As a creator who relies on daily consistency to make a living, I’m always looking for ways to make the creative process more streamlined.
Procrastinating isn’t always a bad thing, especially if I need a rest. Often sitting idly generates great insights for me, but often we just need to get on and do things.
There are things I’ve found get in the way and others that help make my energy and enthusiasm for work explode.
Here are 8 tiny ways to streamline your entire life:
1. Stop trying to focus.
First things first — you need to let go of the need to ‘be more focused.’
Forget it. You’re not the Dalai Lama, and even he’s like a ping pong ball at a frat party.
This just adds pressure and closes you up further.
You need to relax. Forcing ourselves to be more productive makes us less productive.
Start from a place of zero pressure.
2. Let go of your story.
Many of us are imprisoned by stories we tell about ourselves without realizing it.
We say, ‘I’m just not a good writer,’ or, ‘I’ve always been a lazy person.’
Of course, you procrastinate if you’re continually sabotaging yourself with these words.
You must instead be biased to action, regardless of the feelings that come up when you do.
Allow your actions to inform a new identity (an action-taker), not your old stories of who you falsely think you are.
3. Know your why.
No wonder you can’t be bothered to do stuff if there’s no apparent reason for doing it.
That’s how this works. You need a compelling enough reason to take action. No ray of light will beam down and show this to you.
You create the reason.
Write the thing down, feel yourself filled with renewed enthusiasm, rise up from your lazy boy, shout HUZZAH, and move.
4. Do one thing at a time only.
When we look at our massive to-do lists and feel overwhelmed, many of us overcompensate by trying to do several things at once.
Good luck with that, num nuts.
You make things much harder.
You need to get rational now and realize all there is to do is ONE thing — free of distraction in your environment and in the mind.
5. Know your main priorities.
We potter around aimlessly, mainly for one reason: We don’t know what’s worth doing more than the rest.
Ask yourself: what is the one thing I can do today that would make this day worthwhile?
Now you’re using your intelligent brain.
Got the one thing? Good. Now figure out the next most important 2–3 things.
Note the difference between ‘urgent’ and ‘important.’ You must focus on the important stuff and not get carried away in the seemingly urgent.
Don’t confuse them, or you’ll become a slave, making someone else happy at your expense over the long run.
6. Break it down into tiny steps.
Now that you know your main priorities for the week and day, you can still make things easier and more precise.
Break the main one down into the next simple and actionable steps.
Now breathe a sigh of relief, dance like you forgot what year it was, and fist bump the sky.
7. Find a way to enjoy yourself.
If you forget all else, know this: we all have the power within us to make WHATEVER we do fun, even if it’s a teensy weensy bit.
Washing the dishes? Make it enjoyable and sensual, you dirty beast.
Writing the next article? Be like Shakespeare and write the first draft with a feather.
Stop resisting, relax, and ease into things, and you’ll never need to procrastinate again.
8. Write down exciting goals.
It’s easy to hear someone bang on about writing down goals but then to ‘forget’ to do it.
Nah. Just do it now.
Write down a list of cool things you’d love to make happen in the next month and year.
Commit it to paper and make it real. Most people write goals, get excited for 2 minutes, and then forget them.
Not you, bro. You push against this invisible resistance which keeps the masses mediocre.
You re-write your goals daily so that your vision is continual and colorful every day.
Not only do you have clarity, but you’re also informing your daily behaviors as a hero who is on the journey.
Winners don’t work towards their goals; they BECOME the person who achieves them today.
Alex Mathers is a writer and coach who helps you build a money-making personal brand with your knowledge and skills while staying mentally resilient.
This article was originally published at Medium. Reprinted with permission from the author.