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I just quit my side job that I've had now for the last 18 months. It was in the field of procrastination, and let me tell you, I was a freakin' pro at it.
I had honed my skills to include constant distractions, wandering thoughts, pointless tasks, social media creeping, and some serious meme scrolling. Basically, it included any task other than working and focusing on the things that needed to get done.
It was an entertaining job but it wasn't paying the bills. So I quit.
But before I did that, I came up with 5 badass ways to be unproductive…as well as 5 tweaks to help you focus more and kick the procrastination inclination.
#1: Hit the Snooze Button
This is one sure-fire way to be unproductive. Sleeping in is a ‘luxury' we gift ourselves with when we feel like we deserve a treat.
Why? Because it's comfy, it feels good and sometimes getting out of bed just isn't as much fun as staying in bed.
But guess what? If you get used to this sleeping in thing, you will only find more excuses to allow yourself to sleep in.
Instead, set an appropriate time for you to get up and stick to it. Even if it is only an hour earlier.
That extra hour can make a real difference in your productivity levels.
When Josh and I first started living together, we were waking up at 11! 11am in the freakin' morning. What are we, teenagers?
Slowly but surely we started knocking an hour off our rise and shine time and are now consistently up and moving for 7:30am.
That means we usually have all our morning tasks knocked off and are working well before 11am.
It has done wonders for our productivity and it gives us more of a sense of accomplishment when we look at the clock and realize how much we have done.
Just be sure you stick to this new earlier wake up call. It may be a pain in the ass to get used to but within a few weeks you may even beat your alarm.
#2: Creep Your Social Profiles
Nothing, I repeat, nothing is a more awesome time waster than scrolling through your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, BuzzFeed or Reddit for pictures of stupid animals or babies doing stupid things.
I have personally bled hours upon hours on those sites; and that's without even hitting up my other chosen procrastination inspirations such as Tard The Grumpy Cat (a personal favourite of mine), Dog Shaming, celebrity Instagram phtos and trolling YouTube.
And it was wasting my time.
Think about it – if you could replace the amount of time you spend on your 5 favourite time-wasting websites with tasks that help to grow your business, how fast do you think you could double your income?
I bet within 2 months.
Well, now you can.
The first step to this is to install the Google Chrome extension, Nanny.
With Nanny you can chose to block specific sites for however long you choose to block them for – 1 hour, 5 hours, 24 hours, a week! The choice is up to you and trust me, you will be amazed how much you can get done when you cannot access your favourite time wasters.
Just don't block Tard the Grumpy Cat. That shit is awesome.
#3: Screw Your To-Do
One of the easiest ways to waste time and not get anything done is to go into your work week without a plan.
Not only is it liberating to be plan-less but you have the whole week to get a few tasks done at whatever rate they pop into your head.
Maybe it will make a difference to your business, maybe it won't. But who cares? To-do lists and planning and deadlines are for the corporate folk. We don't need that.
I mean, why make a to-do list? Why plan out your week? Why create any sort of momentum in your business? Hell, why worry about making sweet sweet money right now when it will all work out in the end?
That was me in my 20's.
That reckless decade where I was damn near convinced that I didn't need to take responsibility for my life. That's what adults did and I was far from an adult.
I also must have been sniffing glue and drinking bathtub vodka because I was quickly coming up on a new decade and didn't have a damn thing to show for it. And I realized I was slightly embarrassed by that.
So I became a To-Do'er.
Each night before heading to bed I wrote out my to-do list for the next day. I felt focused. I felt a sense of clarity. And I felt a quiet sense of accomplishment ticking each one of those tasks off throughout my day.
Now you may not be down with writing out a to-do list each and every night. After all, Josh thinks I'm crazy for how many notepads I go through, but it works for me.
He on the other hand uses Google Tasks in his Gmail account. Simply click on tasks, add each item you need to get done for the day, and strike them off as you finish each one. It's like a written to-do list but without the dead trees.
However, if you don't have a Gmail account and aren't into writing out a to-do list each night, consider checking out a site called TeuxDeux.
It's a browser-based app that allows you to create your task lists easily and free of charge. TeuxDeux also has an iPhone app that syncs up with the browser app so your list is always updated.
Whichever method you choose, just be sure you incorporate some form of planning for your week so you can focus on what needs to get done, get that shit done and then get some other shit done.
Plus, you will get to look back over your week and really see how much you were able to get accomplish.
#4: Pack Your Week Full of Meetings
Cram your week full of useless, we-didn't-get-a-damn-thing-done-but-isn't-this-coffee-awesome meetings and you should be able to waste a full day's work without actually accomplishing anything.
Doesn't that sound appealing?
No. It doesn't. And you know why? Because meetings are bullshit. They are time-wastin' tasks that don't belong in your online business.
I mean, what the heck can you possibly achieve more effectively at an in-person meeting that you couldn't accomplish (more efficiently) during a Skype call? Not only will you save the transit time but you will save yourself a few dollars on coffee each time you turn down the request for a meeting.
Instead, try to streamline meetings by allotting a certain amount of time on a specific day and stick to it. Not only will you cut out the unnecessary chatter but you will get more done in less time.
Not into Skype? Try Google Hangouts. It's exactly like Skype but you can chat with more than one person AND you can ‘wear' silly hats and disguises, making your meetings that much more entertaining.
Not that I've worn a party hat, glasses, and a moustache during a Google Hangout meeting.
#5: Be a Yes Man…or Woman
Saying yes to every invite, event, dinner party, cocktail party, networking event, restaurant opening, housewarming party, spa day, or football-watchin'-fried-food-eatin' boys day will do one thing – make you feel extremely loved…and take up all your time.
Sure, it's nice to have people around you wanting to spend time with you but when you are focused and intent on building your lifestyle business, these are the kind of invitations you need to say no to.
Don't get me wrong, I falter here.
In fact, back in Toronto I packed mine and Josh's schedule so full at one point that we didn't even have one day to ourselves in 2 weeks.
What did that get us? A backlog of work that took us a solid 2 weeks to climb back from.
Instead, now we pick and choose which events, meet-ups and dinner parties we can go to and are better able to focus our time and attention on the people we care about.
It's made a noticeable difference in our productivity levels and we have found that we appreciate the time we do spend with friends much more than we used to.
When you think about it, it is the small tweaks in your day-to-day routine that can make all the difference in your productivity. Because after all, procrastinating is fun but it doesn't pay the bills. And, well, paying your bills is kinda necessary…at least your internet bill.