I must admit that I am quite a lazy person, like many people seem to be. Often, the most tempting way for me to spend a day would be something like going to the beach and listening to some relaxing music on my iPod. For a long time, I thought that it would be impossible for me to enjoy life and get things done at the same time, but recently I have noticed that it is not true.
One of the most important things to realize is that most of the tasks we do daily are not crucial for our long-term success, so just by shaving all the irrelevant tasks from our daily schedule and focusing on just a few of the most important tasks every day makes us proceed incredibly fast by actually working only for a few hours a day.
Even for a lazy guy like me two or three hours of work a day is possible, and whenever I use those two or three hours doing something important that brings me one step closer to my bigger goals, I have a great feeling for the rest of the day (at the beach).
Here are my personal productivity tips for the lazy people:
1. Choose only two or three things to do today.
Setting a limit helps you to choose the most important tasks everyday. If you don’t have any limit, it is too easy to get overwhelmed and get nothing important done, or give up completely. If you try to do too many things in one day, you often end up doing lots of irrelevant tasks that are not really taking you closer to your goals. Think about two or three things to do today that are the most crucial for your success.
2. Choose the tasks for their impact.
People often end up doing things according to their level of urgency. This is harmful for our productivity because usually the most urgent things are not the most crucial things regarding our bigger goals. Instead, choose to always do the things that have the biggest impact on our work long-term, because they are the things that really make difference. Let the irrelevant e-mails be and write a new page to your book or do the important marketing tasks today instead.
3. Don’t let anything distract you.
My problem often is that I “just check out the Facebook for a while” or “just read the online newspapers quickly” before starting to work. Usually I then end up spending many hours surfing online and actually doing nothing. Your mind is playing tricks with you, so don’t let your mind win. Always make the tempting little things your reward. Let them motivate you to finish the important things quickly. This has worked very well for me. Right now as I am writing this, it is perfectly good weather outside and I would just like to get to the beach right away, but I forced myself to finish this article before rewarding myself with the sunshine. I know I will feel so much better afterwards.
4. Choose the tasks beforehand.
A good way is to choose the important tasks for the day the night before, which helps to make the decisions without any urgency that prevents us from choosing wisely. I personally like to choose my daily tasks just before I put on my computer and see any distractions on my screen. Choose the option that suits the best for you, but make sure that you have written the tasks in a small piece of paper, where you remove them one by one when they are done.
5. Start doing the tasks immediately.
The time will never be just right, so don’t allow yourself to find any excuses of prolonging the start of actually doing the few daily things. Just start doing them right away and focus on the thought of getting the reward after you have finished.
6. Do smaller things in batches
We all have often smaller things that we have to do, even though they are not as important to our success. A good way is to leave those little routine things for the afternoon or for the end of the day and do them all at once in batches. Then just do all your e-mails, paperwork, or phone calls at once, so that they will not distract you from doing the most important things everyday.
7. When you are done, reward yourself!
This helps me so well to get the most crucial things done. After I have finished the tasks, I always reward myself with some little things. It can be something like surfing on the internet, reading e-mails, or going out. Today, the weather is perfect, so I am going to reward myself by going to the beach. This article is now almost finished, so that’s my plan for the next few hours. I will enjoy the sun twice as much because I was productive today.
The best thing about choosing just a few of the most important tasks every day, and then just doing them in a short period of time, is that it takes only so little time everyday, but still makes your day much more productive than most of the people who spend eight hours every day in the office doing lots of things, most of which are irrelevant. That’s why you can remain lazy for the rest of the day and feel good about it!
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