4 tips to start taking decisive action and reduce procrastination

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time_clock

 

Did you know that your productivity is hampered by over-thinking? Even when we know we should be doing something productive, it doesn’t take much be swayed to do something easier and/or more fun. But we can take steps to help prevent us from thinking too much when we should be taking action.

 

Learn the keys to decisive action taking

 

How many times have you sat down ready to work on something important only to have one of the following happen:

    • You don’t know where to start
    • You’re tired
    • You’re kids are too loud
    • You’re hungry
    • You didn’t do (something) first, and you ALWAYS do it first

We’ve all been there, experiencing the many reasons preventing us from taking decisive action. After all, who among us hasn’t felt tired and put off important tasks till we were “more rested?” And of course, the chances of getting to that important task later are pretty small, am I right? But there’s a way to not be held back by these factors, and all it takes is that you read the following 4 tips to increase your decisiveness.

 

 

4 tips that improve decisiveness

 

1. Cut back on the information overload

 

info_overload

 

When you have too much information to sort through, it saps your mental reserves. Think about it, have you ever sat down to work on something only to be overwhelmed by the amount places to you can start on? Or maybe you’ve been presented with so many possible answers that you can’t pick any one because they’re ALL right on some level.

It’s too. Much. Info.

What do you do? In these kinds of situations I recommend the two-minute rule. It’s simple: you have two minutes to pick an option, and that’s it. The short amount of time time forces you to pick the best option you can think of, and usually you’re right. Our personal experience is that the worse choice isn’t actually what’s available to you, it’s not picking one of the options soon enough.

So choose something, and choose it quickly.

 

2. Meet resistance with the tiniest step possible

 

tiny_steps

 

If you ever feel that resistance building up within you (a.k.a. the need to procrastinate), quickly find ANY small place to get started on your task. It doesn’t matter what the project or task is, pick a tiny part of it and get started on it immediately.

This is important because as time goes on you’ll start to focus on how tired you are, and inevitably be pushed into procrastination. And that lesson comes from personal experience. The less you think about your work the more likely you are to get started on it.

So if you ever face a task you might procrastinate on, remember to think small and act quick.

 

3. Make causes of procrastination hard to do

 

procrastination_postit

 

Thanks to this digital age we live in, procrastination is always just a mouse-click away. What we need to do is make it so that it’s not easy to shift into lazy mode. How do we do that? Make procrastination hard to access. The biggest distractions are probably computer, television, and video game related, so we just need to think of ways to make those so annoying to access that we think twice before doing them.

For computers, you should use a site blocker. These make it so you can only access sites at certain times and/or for a certain amount of time. We use leech block for Firefox, other browsers have there own versions of it as well.

For television you could put the batteries for the remote control in hard to reach places, and the remote control should have its own hard to reach place as well. Video game consoles should be unplugged and games given the same annoying placement treatment as well.

Get the idea? Make your personal procrastinations hard to access, that’s all there is to it.

 

4. Make productivity easy to do

 

Todo List

 

Now on the flip-side you should make your productive tasks easy to do.

For example:

    • If you want to get in better shape you could buy a pull-up bar and put in your bedroom doorway, then you can bust out a few pull-ups every time you walk by.
    • If you need to work on your laptop, go to a library and park your butt in the middle of a crowded study section.
    • If you need to jog in the morning, sleep in your jogging clothes and keep your jogging shoes at your bedside.

Starting to get it? Just make productive tasks as easy possible. Putting yourself in positions where you have to work is a good tactic as well (like going to the library to study).

Over to you

What do you guys do to make quick decisions? Leave a comment below and let us know 🙂

 

Photos credits: Vilseskogen, Courtney Dirks, gothick_matt, Intersection Consulting & CarbonNYC via photopin cc

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