete willpower — your efforts to go deep. 
  • Use Headphones: Coworkers will think you can’t hear them and the barrier to interrupt you is much higher
  • Work Remotely: start by asking for a half-day, preferably mornings
  • Email: treat email as a to-do and schedule it in your calendar twice per day
  • Disable Phone Notifications: disable all notifications. If it’s truly urgent, people will call
  • Schedule Internet Time: schedule in advance when you’ll use the Internet and avoid it outside of those times. 
  • Clear to Neutral: at the end of the day, close all your tabs and programs, delete or move all the files from Downloads, empty the trash, and shut off your computer. 
Why downtime is so important:
  • New Insights: as your conscious mind rests, the unconscious mind takes over and provides valuable insights or creative ideas and consolidates memories
  • Recharge: rest fills up the energy needed to work deeply. You restore your ability to direct your attention by giving this activity a rest
  • Evening Work Is Usually Not Important: work that you fit in your downtime isn’t normally high-value activities that really advance your career but rather low-value shallow tasks.
How to Get Better at Deep Work
  • Quit Social Media: all those notifications hurt your ability to focus and stay focused. Social media isn’t all bad but it’s definitely a bad habit.
  • Practice Saying “No”: be selective when deciding what opportunities to go after. 
  • Meditate: 10 minutes of meditation in the morning will greatly increase your ability to focus throughout the day
Revenge Bedtime Procrastination

It is where you stubbornly stay up late at night because you feel like you didn't get any time to yourself.

You barely had time for dinner and a shower after work. Maybe you watched a few episodes of a show or read a book. Now you're in bed, but you are not ready for sleep. You keep on scrolling because you feel unsatisfied in some way.

‘Revenge Bedtime Procrastination’ Is Real, According to Psychologists

glamour.com

People who experience this phenomenon often feel that they didn't have much control over their daytime life, so they're picking times they can really cater to themselves, usually at night.

Many will scroll on their phones until deep into the night, perhaps because they unconsciously try to avoid their uncomfortable or heavy thoughts or feelings. But the constant avoidance enters them into a cycle of late-night anxiety.

During the work-from-home period, demands on our time have gotten higher. Parents have to manage Zoom school, scramble to pay the bills with a second job, or they simply allow their regular working hours at home to extend passed office hours.

On top of that, we're lonely. It is then no surprise that we are trying to take back control. Scrolling late into the night allows us to imagine alternatives of things we could be doing.

Feeling that you have a bit of free time is very important for well-being. Often when we do get free time, we use watching TV or scroll through social media.
We would feel more satisfied if we spent some time on leisure activities that give us a sense of flow.

  • Diarise your breaks while it's still light outside.
  • Practice not being afraid of your thoughts.
  • Meditate, even if it is for 5 minutes.
  • Actively stop throughout the day to find out how you're doing.
  • Don't be lazy. Spend your time being productive.
  • Don't just take the default path. Don't go with the mainstream, make your own flow.
  • Don't wait for the perfect time, it is what's waiting for you.
  • Don’t judge before you know. 
  • Don't make everything seem like it's a chore, focus on every endline.
  • Don't try to conquer everything in a single leap. Everything is a process, be patient.
  • Don't try to hold on everything. When it starts to weigh you down, learn to let go.
  • Don't always be right. Sometimes, the right thing to do, is do nothing.
  • Don’t hide your humanness. Sometimes you have to deal with issues and show others your awkward, uncomfortable side.
  • Don’t think about what could have been.
  • Don’t neglect your present joys.
  • Don’t neglect your close friendships.

20 Things that Belong On Everyone's TO-DON'T List

marcandangel.com

Henry Ford
>You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do</

Motivational Quotes to Help You Get Things Done

success.com

Tony Robbins
You see, in life, lots of people know what to do, but few people actually do what they know. Knowing is not enough! You must take action<
Paul J. Meyer
Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.
Bruce Lee
“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.”
Peter Drucker
Until we can manage time, we can manage nothing else.”  
Pablo Picasso
“Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.
Nelson Mandela
always seems impossible until it’s do
Robert Frost
only way around is throu
Nolan Bushnell
critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them
Feeling overwhelmed by unfinished tasks

We often feel overwhelmed when we have too many tasks floating around in our heads. One way to calm that feeling of anxiety is to follow productivity guru David Allen's advice: You really should capture your open loops.

An open loop is any kind of commitment or task that's hanging around your life, but you haven't been able to deal with it. The birthday gift you need to send, that idea you had about a community garden, your desire to visit the pyramids.

Overtaxed by all the unfinished tasks hanging over you? There is a solution | Oliver Burkeman

theguardian.com

Open loops act as a drag on your attention. It pops up at the wrong time, or leave you worried that there's something you're forgetting.

If you store them somewhere else, then your brain can stop struggling to keep them, and you'll find yourself more focused and relaxed, even if you have not finished any of the tasks.

Select an app, or open a text file, or use a physical notebook, and dump every open loop that you can think of in one place, not in multiple apps. Add new items as soon as they float into your mind.

The payoff is that you won't have to obtain all your peace of mind from completing every item on the list, as the list is certainly too much for one person to handle. Faithfully capturing open loops will bring an instant dose of relief.

The time blocking method

When thinking about our workday, we should give every minute a job. This technique is called time blocking.

Most people generally approach their workday with a list of tasks where they fill the time between scheduled meetings and calls reacting to emails. When the mood strikes, they try to make progress on tasks on their list. By contrast, the time blocking method breaks your day into blocks of time and assign specific work to these blocks.