Stop procrastinating, and start moving!
by Laetitia Wong
Don’t deny it, we’ve all been there. Truth be told, I didn’t even start mugging for my finals till two weeks before the exams (highly not recommended) and I realised that I could potentially end up as Squidward in his cardboard box.
Nevertheless, here are a couple of handy tips and tricks to help give you that little push, and perhaps even straighten up your life.
1. List, list, list
List-makers alert! Having a fast-paced life creates a list of tasks that can prove demanding to handle, especially without a proper schedule or having a specific time frame to help push things along without proper “guidance”.
Stick to your long-term plans and create short-term goals. It can get hard to be productive, but try giving yourself small rewards at each productive milestone. For example, you could reward yourself with a half-an-hour episode of your favourite telly show (hint: The Big Bang Theory) with each accomplished task.
2. Always start organising
It’s hearty advice, having been reiterated in countless of beauty blogs, vlogs, self-help books and even your mom’s advice!
Start by decluttering – Don’t be a hoarder, just throw out the things that you don’t need. It’s a new year, and that signals a well-needed change, paying homage to 2015. Nonetheless, opt for charitable alternatives such as The Salvation Army, New2U and even holding a garage sale for your old items that you no longer use – Just make sure they’re in good shape!
You’d start finding things you thought you lost, perhaps even discover that 50 dollar note you’ve been stashing away since last Christmas as “safety money”. Your space will be clean, minimalistic and thoroughly crisp. As the old proverb goes: Happiness is a place between too little and too much.
When’s the last time you picked up a book? No, not an downloadable like Kobo or a PDF on your handy-dandy Kindle, we’re talking about an actual hardcopy book.
Reading has been proved to reduce stress and stimulate the mind mentally. Not only does it exponentially increase your vocabulary word bank as well as the bits and bobs that is your general knowledge, but as exercise is to our bodies, reading is to our minds. Cognitive stimulation plays a giant role in keeping our minds rigorously trim in tip top condition.
Sure, technology’s helped improve the quality of our life, what with the adorable Line Coffee, or having reached Level 120 farmer status on Hay Day, and even having been crowned #instagramqueen with the help of the gorgeous vintage Toaster filter.
Being surrounded by a constant flow of updates, tweets, shrill beeping, flickering notification lights and system appraisal reports can start to feel a little heavy-handed of late. Indulge yourself in a pampering session, from home-made facials to personalised hair-spas, or even try exercising once in a while!
Exercising gives you an instant glow – Forget the 120 pots and jars of creams at Sephora, exercising is the easiest way of revitalising your tired dehydrated cells. Get your heart pumped and revive your body’s circulation – Having constant waves of oxygenated blood boosts cell renewal and even helps the body in it’s natural detoxification process. Talk about a fresh start!
5. Team up
Be it people who inspire you to take your life into action, or getting a buddy to discuss your life goals – Just hit your local Starbucks with an icy cup of chocolate java chip with your best gal, and talk your worries away.
Naturally, stepping outside your comfort zone is never easy, but getting a buddy helps – Whether it is to bounce your ideas off to finish that book you’ve been stuck on since 2013, or to drop that last 10 pounds, (which on hindsight, that iced chocolate java chip isn’t sounding too good right now)
Always remember, that praise is a powerful motivator. Most of us don’t realise it, but there is always an inner 8-year old inside of all of us, dying to be extolled for a job well done.
6. Stop over-thinking!
It’s been proven that over-thinking does over-complicate things. You’re most probably waiting for a ‘perfect time’ to take action. News flash: There is no perfect time to start something. After all, planning can only take you so far.
It’s like the wildly popular Nike advertisement goes: Yesterday you said tomorrow.
Still, it’s probably best for you keep a realistic expectation in mind. It ain’t good to be a downer on life all the time by thinking the worst of things, but romanticising the notion of having a picture perfect outcome is a little far-fetched. Keep it real, and ditch what professionals coin as the ‘magical thinking’.
But hey, it’s like ripping off a bandaid – You’ll start feeling much better once it’s over and done with.
7. The 2-minute rule
It’s been established in David Allen’s bestselling book, Getting Things Done. Unsurprisingly, much of the productivity consultant’s time management bestseller novel reiterates the concept of procrastination, and ways that one is able to complete tasks in under 2 minutes.
Take this for example: You’ve been dying to clear out that tornado-swept closet of yours for the last 6 months, but you can’t seem on picking a place to start. Remember: Small habits and goals can be started in 2 minutes or less.
Try rearranging a small section of your wardrobe to begin with e.g. Picking out and hanging up all your cardigans. Next, you can arrange them by colour or even comfort level! Like Mr Allen says: It’s 120 seconds. Use this time to strike one thing off your list.