You have a goal clearly defined, a task list, and limited time. Never happens, right?
Here’s how to bust a cap in your task list’s ass:
1. Egg Timer: Get one of those cheap, wind-up egg timers (should cost about $3). You will need to hear the not-so-subtle tick tock, tick tock in between songs. Wind it to the amount of time you have dedicated to completing your task and display it somewhere you can glance at it. This is the equivalent of feeding your productive wiring a bit of crack. I recommend dividing your productive time into 15-minute intervals.
2. Graph Paper: For a mid-size goal, say “produce $25,000 in extra income within 12 months” divide your graph cells by the amount of time you’ll need to dedicate. I’d give this one 500 hours. Count out your 20 x 25 grid. For every hour you dedicate you’ll get the satisfaction of making a large “X” in one of the cells. You’ll know exactly how much time you’ve spent doing dedicated work by the egg timer. For a lighter weight goal, say “finish writing my term paper” adjust your grid down to maybe 10 hours. Use the graph paper to attach notes or capture significant items needed to chart your course.
3. Music: This is all you, my friend. I pick the type of music I’d like to run to, but maybe you’ll do better with something soothing. I find that looping Golden Earring’s “Twilight Zone” makes me feel like I can mule kick procrastination in the balls. This is up to you.
You cannot fake productivity. If you try, you will waste 500 hours trying to figure out how to do it the easy way. There is no easy way, so don’t even attempt it. Achieving anything worthwhile takes a tremendous amount of discipline, failure, and plain ol’ work.
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