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5 Ways to Get Things Done

Written by admin, Friday, February 22nd, 2008 in Getting Things Done

I recently received an e-mail with the following question:

Putting things off is easy; getting down to work on them is difficult. This is not true for everyone, but for lazy people like me, it’s a terrible hindrance. At times there’s nothing I’d rather do than just sleep, though that could probably be something a little sterner than just me being lazy.
Anyway. Any advice for getting procrastinating bastards like myself out of slumps?

Unfortunately, this is one of those questions that can’t be answered very easily- it really depends on the person. But, not surprisingly, most people end up losing time in fairly similar ways- ways that can be fixed relatively easily. With this, here are 5 things you can start doing today to be more efficient.

5. Eat more Healthily

Part of the problem that most experience with keeping focused is, surprise surprise, food, especially Caffeine. When you eat unhealthily and your energy level (via blood sugar or caffeine) shoots up and down randomly, you will have a hard time concentrating on either your highs or your lows. I know this sounds ridiculous, but eat more vegetables and avoid drinking too much soda. Avoid snacking excessively, and- sometimes most importantly- eat without doing anything like schoolwork if you can. This will give you more energy, and it will allow you to avoid getting that “lazy” feeling, especially during the middle of the day.

4. Get more Sleep

Just like the eating, sleep is important: I know this because I just spent a week with no more than four hours of it. Lack of sleep will (at least in my case) make you listless, tired, brain-dead, and basically useless to the world (and slightly paranoid/suicidal). While this isn’t the sole source of some tiredness and laziness, it plays a large part in it: get good sleep at night, and then wake up and don’t go back to bed until night again. Get into this habit and your body will learn to expect it, and it will give you energy when you need it in return.

3. Break up your time efficiently

A screenshot of Google CalendarBy this, I mean schedule your life using Google Calendar or some other program. This way, you will know about things ahead of time and have the time to do what you WANT- but also know what to do and force yourself to do it. By having something like Google Calendar as a persistent reminder of your schedule, you will be able to focus and remember your responsibilities, as well as know not to shirk them. Trust me, by simply having a list of things you need to do, you will get leagues more done, and feel less tired about it when you do.

2. Turn off your Cell Phone

This applies especially to girls or just overly popular guys: turn off your damned cell phone. When you are working, do not allow yourself any distractions, especially that of talk. While you should be social like anyone else, mindless chitchat can eat up time and distract you from your responsibilities- and it can make you tired and lazy and not focus on the subject at hand. Being preoccupied with smaller things can distract you subconsciously, and it will make it hard to get-up-and-go so far as real work is concerned. I’m not kidding at all- if you don’t believe me, try talking to someone on Skype or watching porn while working on schoolwork or something. Notice how you can’t pay attention?

1. Stop browsing the internet mindlessly

This is number one for most of us. Face it: If you’re browsing the internet mindlessly, you’re wasting time. Forums, blogs, you name it- make time to visit them (visit US), but understand that browsing the internet is one big time waste. It’s like the common Wikipedia joke: you start with one article, and 300 articles later, you learned nothing about what you wanted to. This is not to say you should stop using the internet, just allot time for it and stop when you have something to do. When you study or work or do something important, stay away from your PC unless you have to- and if you’re on your PC, keep away from your internet browser and video players. I know it’s hard, but remember: this is more than likely your number one problem.

There are actually programs that help this more than you’d think- JediConcentrate is one that helps a TON, especially for writing papers and the like. In fact, you can find many of these awesome efficiency programs on Lifehacker.com, which is an invaluable resource for those of us stuck on PCs 75% of the day.

I certainly hope that helped a bit- like I said, it’s very difficult to pinpoint the source of your boredom and inability to “get things done” when I don’t have more specifics, but I CAN promise you that if you try some of the above, it won’t hurt- and I can also promise it’ll probably help you more than you think. Give them a shot and keep us posted on how it went!

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2 Responses to 5 Ways to Get Things Done

  1. Tyciol says:

    Wikipedia just sucks you in. Maybe disabling cookies on one browser for research would help, and having another browser with cookies for play or something.

  2. Hambrabi says:

    wikipedia does more than suck you in, it drags you in and locks the door. I swear I’ve failed about 10 projects because I ended up 200+ pages away from what I searched for.

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