tools that will help you build habits

Habits are one of the keys to getting things done. There are a lot of tools out there available that will help you establish desired habits.

Example: Motivaider is a great tool that helps establish any habit, based on psychological research and powerful anchoring methods.

Example: Learning new things, like language vocabulary, and keeping it in memory, wasn't one of the tasks that I would consider easy nor attractive. Until I got hold of Fullrecall flashcard software, an application that keeps all the items in one database (no more the mess coming from keeping it in many places), and tests me everyday according to the schedulling algorithm based on the artificial intelligence that ensures a) highest possible retention b) as little time spent reviewing as possible. First, it became a habit for me to run the app everyday and it is easy to continue with that habit once established. Second, I am the geeky type and running something that has "artificial intelligence" built in satisfies my technical ego, despite I can hardly understand how exactly that algorithm works, I somehow feel great using such a tool.

get attractive tools for tasks that cause your procrastination

If you are procrastinating about a task, the chance is getting attractive tools for it will help you overcome it.

Example: updating this website was taking me months and I kept avoiding it. Getting good content management system and nice design for it helped me to make that task much more attractive. Nowadays, I enjoy writing new content and tweaking it a lot.

Example: if you are a writer that keeps putting off the writing endlessly, try to get a beautiful pen, wordprocessor with higher geek-ratio (if you are one of those attracted to geeky technical tools), ergonomic keyboard or beautiful plant on the desk next to your monitor.

few glasses of water a day keep procrastination at bay

Dehydration causes apathy. A glassful of water in the time you feel apathic and like better doing nothing could make wonders and surge of new energy.

What you can do to avoid dehydration:

  • drink plenty of fluids, how much depends on climate and many other things 
  • avoid caffeinated beverages (tea, coffee, ...)
  • avoid carbonated beverages
  • avoid alcohol
  • learn to notice when your body is dehydrated and needs more water (this ability is natural but often gets lost through time)
    I don't have the numbers handy,  but read it in numerous sources - dehydration is a rather large problem with our population today, most of the people affected not noticing they are "just" dehydrated in fact.

clean your desk

Though there are exceptions to the rule, the more items on your desktop, the more overwhelm it creates. Keeping your desk clean at all times will give you more power to actually do things instead of suffering by overwhelm.

clean your email inbox and keep it at zero

Email inbox that has many outstanding uncategorized email messages is a horrible drain on time and power, and keeps its owner overwhelmed.

The basic rules for handling email overwhelm are:

  • keep number of emails in your inbox at ZERO at the end of the day
  • handle each email only once, create next action for your todo list from it and either delete it or move it to another folder outside of inbox after next action is created
  • create an email handling system and categorization that you can trust

Collection of quick fixes

Collection of quick procrastination fixes that do not require much of time nor dedication, though I can't rule out that something much harder to implement will also appear here. Not sure whether I haven't heard others also reference this kind of tricks or solutions as "life hacks"...

[newsclip] procrastination by engineers to blame

The city of Decatur must wait another year for the widening Beltline Road southwest project, after three years of promises. The procrastination is to be blamed. I wouldn't be surprised if bureaucracy played more prominent role in the problem.

[newsclip] emergency kit procrastination

Alameda Times Star writer Kari Hulac writes about procrastinating with an emergency kit preparation. It seems everybody is leaving that up until something happens. (The site has a stupid pop-up ad, be warned.)

Speaking about current disasters, we support the efforts of the Bilbo family and their web on  Restoring New Orleans, especially through our other web projects.

Getting Things Done by David Allen

David Allen is the brightest author star in the time management field in recent years. The GTD system (which I would rather call a set of techniques, tips, tricks and methods than a system, at least when it comes to the book or tapes) he created enjoys almost cult-like following.

Incorporating just few core rules from his book into your daily life can change your productivity tremendously if you suffer badly in that area. In case you are an overachiever already, perhaps you will still find few helpful hints and tricks there.

This book doesn't repeat all the info you can already find in any random time management book. It is also written in more of a narrative instead of cookbook style, so if you can't keep attention, you might find it a bit harder to apply the whole system in practice. Don't worry, go one by one, read it more than one, even more than two times, you will always find something new and build-up on what you got from it the previous time.

The Now Habit by Neil Fiore

While I have yet to read this book myself, it is the most often recommended one on various procrastination and time management discussion forums. Neil Fiore himself is probably one of the top five experts on procrastination and productivity in the world, and the most published author in the field.

If you have read it, please append comment, if not, look for user reviews through the related links section.

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