Overcoming Procrastination, Money Problems, Self-Doubt & Other Creative Distractions | 99u.com


 

by Jocelyn K. Glei
Ilustration: Oscar Ramos Orozco

As we turn the corner on the new year, it’s the natural time to start afresh. To make resolutions for things we will do differently, creative projects we will finally complete, old habits that we will shed. And yet, we rarely make good on these changes. Why?

Casting about for an answer, I stumbled onto this line from Chuck Palahniuk’s book Survivor: “People don’t want their lives fixed. Nobody wants their problems solved. Their dramas. Their distractions. Their stories resolved. Their messes cleaned up. Because what would they have left? Just the big scary unknown.”

Sure, it’s sounds a little ominous, but it’s worth thinking about. What if we really did clear out the clutter this year, so that we could face the incredible unknown of doing our greatest work? It’s a heady prospect.

As you contemplate your 2013 goals, we’ve rounded up some of the top challenges and distractions creatives regularly face — e.g. procrastination, self-doubt, money problems, bad habits, etc — and pointed you to some of our best tips on conquering them.

Creative Projects: Overcoming Procrastination and FINISHING!

How many years in a row have you resolved to “finally!” finish a big creative project? If you’re anything like me, the answer is “a few too many.” With any project — and particularly with side projects — the pull of our paying jobs, the pull of procrastination, the pull of playing it safe (by keeping our work to ourselves) is extremely strong.

To combat these alluring distractions, check out our piece on the ever-growing procrastination problem and tricks for combatting it, a look at the mental games we play that keep us spinning our wheels, and finally a step-by-step approach to finishing your labor of love.  >>>  Leer más “Overcoming Procrastination, Money Problems, Self-Doubt & Other Creative Distractions | 99u.com”

Get Organized Now: 3 Ways to Get Organized

Getting organized can be a huge pain the butt. Tasks pile up, your to-do list gets out of control, you feel overwhelmed with all that needs done, and you dread home office organization. Yet, if you want to have peace of mind and a clean work space, you need to get organized. So how to get organized, then? Well, you’re in luck, because this article features three ways to get organized.

Learning how to get organized is very simple. The point is to get organized so that you then focus on your important task at hand. Or your life. But definitely not focusing on the organizing itself. Getting organized is a means to an end.

So without further ado, here are the three ways to get organized:
1. Productively Procrastinate

You will inevitably procrastinate during part of your week. It’s fine – we all do. We’re only human. But just because you procrastinate doesn’t mean you need to waste time. You should productively procrastinate.

When you want to avoid doing the major task in front of you, take care of some not-as-important-but-still-useful tasks on your to-do list. The ones that don’t require much thought are especially good. Maybe it’s cleaning and organizing files and folders on your computer, or doing some home office organization. Anything that’s been lingering on your to-do list.

While these tasks aren’t the really important ones, they’re still useful. And rather than wasting your time surfing the web or watching cat videos, you can more effectively spend your procrastination time. Plus, you don’t have to set aside special time for getting organized: you simply use the pockets of time for when you feel like procrastinating. Productive procrastination is actually some of the best moments to get organized.


Organized

Getting organized can be a huge pain the butt. Tasks pile up, your to-do list gets out of control, you feel overwhelmed with all that needs done, and you dread home office organization. Yet, if you want to have peace of mind and a clean work space, you need to get organized. So how to get organized, then? Well, you’re in luck, because this article features three ways to get organized.

Learning how to get organized is very simple. The point is to get organized so that you then focus on your important task at hand. Or your life. But definitely not focusing on the organizing itself. Getting organized is a means to an end.

So without further ado, here are the three ways to get organized:

1. Productively Procrastinate

You will inevitably procrastinate during part of your week. It’s fine – we all do. We’re only human. But just because you procrastinate doesn’t mean you need to waste time. You should productively procrastinate.

When you want to avoid doing the major task in front of you, take care of some not-as-important-but-still-useful tasks on your to-do list. The ones that don’t require much thought are especially good. Maybe it’s cleaning and organizing files and folders on your computer, or doing some home office organization. Anything that’s been lingering on your to-do list.

While these tasks aren’t the really important ones, they’re still useful. And rather than wasting your time surfing the web or watching cat videos, you can more effectively spend your procrastination time. Plus, you don’t have to set aside special time for getting organized: you simply use the pockets of time for when you feel like procrastinating. Productive procrastination is actually some of the best moments to get organized. Leer más “Get Organized Now: 3 Ways to Get Organized”

7 Steps To Motivate Yourself

If you want to achieve success and make things happen, then you probably know that you need to have the ability to motivate yourself. Everyone seeks to motivate himself to achieve success and prosperity, but many do not know how.

How do you motivate yourself?

To learn how to motivate yourself, follow the quick guide below:

1. Have a reason

One of the strongest motives to motivate yourself is that you have a reason. This reason will inspire you and make you do whatever it takes to challenge all of the obstacles, so you can achieve your goals. If your desire and reasons are normal, then you might get motivated temporarily. The strong desires that make you think and dwell on your goals are the strong motives that will keep you moving forward.

2. Have a great goal

Have a goal that you want to achieve. Having a great goal is crucial because it is very difficult to motivate yourself if you don’t have a specific goal that you want to accomplish.


http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/7-steps-to-motivate-yourself/

If you want to achieve success and make things happen, then you probably know that you need to have the ability to motivate yourself.  Everyone seeks to motivate himself to achieve success and prosperity, but many do not know how.

How do you motivate yourself?

To learn how to motivate yourself, follow the quick guide below:

1.  Have a reason

One of the strongest motives to motivate yourself is that you have a reason.  This reason will inspire you and make you do whatever it takes to challenge all of the obstacles, so you can achieve your goals.  If your desire and reasons are normal, then you might get motivated temporarily.  The strong desires that make you think and dwell on your goals are the strong motives that will keep you moving forward.

2.  Have a great goal

Have a goal that you want to achieve.  Having a great goal is crucial because it is very difficult to motivate yourself if you don’t have a specific goal that you want to accomplish. Leer más “7 Steps To Motivate Yourself”

7 Tips for an Authentic and Productive Writing Process

Does this sound familiar?

You’re sitting in front of your laptop, staring at a blank screen.

The deadline for the article you need to write is approaching, and you’re struggling to get started when you should be in the final editing stages.

As you sit there trying to put your expertise in writing, a strange insecurity creeps up your spine. You see yourself changing before your own eyes, transforming from a confident expert into a self-conscious amateur.

It’s your own Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde transformation experience.

I’ve been there.
I used to hate writing

Well, actually, it was more like loathing than hating.

Anytime I needed to write anything I’d procrastinate, pretending that avoiding the project would make it go away. Needless to say, the procrastination led to a flurry of rushed writing at the last minute to meet my deadlines, resulting in less than my best work.

But my real problem wasn’t the act of writing. It was fear. Fear of making mistakes, fear that what I wrote would sound stupid, fear that my writing wouldn’t make sense to the reader, etc.
My insecurities were turning me into a monster

So there I was, a guy with more than 15 years of experience, who has won some awards and is even a judge for three international design competitions, worried about sounding stupid.

It sounds ridiculous, but my fear of screwing up made writing a miserable experience for me.

I even used to try to compensate for my fears. I’d use stiff, formal sentences and large, important-sounding words to try to “prove” I knew what I was talking about. Unfortunately, all that did was make me sound like a pretentious jerk.

It was like I was changing from Dr. Jekyll into Mr. Hyde anytime I had to write something.
Then one sentence from my college professor changed everything

I had a job that offered tuition reimbursement benefits, so I decided to take some college classes. One of my classes was a composition class, and the professor gave me the best writing advice I’d ever heard.

“Write the way you talk.”

Wait. What?

It can’t be that easy! Seriously? What a liberating idea! That one piece of advice helped me break free of my fears and relaxed my writing style. No more procrastination. No more using large, unnecessary words to try and impress the reader. I could just relax, be myself, and write.

Now before you get the wrong impression, let me explain something: writing the way you talk does not give you permission to write poorly, or to publish content that sucks.

What it does is help break down the mental barriers of fear and procrastination that keep you from being a more engaging, and more productive writer.

Here’s how to use “write the way you talk” to squash your insecurities and avoid sounding like a pompous idiot…:


Does this sound familiar?

You’re sitting in front of your laptop, staring at a blank screen.

The deadline for the article you need to write is approaching, and you’re struggling to get started when you should be in the final editing stages.

As you sit there trying to put your expertise in writing, a strange insecurity creeps up your spine. You see yourself changing before your own eyes, transforming from a confident expert into a self-conscious amateur.

It’s your own Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde transformation experience.

I’ve been there.

I used to hate writing

Well, actually, it was more like loathing than hating.

Anytime I needed to write anything I’d procrastinate, pretending that avoiding the project would make it go away. Needless to say, the procrastination led to a flurry of rushed writing at the last minute to meet my deadlines, resulting in less than my best work.

But my real problem wasn’t the act of writing. It was fear. Fear of making mistakes, fear that what I wrote would sound stupid, fear that my writing wouldn’t make sense to the reader, etc.

My insecurities were turning me into a monster

So there I was, a guy with more than 15 years of experience, who has won some awards and is even a judge for three international design competitions, worried about sounding stupid.

It sounds ridiculous, but my fear of screwing up made writing a miserable experience for me.

I even used to try to compensate for my fears. I’d use stiff, formal sentences and large, important-sounding words to try to “prove” I knew what I was talking about. Unfortunately, all that did was make me sound like a pretentious jerk.

It was like I was changing from Dr. Jekyll into Mr. Hyde anytime I had to write something.

Then one sentence from my college professor changed everything

I had a job that offered tuition reimbursement benefits, so I decided to take some college classes. One of my classes was a composition class, and the professor gave me the best writing advice I’d ever heard.

“Write the way you talk.”

Wait. What?

It can’t be that easy! Seriously? What a liberating idea! That one piece of advice helped me break free of my fears and relaxed my writing style. No more procrastination. No more using large, unnecessary words to try and impress the reader. I could just relax, be myself, and write.

Now before you get the wrong impression, let me explain something: writing the way you talk does not give you permission to write poorly, or to publish content that sucks.

What it does is help break down the mental barriers of fear and procrastination that keep you from being a more engaging, and more productive writer.

Here’s how to use “write the way you talk” to squash your insecurities and avoid sounding like a pompous idiot…: Leer más “7 Tips for an Authentic and Productive Writing Process”

One Hour Push

I’m sure many of you have read “Getting Things Done”, David Allen’s excellent book for managing time in a chaotic and heavily demanding work context. This is where you have so much coming at you all the time. The book and philosophy helps you organize and survive it all. One of David Allen’s rules is called the “two minute rule”. The two minute rule means that if something takes two minutes or less then just do it– don’t even put it on your list — don’t prioritize it — you just need to knock it out and get it done.

I have applied this principle with varying degrees of consistency over the last four years and it has actually helped me accomplish a lot of things and keep my ‘To Do List’ manageable. But there is another principle which I call the ‘one hour push’ that is a little different but still consistent with GTD or other time management systems.

We often procrastinate or don’t start a difficult task or avoid things that are just not in our sweet spot because we fear our ability to ever complete the task. This fear may be grounded in “Do I have enough time to get this task done?” or it could be grounded in the belief that “We don’t have the necessary resources, abilities or talents to accomplish the task”. More importantly, we fear that the task will consume more of our day than we would have wanted to allocate to it.


I’m sure many of you have read “Getting Things Done”, David Allen’s excellent book for managing time in a chaotic and heavily demanding work context. This is where you have so much coming at you all the time. The book and philosophy helps you organize and survive it all. One of David Allen’s rules is called the “two minute rule”. The two minute rule means that if something takes two minutes or less then just do it– don’t even put it on your list — don’t prioritize it — you just need to knock it out and get it done.

I have applied this principle with varying degrees of consistency over the last four years and it has actually helped me accomplish a lot of things and keep my ‘To Do List’ manageable. But there is another principle which I call the ‘one hour push’ that is a little different but still consistent with GTD or other time management systems.

We often procrastinate or don’t start a difficult task or avoid things that are just not in our sweet spot because we fear our ability to ever complete the task. This fear may be grounded in “Do I have enough time to get this task done?” or it could be grounded in the belief that “We don’t have the necessary resources, abilities or talents to accomplish the task”. More importantly, we fear that the task will consume more of our day than we would have wanted to allocate to it. Leer más “One Hour Push”