procrastination http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/1603/all en-US 8 Reasons You're Still Stuck in a Financial Hole http://www.wisebread.com/8-reasons-youre-still-stuck-in-a-financial-hole <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-reasons-youre-still-stuck-in-a-financial-hole" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/frustrated_intern_working_on_line_at_office.jpg" alt="Frustrated intern working on line at office" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Being broke sucks. There are a million reasons why you might end up in a financial hole, and it always feels awful. The good news is you can often pull yourself out of these bad situations, especially if you make wise decisions with your money.</p> <p>On the other hand, there are also some really poor money decisions that can set you back even further. Avoid these bad calls when you're broke, and you'll stop digging yourself even deeper into debt.</p> <h2>1. Thinking nothing has to change</h2> <p>The minute you realize you're broke, your mindset has to change. How did you get here? What led to being broke? Think long and hard about these things, and understand that something has to give. Telling yourself you can continue your everyday spending habits as if nothing is wrong is only going to dig yourself deeper into a financial hole. And ignoring the problem altogether certainly won't help, either; it'll just make things much, much worse. As unpleasant as it might be to face reality and change the way you spend, it will be much more unpleasant to stay broke. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-biggest-ways-procrastination-hurts-your-finances?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Biggest Ways Procrastination Hurts Your Finances</a>)</p> <h2>2. Emptying the emergency fund</h2> <p>Realizing you're broke can lead to feelings of panic &mdash; being broke is an emergency, right?! Hold on. The last thing you should be doing is raiding your emergency fund to pay everyday expenses, or to continue funding the frivolous spending that landed you here. The truth is, when you're broke, you need a sound emergency fund more than ever. What happens if you lose your job, or your hot water heater dies? Without that money put away, you'll have nothing to help you get by. So, leave your emergency fund right where it is and make other changes in your budget.</p> <h2>4. Taking out a loan</h2> <p>You don't need the financial burden of new debt when you're already broke. Assuming you get approved for a loan, there's no guarantee that you'll even be able to pay it back. That puts your credit score at risk of a critical hit, and can ruin your chances of getting approved for financing in the future.</p> <p>In the same vein, never fall for a payday loan, either. Predatory lenders often target people in times of financial trouble, and are experts at marketing an attractive offer that sounds like the answer to your money troubles. In reality, the obscene interest charges and terms and conditions will leave you way worse off. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-yourself-from-predatory-lending?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Protect Yourself From Predatory Lending</a>)</p> <h2>5. Getting buried in overdraft fees</h2> <p>When there's less money in your checking account than you're used to, take extra caution to avoid overdrawing. Overdraft fees can quickly multiply, shooting up to hundreds of dollars and putting you in an even worse financial situation. Your bank may be willing to waive some of the fees if you ask, but it's not a guarantee and certainly not a regular courtesy. If you're not sure how much money you have in your account, check it daily. With technology, there is no excuse. You can either log on to your bank's website every morning, or download your bank's app. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-avoid-overdraft-charges?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Ways to Avoid Overdraft Charges</a>)</p> <h2>6. Lying about your financial state</h2> <p>Don't lie to yourself and don't lie to other people. It's hard to admit when you're in a bad money spot. But the truth is that you <em>are</em> broke, and lying will only cause more problems. Take a deep breath and be honest. Politely turn down your friends' invites to go shopping or out to dinner, and explain that you simply don't have the cash right now. They won't hold it against you. You will respect yourself more for being straightforward, and you might even pave the way for someone else to feel comfortable admitting their hardships, too.</p> <h2>7. Gambling</h2> <p>It's easy to think that one big win could solve all of your financial difficulties. But the fact of the matter is that hitting the jackpot in a casino or by playing the lotto is unlikely &mdash; very unlikely. More often than not, people lose tons of money gambling, sometimes in the blink of an eye. This certainly won't make your money troubles any easier. Think of it this way: gambling is for people who can afford to lose money. You can't, so stay away.</p> <h2>8. Refusing to give up luxuries</h2> <p>Maybe you have a maid service clean your house once per week, or you like to have your car professionally detailed. Maybe you love grabbing takeout for lunch, or eating at that great Italian place for dinner every Friday night. Maybe you love your premium cable package, and all your fun monthly subscription boxes.</p> <p>Guess what? All of these luxuries cost money you don't have, and you can go without. Clean your home and car yourself. Clip coupons and use cash back apps at the grocery store, and meal prep all your food at home. Get rid of monthly subscriptions and memberships you aren't using, and think long and hard about cable &mdash; do you really need it?</p> <p>None of these have to be permanent changes. By giving yourself a financial buffer for even a few months, you'll get back on your feet much faster.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-reasons-youre-still-stuck-in-a-financial-hole">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-an-all-cash-diet-right-for-you">Is an All-Cash Diet Right for You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-good-financial-deeds-that-can-backfire">6 Good Financial Deeds that Can Backfire</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-small-monthly-bills-slowly-wreck-your-annual-budget">How Small Monthly Bills Slowly Wreck Your Annual Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-budget-when-youre-no-longer-broke">How to Budget When You&#039;re No Longer Broke</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-manage-your-money-no-budgeting-required">How to Manage Your Money — No Budgeting Required</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Budgeting being broke daily expenses habits loans overdraft fees procrastination saving money Spending Money Thu, 25 May 2017 08:00:09 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1953936 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Biggest Ways Procrastination Hurts Your Finances http://www.wisebread.com/7-biggest-ways-procrastination-hurts-your-finances <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-biggest-ways-procrastination-hurts-your-finances" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-621987808.jpg" alt="Woman learning biggest ways procrastination hurts her finances" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Remember those days in college when you'd put off studying until the night before a big exam? You'd stay up all night, desperately trying to cram everything in at the last minute. If only you'd taken the time earlier, you'd have walked into your test rested, calm, and most importantly, prepared.</p> <p>Those bad habits can cost you a lot more in real life if you carry them into the way you handle money. Here are seven situations when procrastination really hurts your bottom line.</p> <h2>1. Investing: Your money has less time to grow</h2> <p>It's one of the basic rules of smart investing: Invest as early as you can and for as long as you can. Some of the most successful investors are those who had relatively modest incomes, but started investing young and stayed in the markets for decades. Compounding interest worked in their favor, and they enjoyed a sizable nest egg later in life. Even a delay of five to 10 years can make a significant difference in how much money you have by retirement. Quite simply, the more you procrastinate, the less money you'll have.</p> <h2>2. Saving: You continue to spend more than you earn</h2> <p>You're aware that you're spending more money than you're bringing in, but you tell yourself that you'll start cutting back after the holidays. The holidays come and go, so then you tell yourself you'll start saving after your big spring break trip. After spring break, you promise you'll start after your cousin's wedding in July. There's always some reason to put off saving, but the best time to start tightening your belt is right away. Devising an arbitrary future start date for financial prudence only means you're spending money you shouldn't in the interim.</p> <h2>3. Debt payoff: Your balances balloon</h2> <p>That credit card bill keeps getting bigger, and it comes on top of your student loans and car payments. You're getting crushed by debt, but it's so overwhelming you can't bring yourself to come up with a plan to tackle it. Every moment you wait to address your debt problem is a moment that allows that debt to grow. Devise a repayment strategy now, before your debt ruins you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-pay-off-high-interest-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Ways to Pay Off High Interest Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <h2>4. Taxes: You might make a costly mistake</h2> <p>Tax Day seems so far away, but before you know it, it's the middle of April and you haven't even gotten started. You may think your taxes are simple, but rushing through the process increases your chances of forgetting income, missing out on deductions, or making a silly error.</p> <p>No one says you have to file your taxes immediately at the beginning of the year, but at least give yourself a few weeks to file your return carefully. A rush job could mean you pay too much, or you may end up with penalties due to mistakes.</p> <h2>5. Bills: You miss payment deadlines</h2> <p>There are consequences to paying bills late, usually in the form of fees and interest charges. If you're the type of person who doesn't even open a bill until it's nearly due, you're putting yourself at risk of extra expenses.</p> <p>Late fees and interest aren't merely one-time charges. Miss your payments by enough days and it can hurt your credit score, impacting your ability to borrow. It's best to pay bills right away when you get them &mdash; or put them on autopay &mdash; so they don't threaten your finances further. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-simple-ways-to-never-make-a-late-credit-card-payment?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Simple Ways to Never Make a Late Credit Card Payment</a>)</p> <h2>6. Job applications: You don't get that better-paying position</h2> <p>You found a job that you think you'll like, and it pays considerably more than your current one. But instead of applying right away, you wait. And wait. And wait. Before you know it, the position is filled. This is a total wasted opportunity.</p> <p>Yes, applying for a job, reworking your resume, writing cover letters, and going through interviews are all tedious and time-consuming. But when you're stuck sitting at your current gig, underpaid and unhappy, you'll really be kicking yourself for not putting in the work to get yourself unstuck.</p> <h2>7. Raises and promotions: You miss out for another year</h2> <p>It's hard to know the precise time to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-you-should-demand-a-raise" target="_blank">ask for a promotion or a raise</a>. Often, we wait until annual review season, but by then, personnel decisions may already have been made. The best thing is to approach the subject sooner rather than later. Your boss may not be in a position to respond right away, but you've planted the seed so they know your wishes.</p> <p>Besides, simply asking for a raise or promotion may force your employer to look more closely at your work, and hopefully recognize what you bring to the table each day. If you wait too long to ask, you may have to wait for an entire budget cycle to get another shot.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-biggest-ways-procrastination-hurts-your-finances">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-liabilities-that-will-ruin-your-net-worth">7 Liabilities That Will Ruin Your Net Worth</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-putting-off-these-9-adult-money-moves">Are You Putting Off These 9 Adult Money Moves?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-biggest-lies-we-tell-ourselves-about-money">The 10 Biggest Lies We Tell Ourselves About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-a-promotion">8 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Get a Promotion</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-profit-off-your-cabin-fever">8 Ways to Profit Off Your Cabin Fever</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance asking for raise bills debt investing jobs last minute procrastination promotions saving taxes Tue, 23 May 2017 08:00:09 +0000 Tim Lemke 1949205 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Reasons You Should Start Your Holiday Shopping Now http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-you-should-start-your-holiday-shopping-now <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-reasons-you-should-start-your-holiday-shopping-now" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_45623996_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="you should start your holiday shopping now" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's hard to believe that the holidays are fast approaching. But ask anyone if they have started <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-easy-ways-to-save-money-but-still-get-what-you-want-during-holiday-shopping">shopping for the holidays</a> yet, and you'll most likely get a quizzical look in return. &quot;Holidays? I haven't even shopped for Thanksgiving yet!&quot; However, there are many reasons to start shopping for the big event right now, rather than waiting for another month. And by starting now, you will save money &mdash; in some cases a <em>lot </em>of money &mdash; and have a less stressful festive season.</p> <h2>1. Better Deals May Take a Long Time to Ship</h2> <p>Right now, time is on your side, and you should take full advantage of it. With eBay, and hundreds of other sites offering great gifts from all around the world, it can be expensive to ship things quickly. And in some cases, that may not even be an option. You could have to wait 6-8 weeks for that special delivery, and if you start shopping in early December, you just won't have enough time to get it before the big day. What's more, some items offered abroad are significantly cheaper than the same items being sold from U.S. merchants. Start your shopping online now, and you could save a lot of money getting cool and authentic goods from every corner of the globe.</p> <h2>2. It's Not Crazy Shopping Season Yet</h2> <p>You know what the malls are like when December rolls around. And in the last few weeks, it's all out war in some stores. Finding a parking spot can take half an hour, and even then, it's a long walk to the entrance. Lines to the registers are stretching to the back of the store, everyone is in a bad mood, and chaos reigns. Skip it. Do it now, while the vast majority of people are still thinking about the Thanksgiving menu. You may be waiting to start because you believe the best deals will come on Black Friday &mdash; the ultimate battle for a better deal &mdash; but that's not necessarily true. Many doorbuster deals go in minutes, and are in limited supply. The rest of the low prices offered are usually very close to the prices being charged online anyway. In some cases, those items were cheaper on other sale days throughout the year. Don't believe the Black Friday hype. Smart, frugal shoppers armed with discount codes and coupons will always find good deals.</p> <h2>3. The Price Hikes Haven't Happened Yet</h2> <p>They're known as &quot;seasonal markups.&quot; You could call it taking advantage of the holidays, or even price gouging, but it is what it is, and we all know it. However, those seasonal markups are not going to happen for a few more weeks at least, so get in there before the &quot;late shopping tax&quot; is added onto everything from toys and clothing, to perfume and jewelry.</p> <h2>4. You Could Miss Out on the Things You Really Want</h2> <p>As we get closer to the holidays, supplies of popular items start getting depleted. This, in particular, applies to the hot toy of the moment. Every year, a certain toy becomes a must-have, and if you wait too long, you risk disappointing the kid who's been waiting for it all year. But it's not just toys. You will find that popular clothing sizes sell out fast, and all you can get hold of is an XS or a XXXL. Certain colors or styles will go more quickly than others. And all of this can be avoided by getting to the stores now while everything is plentiful.</p> <h2>5. You Have Enough Time to Make Something</h2> <p>They say the best gifts are the ones made just for you, and that really does ring true. Knowing that someone has spent their own time and creativity making you something feels great. If you posses a certain set of skills, whether it's crocheting, cooking, woodworking, painting, or sculpture, you have the time to put those skills to good use. You can make some awesome gifts that will really make the recipient feel special, and you'll save a lot of money in the process. Leaving this kind of gift until the last minute only adds extra stress to your life. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/start-now-you-can-make-these-23-delicious-holiday-gifts?ref=seealso">Start Now: You Can Make These 23 DIY Gifts</a>)</p> <h2>6. You Can Get Gifts to Loved Ones on Time</h2> <p>The postal system comes under heavy strain in the weeks before a major holiday. We all see it firsthand when we pop to the post office and see a line stretching to Canada. If you want to make sure your packages arrive on time, without having to pay expensive priority fees, or use couriers, then start your shopping right now. You can use some of the free shipping options on sites like Amazon and eBay and still get gifts to people in plenty of time. Otherwise you'll be risking delayed packages while paying a lot for the service.</p> <h2>7. Bad Weather Can Upset Your Plans</h2> <p>In many parts of the country, the holiday season comes with heavy snow and horrible weather. That can have a huge impact on the shopping season. Bad snow can leave the roads in chaos, and you may not even be able to leave the house. Even if you do get out there, you could be spending hours in traffic, risk getting into serious accidents, and will be dealing with people who are stressed beyond belief. Get out there now, before mother nature decides to dump a nasty surprise on you&hellip; right on the day you planned to get all your shopping done.</p> <h2>8. You Can Spread Out the Financial Burden</h2> <p>We all know that the holiday season is the most expensive time of the year for most families. Aside from all the gifts, there is the food, the drinks, the parties, and the travel. It can really eat into your weekly budget. But when you leave everything until the last minute, that can put your bank accounts under more strain than usual. Instead, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-to-use-your-credit-card-for-holiday-purchases">spread out those expenses</a> into more manageable chunks, and start early. Get a few gifts now, a few next week, and so on. Stock up on non-perishables over the next few months. By doing it in smaller bursts, you won't feel so financially crippled.</p> <h2>9. You Can Set Price Alerts for Online Shopping</h2> <p>If you leave shopping until the last minute, or the last few weeks of the holiday season, you will have to accept the price on offer, or risk not getting that item at all. Start shopping online right now, and set up price alerts for the things on your lists. You can receive an email alert that tells you when something you really want has dropped below a price you feel is a deal. If it doesn't happen by the time the holidays are closing in, well, you bite the bullet. But this way, you have a much better chance of getting great deals on the things you really want.</p> <h2>10. It's Better for Your Health (and Sanity)</h2> <p>Most of us experience stress around the holiday season, and with good reason. There's an awful lot to coordinate, and we're spending money like it's going out of style. We all want to make sure everyone is happy, the gifts are bought and wrapped, and the food is prepped. One way to alleviate some of that stress is to give yourself plenty of breathing room. By starting your shopping now, you're giving yourself that most precious gift: time. You have the time to sit down, plan ahead, and get things organized. You have time to get things shipped. You have time to take things back to the stores, if they aren't what you were expecting. You have time to wrap gifts at your own pace, instead if doing that marathon session the night before. It all adds up to a much easier festive season, meaning less stress and strain on your body and your mind.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-you-should-start-your-holiday-shopping-now">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-you-can-do-right-now-for-a-frugal-holiday-season">9 Things You Can Do Right Now for a Frugal Holiday Season</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-frugal-gifts-for-the-person-who-needs-a-nap">9 Frugal Gifts for the Person Who Needs a Nap</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-160-gift-ideas-for-everyone-you-know">Flashback Friday: 160 Gift Ideas for Everyone You Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-smart-reasons-to-last-minute-holiday-shop">9 Smart Reasons to Last-Minute Holiday Shop</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-small-monthly-bills-slowly-wreck-your-annual-budget">How Small Monthly Bills Slowly Wreck Your Annual Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Christmas holiday season holiday shopping procrastination saving money shopping hacks Spending Money Mon, 07 Nov 2016 10:00:10 +0000 Paul Michael 1827217 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Unmistakeable Signs You're Slacking at Work http://www.wisebread.com/5-unmistakeable-signs-youre-slacking-at-work <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-unmistakeable-signs-youre-slacking-at-work" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_asleep_at_work_000009078649.jpg" alt="Man learning signs that he&#039;s underperforming at work" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Nobody wants to be considered an underperformer, but unfortunately, there are times when most of us fall behind at work or don't fully meet our responsibilities. Catching &mdash; and correcting &mdash; underperformance early is the surest way to get back on solid footing quickly. Here are five classic signs of underperformance to watch for.</p> <h2>1. No One Gives You Real Responsibility</h2> <p>Sure, there are a zillion projects you'd love to do for your company&hellip; but no one will give them to you. Missing out on a project here or there happens to everyone &mdash; after all, only one person or team can get each assignment. But when you feel like you never get the projects you want, and the data backs you up, there's a good chance you're underperforming.</p> <p>Generally, the projects people want are high profile or important in some way. And bosses usually trust these sorts of projects to employees they know they can count on. If you never get one, it may mean that they aren't sure you will follow through in a way that makes them look good.</p> <p>Attack this head-on by doing the very best you can with whatever projects are on your plate right now. Do what you have to do to make sure the project is completed successfully, and the next one you get may be better. Do this long enough and you will prove your worth to the company and show management that you can handle the serious responsibility of high profile work.</p> <h2>2. You Find Yourself Making Excuses</h2> <p>When someone asks you about a part of your job that isn't going so well, what do you say? Do you take responsibility, or do you offer an excuse? Sometimes, bad things happen and the outcome truly is out of your control. If you're offering excuses fairly frequently, though, it probably means that you aren't working hard enough, but don't want to admit it.</p> <p>The next time you hear yourself making an excuse, take note. Think about whether it is legitimate. If you aren't sure, ask someone you trust to help you evaluate the situation. Then, take steps to take responsibility for what is going wrong. Talk to your boss proactively and come up with a plan of attack. Then follow through, no matter what comes up.</p> <h2>3. You're on Your Mobile &mdash; A Lot</h2> <p>Whether you like them or not, mobile phones are an important part of the ways we live and do business. However, you don't need to be on your phone all the time while at work. If, when you think back over the last few days, you realize that you spent the majority of your time talking, texting, or emailing on your phone, there's a good chance you're underperforming.</p> <p>Think about it. Your mobile phone is rarely the most efficient way to do things. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-never-say-in-a-work-email">Emailing</a> goes much quicker on a computer. And emailing or talking on the phone is usually a faster way of handling things than texting. Really, the only things most efficiently handled on a phone are (wait for it...) phone calls. If you're using your phone <em>in the office</em> to do other things, you aren't working as efficiently as possible.</p> <p>To counteract this, put the phone down. Lock it in a coworker's desk, if you need to, or set aside certain times each day where you use it and put it away the rest of the time. Beyond that, make sure that, when you are using your phone at work, you're using it because it is the only or the best way to take on a task.</p> <h2>4. You Can't Articulate Your Goals</h2> <p>If you don't know what you're working towards, it's hard to perform well. Whether you can't articulate your goals because no one told you what they are or because you don't remember them (or didn't pay attention in the first place), not knowing where you are going almost guarantees that you are underperforming.</p> <p>If you don't know your goals, sit down with your manager to lay them out. And if your manager doesn't know them or can't articulate them, do the best you can to set some for yourself. Even if you don't know what your manager values, you can probably make some educated guesses as to what would impress him or her. Write these out for yourself and you will probably find yourself working towards them in a much more focused, efficient manner.</p> <h2>5. You Miss More Deadlines Than You Hit</h2> <p>Everyone misses a deadline now and then. It's not good, but it happens. Sometimes, it can't be helped. Other times, it means you lost a bit of focus and you can easily regain that. Occasionally, though, missing deadlines becomes a way of working. When this happens, it tends to indicate that the deadline-misser is underperforming.</p> <p>Think about your deadlines over the last six months. How many did you hit? How many did you miss? If you have missed more than you hit, you are underperforming.</p> <p>To pull yourself out of the deadline missing rut, figure out what is going wrong. Are you bored? Are you saving everything until the last minute? Are you at the mercy of other people who are saving everything until the last minute? Be brutally honest with yourself. If you find that you have any responsibility in the matter (and you probably do!), start making changes. Set aside time each day for projects with approaching deadlines. Reward yourself for the time you spend working. And do whatever you need to do to finish the next project on time (and the next one, and the next one).</p> <p>Take the time to evaluate your performance today and change whatever needs to change in order to improve your focus and efficiency. In less time than you think, you can find yourself a more valuable member of your company.</p> <p><em>Do you think you're underperforming? What do you plan to do about it?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-unmistakeable-signs-youre-slacking-at-work">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-bad-habits-that-are-ruining-your-career">6 Bad Habits That Are Ruining Your Career</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-times-you-should-speak-up-at-work">10 Times You Should Speak Up at Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-tips-for-better-workplace-body-language">7 Tips for Better Workplace Body Language</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ace-your-next-performance-review-with-these-7-tricks">Ace Your Next Performance Review With These 7 Tricks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-healthy-habits-to-take-to-work">10 Healthy Habits to Take to Work</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building job security laziness morale Office procrastination responsibility underperforming work Mon, 14 Sep 2015 09:00:15 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1555517 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Bad Habits That Are Ruining Your Career http://www.wisebread.com/6-bad-habits-that-are-ruining-your-career <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-bad-habits-that-are-ruining-your-career" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_offering_cigarettes_000053360546.jpg" alt="Man discovering bad life habits that impede him at work" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all have our own list of little bad habits &mdash; some longer than others. Maybe you talk with your mouth full or cut people off when they're speaking. (I'm guilty of the latter myself.) But while these habits seem benign enough on the surface, they can sometimes interfere with your career and potentially affect your upward mobility &mdash; and subsequently, your finances.</p> <p>How can you identify which of your naughty little habits to consider correcting? Here's a look at six examples that can potentially impede your work and make it harder for you to get ahead.</p> <h2>1. Being a Negative Nancy &mdash; Or Ned</h2> <p>There's nothing more annoying than being around someone who complains and whines about everything. It doesn't matter if it's about family, work, or life, they always take a glass half-empty approach and find something wrong with everything.</p> <p>If this description fits you, you might argue that this is who you are or that you've always been this way. But what you may not realize is that being negative about life can impact how you feel about your work. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-banish-negative-thoughts?ref=seealso">6 Ways to Banish Negative Thoughts</a>)</p> <p>No matter where you work or what you do, nothing is ever going to go perfectly. Your employer will get on your nerves, some of your coworkers might be slackers, and you might not be completely satisfied with your job description or salary. It's okay to vent, but constantly complaining and whining about a situation and being negative isn't going to change anything. You're only going to make your life harder.</p> <p>Yes, there's a downside to every job, but rather than focus on what's wrong at work, focus on what's right. A positive mindset helps you stay motivated and increases productivity. You're not likely to give your employer 100% if you don't feel good about your job, and this lack of effort can affect whether you receive promotions and raises.</p> <h2>2. Always Running Late</h2> <p>Your friends and family might accept that you're always running 10 or 20 minutes behind schedule. Lord knows mine have. Your employer, however, may not be as understanding. If you never arrive to work on time and you're always late coming back from lunch, you'll have a hard time fitting all your work into a single day. And if your day gets off to a slow start, there's a chance that you'll miss deadlines and delay projects, which puts everyone behind schedule. If your boss realizes that you're the common denominator in project delays, this can affect your reputation and whether you move up in the company, and possibly put your job on the line.</p> <h2>3. Social Media Addiction</h2> <p>If you're glued to your phone or tablet 24/7 and you can't go longer than 10 minutes without checking your Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, you'll have a difficult time trying to get through an eight-hour workday. Being able to keep up with your friends and family via social media helps you stay connected even when you're far away, for sure. But if your notifications are going off every five minutes and you're pausing work several times a day to respond to comments, like photos, or read the latest news on your newsfeed, you're not giving your work the attention it deserves. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-break-your-social-media-habit?ref=seealso">5 Ways to Break Your Social Media Habit</a>)</p> <p>Besides, your employer can very easily access your accounts and see what, when, and where you're updating. Push the limit and you may find yourself with a newfound freedom to engage your social media without that pesky job holding your back.</p> <h2>4. Skipping Meals</h2> <p>Whether you're trying to lose weight or you're the type of person who forgets to eat when your mind's occupied (like me!), skipping meals interferes with work performance more than you realize. You need as much physical and mental energy as possible to get through the day, especially if you have a demanding job. Skipping lunch can eventually affect how you feel about your job and result in feelings of sluggishness, irritability, and brain fog.</p> <p>&quot;When workers skip a lunch break on a regular basis, they often don't realize that fatigue and burnout are creeping up on them until they wake up one day and 'suddenly' feel less enthusiastic about their jobs or businesses,&quot; says Dr. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, a workplace psychologist at&nbsp;<a href="http://www.vocationvillage.com">VocationVillage.com</a>.</p> <h2>5. Procrastinating</h2> <p>Everyone procrastinates from time to time. If you're not excited about something, it's much easier to put it off until tomorrow or the next day. Procrastination can affect your health if you're the type of person who puts off checkups, and it can affect your personal finances if you wait until the last minute to pay bills and end up paying late. However, the effects of procrastination don't stop there, as it also affects your work and career.</p> <p>If you're a chronic procrastinator, you might put off important work assignments until the last minute, especially those that are challenging or boring. This can result in missing deadlines and targets, or rushing to complete an assignment at the last minute and making careless mistakes. Understand that procrastination at work doesn't only affect you &mdash; it affects the whole organization. It only takes one slacker to slow productivity to a crawl, and your job might be in jeopardy if your bad habits start affecting the company's bottom line.</p> <h2>6. Smoking</h2> <p>I don't need to explain how bad smoking is for your health, or how it increases the risk of cancer, heart disease, and stroke. You already know that. But you might not realize how smoking impedes your work.</p> <p>Every smoke break at work takes time away from your job duties. Sneaking away for a four or five-minute break every couple hours may not seem like a big deal, but these minutes add up over the course of a day, week, or year, which affects overall production. Smoking can also weaken your immune system, resulting in more sick days, and some of your coworkers might have to pick up the slack to accommodate for your absence. And if your boss restricts the number of smoke breaks employees can take, you might not get your nicotine fix when you need it. This can trigger irritability, nervousness, and affect the quality of your work. For those reasons &mdash; and a million more &mdash; do yourself a favor and kick the habit once and for all.</p> <p><em>Are there other bad life habits you've noticed that impede one's work? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-bad-habits-that-are-ruining-your-career">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-unmistakeable-signs-youre-slacking-at-work">5 Unmistakeable Signs You&#039;re Slacking at Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-best-free-tools-to-improve-your-work-performance">The 7 Best Free Tools to Improve Your Work Performance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-tips-for-better-workplace-body-language">7 Tips for Better Workplace Body Language</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ace-your-next-performance-review-with-these-7-tricks">Ace Your Next Performance Review With These 7 Tricks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-healthy-habits-to-take-to-work">10 Healthy Habits to Take to Work</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Career Building bad habits negativity Office procrastination skipping meals smoking social media work Fri, 21 Aug 2015 09:00:38 +0000 Mikey Rox 1526961 at http://www.wisebread.com The Easy Way to Cure Chronic Procrastination You Should Try Now http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-cure-chronic-procrastination-you-should-try-now <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-easy-way-to-cure-chronic-procrastination-you-should-try-now" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_procrastinating_000037338664.jpg" alt="Woman learning how to cure procrastination" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Some people may wonder why procrastination advice seems to never work for them and if there is a deeper issue at hand. Well, for 20% of the population who are chronic procrastinators, it is a serious problem that needs to be addressed, according to Joseph Ferrari, a psychology professor at DePaul University and a leading expert in the study of procrastination. For those 20%, telling them to just &quot;do it&quot; is like &quot;telling a clinically depressed person to cheer up,&quot; says Ferrari, author of the book <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Still-Procrastinating-Regrets-Guide-Getting/dp/0470611588/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1329440165&amp;sr=8-1" target="_blank">Still Procrastinating?</a>.</p> <p>RELATED:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Organization-Tips-DIYs-34385347#photo-34385347">41 Insanely Awesome Organization Hacks</a></p> <h3>It's a Serious Problem If . . .</h3> <p>So how do you know if you're a chronic procrastinator? &quot;You find that you procrastinate at home, at school, at work,&nbsp;in relationships. You don't pay your bills on time . . . You miss sporting events, concerts because you never got the ticket,&quot; says Ferrari. &quot;You're late for any social gathering, you'll miss doctor's appointments because you're never there on time, the refrigerator is empty because you never restock it in time, food goes bad because you never eat it on time. If you do all those kind of things, you probably are a chronic procrastinator.&quot;</p> <p>Read on to find out how people become procrastinators.</p> <p>RELATED:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Ways-Productive-Morning-34975526">7 Ways to Be Productive Every Morning of the Week</a></p> <h3>How People Become Chronic Procrastinators</h3> <p>There are several factors that can lead one to becoming a chronic procrastinator. Here are a couple of them, according to the procrastination expert:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Your dad</strong>: &quot;It's typically cold, demanding, stern fathers that cause boys and girls to be procrastinators,&quot; Ferrari says. Children with strict dads use procrastination as a way to cope because they can't rebel.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>You care too much about what others think of you</strong>: Some people procrastinate because they care too much about public perception. The pressure to seem perfect is particularly strong for these people. The chronic procrastinators prefer people to see them as procrastinators that don't get around to doing tasks rather than simply being incompetent.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Society</strong>: We live in a world where society doesn't reward punctuality. Instead, we're penalized for being late, which doesn't give any of us incentive to complete tasks ahead of time. &quot;We punish people if they file their taxes late. We give them a bill. If we pay off our credit card late, we charge them a late fee. But what if you pay your card on time and what if you've paid your mortgage off? There's no gift here.&quot;</li> </ul> <p>RELATED:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Funny-Sick-Day-Excuses-20337003">10 Really Unusual Sick Day Excuses</a></p> <h3>The Cure for Procrastination</h3> <p>For those who have deep-rooted issues with procrastination, it seems that cognitive behavioral therapy, a type of mental health counseling, is the most effective method. This kind of psychotherapy attempts to reroute inaccurate, harmful, or negative thoughts.</p> <p>Ferrari suggests a couple more ways that might help chronic procrastinators:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Surround yourself with doers</strong>: It's healthy for a chronic procrastinator to surround herself with people who are likely to do things. It'll be a good influence on those with a tendency to delay tasks.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Just start somewhere</strong>: Just take a small step at a time. For example, if you're supposed to write an essay, start with a few paragraphs, and if that's too much for you, resolve to write just one. If that's still overwhelming, stick to a couple of sentences or even a few words.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Set up a reward system</strong>: &quot;People like to do things they enjoy doing,&quot; says Ferrari. He recommends rewarding yourself with something you enjoy after you complete something that you've been dreading to do. For example, reward yourself with half an hour of <em>Desperate Housewives</em> after doing laundry.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Public posting</strong>: Because procrastinators care so much about how others view them, they are more likely to do tasks when they publicly announce it. Take to Twitter, Facebook, or any other social media outlet and state the task you're going to do. Then when you've completed it, let everyone know that you've done what you set out to do. The &quot;likes&quot; and congratulatory tweets will feel very satisfying.</li> </ul> <p>RELATED:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-Make-Mornings-Easier-37111300">Start Each Workday Right by Following These 7 Rules</a></p> <h3>So What if I Am One?</h3> <p>If you're reading this and feel that you fit the profile of a chronic procrastinator, you may think that it's not a big deal to be one. After all, your life might be functioning fine, and you've made it through many of the setbacks caused by your procrastination.</p> <p>However, keep in mind that it may catch up with you one day, and it can get to a point where it disrupts your life and negatively impact other people's opinion of your character. Further, it's not exactly comfortable living as a chronic procrastinator. In fact, Ferrari found that procrastinators have more regrets than nonprocrastinators for things that they didn't do. &quot;Stop stressing yourself over it. Life is short &mdash; leave a legacy,&quot; says Ferrari. &quot;There are too many places to see and too many things to do in life to just procrastinate and wait and living in a bubble of fear of getting it done.&quot;</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthe-easy-way-to-cure-chronic-procrastination-you-should-try-now&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThe%2520Easy%2520Way%2520to%2520Cure%2520Chronic%2520Procrastination%2520You%2520Should%2520Try%2520Now.jpg&amp;description=The%20Easy%20Way%20to%20Cure%20Chronic%20Procrastination%20You%20Should%20Try%20Now"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/The%20Easy%20Way%20to%20Cure%20Chronic%20Procrastination%20You%20Should%20Try%20Now.jpg" alt="The Easy Way to Cure Chronic Procrastination You Should Try Now" width="250" height="374" /></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> What are you waiting for? Fix your chronic procrastination now. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align:center;"><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com" style="border:none;"><img alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u921/POPSUGARrgb.jpg" style="height:95px; width:300px" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/"><em>POPSUGAR Smart Living</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Organization-Tips-DIYs-34385347#photo-34385347">41 Insanely Awesome Organization Hacks</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Ways-Productive-Morning-34975526">7 Ways to Be Productive Every Morning of the Week</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Funny-Sick-Day-Excuses-20337003">10 Really Unusual Sick Day Excuses</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-Make-Mornings-Easier-37111300">Start Each Workday Right by Following These 7 Rules</a></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/popsugar-smart-living">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-cure-chronic-procrastination-you-should-try-now">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-addicted-to-the-internet">Are You Addicted to the Internet?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-stages-of-procrastination-read-this-right-now">The 7 Stages of Procrastination (Read This Right Now!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-way-to-make-multitasking-actually-work">The Simple Way to Make Multitasking Actually Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-sluggish-workday-go-a-lot-faster">How to Make Your Sluggish Workday Go (a Lot) Faster</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fifteen-minutes-of">Fifteen Minutes of ...</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Organization Productivity confidence procrastination productivity Fri, 29 May 2015 21:00:09 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 1424334 at http://www.wisebread.com The 7 Stages of Procrastination (Read This Right Now!) http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-stages-of-procrastination-read-this-right-now <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-7-stages-of-procrastination-read-this-right-now" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/girl-procastinating-163388836-small.jpg" alt="procrastinating" title="procrastinating" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow?</p> <p>If this is your mantra, or if it's how you live even though it's <em>not</em> your mantra, then you, my friend, are a procrastinator.</p> <p>While stories of epic procrastination are badges of honor in a few circles, most of us feel a lot of negative emotions about putting things off. We may feel guilty, ashamed, depressed, hopeless, and more. And what's more, we tend to feel like the procrastination monster is unbeatable. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-stop-procrastinating-now?ref=seealso">9 Ways to Stop Procrastination &mdash; Now!</a>)</p> <p>However, beating procrastination, while not simple, is a straightforward task that we can set our minds to. Once we know why we procrastinate and how procrastination works in our brains, we can come up with concrete steps to take that can help us overcome procrastination no matter how far along we are in the process when we realize what's going on.</p> <h2>1. Choose a Task</h2> <p>This is the first step towards getting anything done, and even the worst procrastinator usually knows what they are supposed to be doing. Sometimes our tasks are dictated by someone else (like a boss or a professor), and sometimes they are things that we choose. Either way, the very first step any procrastinator takes is to choose what they want to get done.</p> <h3>Overcoming the Problem</h3> <p>Make sure that <a href="http://waitbutwhy.com/2013/11/how-to-beat-procrastination.html">the tasks you choose are manageable</a> and well-defined. It can be easy to say, &quot;I want to write a book this year,&quot; but that's a huge job. Breaking it down into steps like, &quot;I will write at least 500 words every day until the book is done&quot; and &quot;I will research how to form an effective plot,&quot; are more likely to get done because they are doable and it's easy to tell when you're finished.</p> <h2>2. See a Distraction</h2> <p>In our busy age, it's almost always possible to find something to distract us, no matter how hard we work to make sure that doesn't happen. Both procrastinators and non-procrastinators are bombarded by distractions, and it's nearly always easier to see all of the things that you could be doing right after you've chosen to focus on some task in particular.</p> <h3>Overcoming the Problem</h3> <p>The computer and the online world are some of the biggest distractions out there. If you don't need them to complete your task, turn them off. All the way off. As in, hit the power switch and let the screen go dark. Same for your phone and your tablet and anything else that connects online. If you do need your computer, try installing an app like <a href="http://anti-social.cc/">Antisocial</a> that will help you use your computer more responsibly.</p> <h2>3. Choose Instant Gratification</h2> <p>This is where procrastinators and non-procrastinators part ways. While a non-procrastinator is often able to deftly avoid getting sucked in by distractions, procrastinators choose the instant gratification that comes from the distractions rather than prolonging gratification and getting on with the task at hand.</p> <h3>Overcoming the Problem</h3> <p>Focus on thinking about the future. Consider how you will feel in an hour, a day, a week, or a month if you give in to your distraction, then think about how you will feel if you don't give in. The <a href="http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-to-avoid-the-temptations-of-immediate-gratification/">ability to delay gratification</a> is tied to the ability to imagine the future, so practicing this will give you skills that you need to choose to focus on the task at hand, rather than on whichever distraction is the most enticing at the moment.</p> <h2>4. Feel Terrible</h2> <p>Most people who procrastinate feel terrible about it, either at the time of procrastination or later, when they realize how much time they've wasted or when they feel the pressure of encroaching deadlines. Guilt is one of the most common of these emotions, though sometimes you may experience anxiety, shame, and depression, too.</p> <h3>Overcoming the Problem</h3> <p>Let the <a href="http://lifehacker.com/5658620/the-now-habit-overcoming-procrastination-and-enjoying-guilt-free-play">guilt teach you</a>. Instead of wallowing in your feelings or letting them overrun you, use them to teach you how to procrastinate less. Use the feelings to remind you that you are in the process of learning skills focusing on self-regulation, which is what will help you overcome your procrastination. If anxiety is key to your procrastination problems, make sure that what you want to accomplish is actually feasible in the period of time you have.</p> <h2>5. Repeat</h2> <p>Procrastinators tend to repeat this cycle with increasingly negative emotions until their deadline looms over them. They begin to feel like there isn't any hope for establishing a new pattern, because they keep finding themselves going through the same patterns over and over and over again.</p> <h3>Overcoming the Problem</h3> <p>When you're feeling like the procrastination cycle might continue forever, remind yourself of past successes. Remember times when you have accomplished a difficult task, or just finished the thing that is before you. Replay these in your mind, rather than replaying your failures.</p> <p>Most procrastinators continue these steps until&hellip;</p> <h2>6. Panic</h2> <p>When you procrastinate long enough, eventually a deadline will loom over you and will press in so close that you panic. There comes a time when you must get something done or the consequences will be dire. You might fail a class, lose a job, or worse. This is when a lot of procrastinators suddenly become highly motivated, because they don't want bad things to happen.</p> <h3>Overcoming the Problem</h3> <p>While panic might make you act (it doesn't work for everyone), it probably won't help you produce your best work. Even if you have procrastinated for a long time, you will need to calm down before you can do the best that you can do in the time you have left. Give yourself a few minutes to breathe, and remember why you care about the project in the first place.</p> <h2>7. Complete the Task</h2> <p>For the most part, procrastinators respond to panic and begin to work in a flurry, eventually producing some sort of attempt at completing the task they originally chose. This may not be their best work, and they may see all of the things that they could have done if they hadn't procrastinated, but many times they will, eventually, finish.</p> <h3>Overcoming the Problem</h3> <p>If time is pressing in and you know you aren't doing the project the way you want to do it, consider other options. These won't always work, but they may help you produce something closer to your ideal result. You can ask for an extension on the project, and then set up accountability to make sure you work in the time that you have. Or, you can change the scope of the project so that you can do a better job in the time that you have left.</p> <p><em>Do you procrastinate? What steps do you take to overcome it?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthe-7-stages-of-procrastination-read-this-right-now&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThe%25207%2520Stages%2520of%2520Procrastination%2520%2528Read%2520This%2520Right%2520Now%2521%2529.jpg&amp;description=The%207%20Stages%20of%20Procrastination%20(Read%20This%20Right%20Now!)"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><em><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/The%207%20Stages%20of%20Procrastination%20%28Read%20This%20Right%20Now%21%29.jpg" alt="The 7 Stages of Procrastination (Read This Right Now!)" width="250" height="374" /></em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-stages-of-procrastination-read-this-right-now">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-why-your-projects-always-take-longer-than-you-expect">This Is Why Your Projects Always Take Longer Than You Expect</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/change-your-life-by-changing-your-bedtime-routine">Change Your Life by Changing Your Bedtime Routine</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/multitasking-sucks-even-more-than-you-thought">Multitasking Sucks Even More Than You Thought</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-cure-chronic-procrastination-you-should-try-now">The Easy Way to Cure Chronic Procrastination You Should Try Now</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-essential-tools-for-getting-work-done-anywhere">7 Essential Tools for Getting Work Done -- Anywhere!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Productivity delay gratification guilt procrastination productivity shame Wed, 30 Jul 2014 15:00:04 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1171184 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Ways to Stop Procrastinating — NOW! http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-stop-procrastinating-now <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-ways-to-stop-procrastinating-now" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/to-do-173298656.jpg" alt="to do list" title="to do list" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Postponing until tomorrow what you could do today might be your way of coping when you're overwhelmed or simply not interested in a particular task. However, the fact that you don't want to tackle an assignment doesn't change the fact that you have to. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/but-i-dont-want-to-secrets-to-self-motivation?ref=seealso">Secrets to Self-Motivation</a>)</p> <p>We all deal with procrastination from time-to-time &mdash; it's a common action (or inaction). Even so, procrastination can gradually become a chronic problem, ultimately impacting your ability to reach goals and get things done.</p> <p>Fortunately, this behavior doesn't have to take over your life. Here are nine ways to stop procrastinating.</p> <h2>1. Break Down Projects</h2> <p>Some people procrastinate starting a project &mdash; any project, whether at work or around the house &mdash; because they don't know where to begin. However, it might help to break your assignments into smaller, manageable pieces.</p> <p>As a whole, a task or assignment might seem too big to handle, which can be overwhelming at best. But if you take a task and divide it into three of four smaller tasks, the assignment might not seem as scary. This can allay any fears and motivate you to get started.</p> <h2>2. Write a To-Do List</h2> <p>I know how hard it is to stay focused during the day. And for me, procrastination is more common on the days that I don't have a set schedule. Mentally I know what needs to get done. But if I don't assign each task to an hour block, I often start my day later than I should. However, planning each day in advance helps. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/actually-get-things-done-creating-a-reasonable-to-do-list?ref=seealso">How to Create a Reasonable To-Do List</a>)</p> <p>This advice is helpful whether you need to complete things around the house or at the office. Each night, list each task that has to be accomplished the next day. For example, your list might include items like laundry, cleaning out the refrigerator, paying bills, or running errands. Along with this written to-do list, decide when to complete each item. For example, you might pay bills at 10 a.m. and go to the post office at 11 a.m. Additionally, establish a time limit for completing each item, so you won't spend too much time on one task.</p> <h2>3. Prioritize</h2> <p>Personally, if I complete my most dreaded or difficult tasks first (such as cleaning the bathroom or going grocery shopping), I can get through the rest of the day with ease. However, the opposite might be true for you, and you may procrastinate with simpler tasks.</p> <p>Whatever your preference, it helps to prioritize items from urgent to least urgent, or vice versa. By moving tasks that you would normally put off to the top of your to-do list, you're able to tackle procrastination head-on.</p> <h2>4. Change Up Where You Work</h2> <p>This option might not be available to you. However, if you work from home and find that you're unable to stay on task, a change of scenery can make a world of difference.</p> <p>I complete the majority of my work in a home office, but some days my creative juices aren't flowing, and I spend more time putting off work or surfing the Internet. I'll procrastinate as long as I stay in the same place. Yet, if I change my location and work from the couch, the dining room table, or even away from the house, this is usually all it takes to find my focus and get back into the swing of things. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stay-focused-at-work?ref=seealso">How to Stay Focused at Work</a>)</p> <h2>5. Avoid Distractions</h2> <p>The more distractions you have, the easier it is to procrastinate. For example, it's harder to work during the day when you're constantly pulled into conversations via Facebook and other social media. Likewise, if you sit down to study or work on homework, you might get off track if you're unable to ignore text messages, game notification from friends, or breaking news stories that appear on your newsfeed.</p> <p>By keeping social media in its place and only checking in with friends after you've completed your tasks, you can limit distractions that trigger procrastination. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-break-your-social-media-habit?ref=seealso">Ways to Break Your Social Media Habit</a>)</p> <h2>6. Don't Accept Invitations</h2> <p>You might be determined to complete projects around the home or office within a given timeframe, but your inability to decline invitations might inadvertently encourage procrastination.</p> <p>For example, your daily plans may already include preparing your taxes or starting a home improvement project. It's tempting to cancel these plans if you receive a last-minute invitation from a friend. Understandably, going to lunch or the movies is more exciting than adding up tax receipts. It's OK to be flexible with your schedule, but if you constantly let others interfere with your plans, you won't get anything done. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-say-no-to-friends-and-family?ref=seealso">How to Say &quot;No&quot; to Friends and Family</a>)</p> <h2>7. Be Accountable</h2> <p>Dealing with procrastination might require support from a friend or relative. After you establish a to-do list and a schedule for the day, share your plans with someone.</p> <p>When it's all said and done, this person is there to offer encouragement. Schedule regular check-ins with your support person. It's easier to stay on target when you're held accountable for your actions.</p> <h2>8. Reward Yourself</h2> <p>For each task that you complete on your list, give yourself a small reward. This can be something as simple as spending five minutes playing a few rounds of your favorite online game, or maybe you can treat yourself to a cup of coffee or tea before moving to the next item on your list. A reward system is an excellent self-motivation tool since it gives you something to look forward to. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-frugal-ways-to-reward-yourself-right-now?ref=seealso">21 Frugal Rewards</a>)</p> <h2>9. Take a Break</h2> <p>Procrastination doesn't always suggest laziness. If you're overworked, overly busy, and overly tired, putting off things might be a way to maintain your sanity. Maybe you're not in the right frame of mind to deal with certain tasks now.</p> <p>It's OK to take breaks to rejuvenate your mental state. These don't have to be long breaks. If you can't take a day off, perhaps you can take 10- or 20-minute breaks throughout the day. Rest your eyes, call a friend, or go outside for some fresh air.</p> <p><em>Do you have other tricks to stop procrastinating? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F9-ways-to-stop-procrastinating-now&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F9%2520Ways%2520to%2520Stop%2520Procrastinating%2520%25E2%2580%2594%2520NOW%2521.jpg&amp;description=9%20Ways%20to%20Stop%20Procrastinating%20%E2%80%94%20NOW!"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><em><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/9%20Ways%20to%20Stop%20Procrastinating%20%E2%80%94%20NOW%21.jpg" alt="9 Ways to Stop Procrastinating &mdash; NOW!" width="250" height="374" /></em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-stop-procrastinating-now">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kill-boredom-with-these-34-fun-and-productive-projects">Kill Boredom With These 34 Fun and Productive Projects</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-get-your-life-back-into-balance">7 Ways to Get Your Life Back Into Balance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-protect-your-personal-time-from-work-and-be-happier">9 Ways to Protect Your Personal Time From Work and Be Happier</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-cure-chronic-procrastination-you-should-try-now">The Easy Way to Cure Chronic Procrastination You Should Try Now</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/i-ll-finish-this-post-tomorrow-10-ways-to-stop-procrastinating">I’ll Finish This Post Tomorrow: 10 Ways to Stop Procrastinating</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development Productivity procrastination productivity Fri, 28 Mar 2014 09:36:07 +0000 Mikey Rox 1133372 at http://www.wisebread.com I’ll Finish This Post Tomorrow: 10 Ways to Stop Procrastinating http://www.wisebread.com/i-ll-finish-this-post-tomorrow-10-ways-to-stop-procrastinating <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/i-ll-finish-this-post-tomorrow-10-ways-to-stop-procrastinating" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/dreamstime_s_21513312.jpg" alt="Man writing about procrastination" title="Man writing about procrastination" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="161" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>&ldquo;Procrastination is a powerful copilot when it comes to unpleasant duties.&rdquo; &ndash; Randy Wayne White</p> <p>Why do we procrastinate? Well, as mentioned in the quote above, the task in question may be unpleasant. Maybe you are dreading making an appointment to have that aching tooth checked. Sometimes we <em>know</em> the task is unpleasant (like paying a bill), and sometimes we just <em>fear</em> that it might be (like getting your mammogram done).&nbsp;</p> <p>There are also occasions, as my husband pointed out, when procrastination is not necessarily a bad thing. For instance, if you have a big decision to make, it&rsquo;s best to map out the pros and cons, do research, or talk with a professional. &ldquo;Thinking hard&rdquo; can be confused &ldquo;with putting off,&rdquo; and that isn&rsquo;t fair.</p> <p>However, for the day-to-day unpleasant items that really need doing, here are some tips that I have used. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stop-chronic-procrastination">Are You a Chronic Procrastinator?</a>)</p> <h3>1. Make a List</h3> <p>I am a huge fan of to-do lists, and every week, I make a fresh one. Every chore I need to do is on that list, from bill paying to house cleaning and sending birthday cards. If there are urgent things, I force myself to deal with those tasks right away. The benefit to this method is that it makes everything else on the list seem really easy. Cleaning the cat box pales in comparison to the mammogram, for instance.</p> <h3>2. Put Up a Wall Calendar</h3> <p>Our family calendar hangs prominently in the kitchen, where it is hard to ignore. For really important events, grab a highlighter.&nbsp;</p> <h3>3. Calendar the Task on Your Computer</h3> <p>Set the chimes and alarms to ring loudly and obnoxiously when you're nearing the deadline for a task. Few things are as jarring as a loud computer alarm, especially before your first cup of coffee. If you hit &ldquo;snooze,&rdquo; it&rsquo;s just going to ring again, so DO THE&nbsp;TASK.</p> <h3>4. Give Yourself a Treat</h3> <p>I really do this! If I have to go to the dentist, well, I&rsquo;m going to read a new glossy magazine while I wait. When I finish paying that last bill (complete with stamp), it&rsquo;s time for a fresh <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-to-drink-coffee">cup of coffee</a>. Completing the housekeeping entitles me to a cookie.</p> <h3>5. Get Help</h3> <p>Sometimes, the task is just too daunting. I used to be shy when it came to asking for help, but over the years I have found that most people are pretty willing to help you, if you just ask. If they do, and thus relieve you of a procrastination burden, be sure to thank them appropriately (i.e., a gift or a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-say-thanks">thank-you note</a>, etc.).</p> <h3>6. Get PROFESSIONAL Help</h3> <p>If your procrastination issues are so difficult that you are unable to cope, see a professional &mdash; be it a lawyer, a CPA, a physician, counselor, etc.</p> <h3>7. Assign a Nagger</h3> <p>My last boss used to mutter under his breath, &ldquo;Nag, nag, nag.&rdquo; I didn&rsquo;t let him miss a deadline, though. Maybe you have a staffer who can help you.</p> <h3>8. Minimize Distractions</h3> <p>Sometimes when I am putting together a complicated report, I turn off my email or let my phone take messages.</p> <h3>9. Give Yourself a Pep Talk</h3> <p>Or let your computer do it. There are daily motivational blogs that will happily help you lift your spirits and get a move on.</p> <h3>10. Make It a Habit</h3> <p>Try one or more of the above tips for two months, and see if your procrastination habits change for the better.</p> <p>Now, off to schedule that dental appointment.</p> <p><em>What do you do to stop procrastinating?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this articlet? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fi-ll-finish-this-post-tomorrow-10-ways-to-stop-procrastinating&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FI%25E2%2580%2599ll%2520Finish%2520This%2520Post%2520Tomorrow-%252010%2520Ways%2520to%2520Stop%2520Procrastinating.jpg&amp;description=I%E2%80%99ll%20Finish%20This%20Post%20Tomorrow%3A%2010%20Ways%20to%20Stop%20Procrastinating"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/I%E2%80%99ll%20Finish%20This%20Post%20Tomorrow-%2010%20Ways%20to%20Stop%20Procrastinating.jpg" alt="I&rsquo;ll Finish This Post Tomorrow: 10 Ways to Stop Procrastinating" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/i-ll-finish-this-post-tomorrow-10-ways-to-stop-procrastinating">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-stop-procrastinating-now">9 Ways to Stop Procrastinating — NOW!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/but-i-dont-want-to-secrets-to-self-motivation">But I Don&#039;t Want To! Secrets to Self-Motivation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-it-done-how-to-measure-your-goals">Get It Done: How to Measure Your Goals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier">10 Self-Improvement Apps to Make You Smarter, Stronger, and Happier</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/have-a-great-day-every-day-5-things-to-do-in-the-morning">Have a Great Day, Every Day: 5 Things to Do in the Morning</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development Productivity calendars interruptions nagging procrastination reward system Tue, 13 Mar 2012 10:00:31 +0000 Marla Walters 889643 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Stop Chronic Procrastination http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stop-chronic-procrastination <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-stop-chronic-procrastination" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4097009340_4175110833_z.jpg" alt="stressed student" title="stressed student" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Some people may wonder why procrastination advice seems to never work for them and if there is a deeper issue at hand. Well, for 20% of the population who are chronic procrastinators, it is a serious problem that needs to be addressed according to Joseph Ferrari, a psychology professor at DePaul University and a leading expert in the study of procrastination. For those 20%, telling them to just &quot;do it&quot; is like &quot;telling a clinically depressed person to cheer up,&quot; says Ferrari, author of the book <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Still-Procrastinating-Regrets-Guide-Getting/dp/0470611588/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1329440165&amp;sr=8-1" target="_blank"><em>Still Procrastinating?</em></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Time-21262764">RELATED: 5 Reasons You're Late &mdash; and How to Avoid Them</a></p> <h3>It's a Serious Problem If...</h3> <p>So how do you know if you're a chronic procrastinator? &quot;You find that you procrastinate at home, at school, at work, in relationships. You don&rsquo;t pay your bills on time...You miss sporting events, concerts because you never got the ticket,&quot; says Ferrari. &quot;You&rsquo;re late for any social gathering, you&rsquo;ll miss doctor&rsquo;s appointments because you're never there on time, the refrigerator is empty because you never restock it in time, food goes bad because you never eat it on time. If you do all those kind of things, you probably are a chronic procrastinator.&quot;</p> <p>Read on to find out how people become procrastinators.</p> <h3>How People Become Chronic Procrastinators</h3> <p>There are several factors that can lead one to becoming a chronic procrastinator. Here are a couple of them, according to the procrastination expert:</p> <p><strong>Your Dad</strong></p> <p>&quot;It&rsquo;s typically cold, demanding, stern fathers that cause boys and girls to be procrastinators,&quot; Ferrari says. Children with strict dads use procrastination as a way to cope because they can't rebel.</p> <p><strong>You Care Too Much About What Others Think of You</strong></p> <p>Some people procrastinate because they care too much about public perception. The pressure to seem perfect is particularly strong for these people. The chronic procrastinators prefer people to see them as procrastinators that don't get around to doing tasks rather than simply being incompetent.</p> <p><strong>Society</strong></p> <p>We live in a world where society doesn't reward punctuality. Instead, we're penalized for being late, which doesn't give any of us incentive to complete tasks ahead of time. &quot;We punish people if they file their taxes late. We give them a bill. If we pay off our credit card late, we charge them a late fee. But what if you pay your card on time and what if you&rsquo;ve paid your mortgage off? There&rsquo;s no gift here.&quot;</p> <h3>The Cure for Procrastination</h3> <p>For those who have deep-rooted issues with procrastination, it seems that cognitive behavioral therapy, a type of mental health counseling, is the most effective method. This kind of psychotherapy attempts to reroute inaccurate, harmful, or negative thoughts.</p> <p>Ferrari suggests a couple more things that might help chronic procrastinators:</p> <p><strong>Surround Yourself With Doers</strong></p> <p>It's healthy for a chronic procrastinator to surround herself with people who are likely to do things. It'll be a good influence on those with a tendency to delay tasks.</p> <p><strong>Just Start Somewhere</strong></p> <p>Just take a small step at a time. For example, if you're supposed to write an essay, start with a few paragraphs, and if that's too much for you, resolve to write just one. If that's still overwhelming, stick to a couple of sentences or even a few words.</p> <p><strong>Set Up a Reward System</strong></p> <p>&quot;People like to do things they enjoy doing,&quot; says Ferrari. He recommends rewarding yourself with something you enjoy after you complete something that you've been dreading to do. For example, reward yourself with half an hour of <em>Desperate Housewives</em> after doing laundry.</p> <p><strong>Public Posting</strong></p> <p>Because procrastinators care so much about how others view them, they are more likely to do tasks when they publicly announce it. Take to Twitter, Facebook, or any other social media outlet and state the task you're going to do. Then when you've completed it, let everyone know that you've done what you set out to do. The &quot;likes&quot; and congratulatory tweets will feel very satisfying.</p> <h3>So What If I Am One?</h3> <p>If you're reading this and feel that you fit the profile of a chronic procrastinator, you may think that it's not a big deal to be one. After all, your life might be functioning fine, and you've made it through many of the setbacks caused by your procrastination. However, keep in mind that it may catch up with you one day, and it can get to a point where it disrupts your life and negatively impact other people's opinion of your character. Further, it's not exactly comfortable living as a chronic procrastinator. In fact, Ferrari found that procrastinators have more regrets than non-procrastinators for things that they didn't do. &quot;Stop stressing yourself over it. Life is short &mdash; leave a legacy,&quot; says Ferrari. &quot;There are too many places to see and too many things to do in life to just procrastinate and wait and living in a bubble of fear of getting it done.&quot;</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-stop-chronic-procrastination&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Stop%2520Chronic%2520Procrastination.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Stop%20Chronic%20Procrastination"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Stop%20Chronic%20Procrastination.jpg" alt="How to Stop Chronic Procrastination" width="250" height="374" /></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Twenty percent of the population ALWAYS puts things off. The good news if you&#039;re a chronic procrastinator? There are ways to fix it. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align:center;"><a style="border:none;" href="http://www.savvysugar.com"><img alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u4/savvysugar-300-small.jpg" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/"><em>SavvySugar</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Wake-Up-Fast-21385387">7 Tips to Wake Up and Get Out of Bed Fast</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Organized-Work-21986087">5 Different Systems for Getting Things Done at Work</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Prioritize-Time-Better-21949826">Prioritize&nbsp;Your Time&nbsp;Better With a Time Log</a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/popsugar-smart-living">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stop-chronic-procrastination">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/just-start-how-doing-anything-can-help-you-accomplish-everything">Just Start: How Doing Anything Can Help You Accomplish Everything</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-dumb-little-productivity-killers-you-need-to-stop-doing-today">10 Dumb Little Productivity Killers You Need to Stop Doing Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-cure-chronic-procrastination-you-should-try-now">The Easy Way to Cure Chronic Procrastination You Should Try Now</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-time-management-skills-that-will-help-your-kid-win-at-school">10 Time-Management Skills That Will Help Your Kid Win at School</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-stop-procrastinating-now">9 Ways to Stop Procrastinating — NOW!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Productivity bad habits procrastination time management Mon, 05 Mar 2012 11:24:13 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 909689 at http://www.wisebread.com What Is Procrastination Costing You? http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/what-is-procrastination-costing-you <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/what-is-procrastination-costing-you" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/articles/what-is-procrastination-costing-you</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/what-is-procrastination-costing-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000017297137Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If time is money, then wasting time means losing money. What is your procrastination costing you?</p> <p><strong>Lost Opportunity</strong></p> <p>When great opportunities arrive, are you quick to act on them and walk through that open door? Almost all opportunities come with a time limit; if you put off doing the things you need to do to take advantage of the opportunities you're given, you'll lose them.</p> <p><strong>Lost Ability</strong></p> <p>Many abilities come with a time limit. Athletes know that their careers are a race against the clock. The rest of us often don't realize this truth fully. We think our abilities are inherent, when they are largely dependent on our youth or current life situation. We assume certain freedoms and abilities that aren't guaranteed. Circumstances change, life happens, obligations pile up; things you might take for granted now, such as good health, free time, personal space, reliable transportation, and more can disappear.</p> <p><strong>Lost Time</strong></p> <p>Do we even need to talk about the fact that you're wasting time when you procrastinate? Procrastinating may take on an active form; <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/4-productivity-concepts-you-need-to-know" target="_blank">you may be doing something</a>, but it's not the thing that you need to do. Most likely, it's not the thing that will make you money or build your business.</p> <p><strong>Lost Money</strong></p> <p>Here's the part you all really care about most: the money.</p> <p><a href="http://www.my168hours.com/main/about-the-author/" target="_blank">Laura Vanderkam</a>, author of <i>168 Hours</i> (<a href="http://www.my168hours.com/main/about-the-book/" target="_blank">a must-read book of time wisdom</a>) and the forthcoming book <i>All the Money in the World </i>discusses time and money, and how procrastination affects both.</p> <p><span style="font-style: italic;">&quot;</span><i>Time and money are inversely related variables. You can spend time to save money or spend money to save time. <i>The problem with procrastination is that it often tips you&mdash;unconsciously&mdash;into the latter bucket because you run out of time, and hence spend big bucks when you didn't have to.&nbsp;</i><i>Think rush fees on shipping, late fees on bills, overtime payment for employees when better time management would have saved you that cash.</i></i></p> <p><strong>A Few Examples to Ponder</strong></p> <p>Time and money are essential resources in business. Procrastination wastes both of them. Here are a few of the more common ways:</p> <ul> <li>tax penalties due to late tax payments;</li> <li>tax penalties and fees due inaccurate records because you procrastinated on invoices, receipts, record-keeping, hiring an accountant, and so on;</li> <li>high interest on loans or inventory financing because you haven't yet applied for that low interest loan or talked to your banker or distributor about lower rates;</li> <li>lost grant money because you were late applying so someone else got it;</li> <li>fees imposed due to breaking city codes and environmental regulations which you knew about, but failed to act upon soon enough;</li> <li>lost sales because you were late to follow-up and your competitor wasn't;</li> <li>lost customers who left because they got tired of late deliveries, unreturned phone calls, unresolved issues, etc;</li> <li>lost profits from the products you never shipped.</li> </ul> <p>As I've said before, <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/the-ability-to-execute-is-your-most-valuable-asset">execution is the most valuable asset in your small business</a>. Procrastination is the antithesis of execution. It isn't just a bad habit or a personality quirk. It's a malevolent, passive way of taking your business straight to the bottom. Love your business? Want to succeed? Quit procrastinating.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fsmall-business%2Fwhat-is-procrastination-costing-you&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FWhat%2520Is%2520Procrastination%2520Costing%2520You_.jpg&amp;description=What%20Is%20Procrastination%20Costing%20You%3F"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/What%20Is%20Procrastination%20Costing%20You_.jpg" alt="What Is Procrastination Costing You?" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/annie-mueller">Annie Mueller</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/what-is-procrastination-costing-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stop-chronic-procrastination">How to Stop Chronic Procrastination</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/just-start-how-doing-anything-can-help-you-accomplish-everything">Just Start: How Doing Anything Can Help You Accomplish Everything</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-get-a-small-business-loan">10 Smart Ways to Get a Small Business Loan</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-delegate-at-work-and-at-home-in-4-easy-steps">How to Delegate at Work and at Home in 4 Easy Steps</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship Productivity Small Business Resource Center procrastination small business task management time management Fri, 18 Nov 2011 00:47:42 +0000 Annie Mueller 781128 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Ways the Internet Is Hurting Your Finances http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-the-internet-is-hurting-your-finances <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-ways-the-internet-is-hurting-your-finances" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/guy_on_computer.jpg" alt="Guy using a laptop" title="Guy using a laptop" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="144" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Consumers can find a lot of places to put the blame for an ongoing bad financial situation, but not all are brave enough to point the finger at themselves. While the Internet does have the resources to help you fill in some blanks on money management, it can also be part of the reason you are not handling your finances as efficiently as you should be. Here are four ways the Internet can hurt your overall financial stability. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-your-finances-fragile">Are Your Finances Fragile?</a>)</p> <h2>1. Procrastination</h2> <p>Researchers have estimated that adults spend, on average, five hours a day surfing the web. This is five hours people could be using for other things, like updating their filing, reconciling a checkbook, or checking credit scores. Procrastination is often disguised by other excuses like &quot;I&rsquo;m too busy&quot; and &quot;I just don&rsquo;t have the time to keep up.&quot; Excuses are a part of the procrastination package. Sure, it&rsquo;s good to check your accounts online, but updating your Facebook with exciting hour-by-hour tidbits of your life when your financial house is in disorder may signal the need for reprioritizing your life.</p> <h2>2. Social Media Brags</h2> <p>Speaking of Facebook, you may not truly realize how your social media posts are affecting your money matters. Everyone from lenders to <a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128464415">bill collectors</a> are using popular social media sites to see what you are up to these days, especially if you&rsquo;ve been hard to track down otherwise. Social media pages can reveal a lot about you to a lender and potential employers, so it is very wise to think before you type. If you are running late with bill payments but bragging about the new living room set you just paid $2,000 for, collection efforts may get a lot more aggressive. Don&rsquo;t be fooled by privacy settings you think will actually keep the world out of your business. People seeking information about you have a lot of resources these days.</p> <h2>3. Information Overload</h2> <p>Consumers who are perplexed by their own financial situation may turn to the Internet to get advice. While there is a ton of excellent, free information online that can make a difference in your money-management habits, since there is no one-size-fits-all solution, all this information can create a totally overwhelming situation and open the door, once again, for procrastinating.</p> <p>If you can fine-tune your research to specific topics within the personal finance world, though, you can find helpful information to use as a guide. Find a few reputable websites that cover the topics you feel you want to learn more about. Read a few posts to find a site with a style that suits your needs. You can also remove the Internet from the equation for awhile and take a course on personal finance basics, so you have the fundamentals to keep yourself on track. If there are no courses offered locally, consider meeting with a debt counselor to sort out your basic money management issues.</p> <h2>4. Impulse Buying</h2> <p>There are bargains galore on nearly any retail site you come across. The deals may be great, but these opportunities are often too hard to resist, leading consumers into impulse decisions and knee-jerk spending. While those new handbags or exclusive tool sets may be on clearance for a limited time only, the reality is you probably do not need them, can&rsquo;t afford them, or do not have the fortitude to close the window fast enough. Impulsive spending from the comfort of your own home is far too convenient &mdash; even if your budget says no, and even if you are already being swallowed by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-places-to-start-your-debt-management-crusade">debt problems</a>.</p> <p>The Internet can be a great go-to place for tips and information, but it is up to you to police your own Internet use in relation to your money matters. There is no technology that will perfect your financial stability without 100% participation from you.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tisha-tolar">Tisha Tolar</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-the-internet-is-hurting-your-finances">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-surprising-perks-and-some-drawbacks-of-paperless-billing">9 Surprising Perks (and Some Drawbacks) of Paperless Billing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-reasons-youre-still-stuck-in-a-financial-hole">8 Reasons You&#039;re Still Stuck in a Financial Hole</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-improve-your-finances-using-social-media">How to Improve Your Finances Using Social Media</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-biggest-ways-procrastination-hurts-your-finances">7 Biggest Ways Procrastination Hurts Your Finances</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-why-buying-groceries-online-is-great">3 Reasons Why Buying Groceries Online Is Great</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance impulse buying Internet online shopping procrastination Fri, 21 Oct 2011 16:03:49 +0000 Tisha Tolar 734755 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Easy Ways to Get Back on Track http://www.wisebread.com/6-easy-ways-to-get-back-on-track <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-easy-ways-to-get-back-on-track" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/running_track.jpg" alt="Runners on a track" title="Runners on a track" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="169" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all have those days &mdash; days when we're feeling uninspired and unmotivated, when we just can't seem to get anything going and have the energy level of a snail.</p> <p>Now, days like this aren't so bad if they happen every once in a while, but once you start procrastinating, it's really hard to stop. And suddenly, what started as an off day turns into a full-blown rut.</p> <p>Fortunately, there are some things you can do to reclaim your motivation. Here are six easy-but-effective ways to get yourself back on track. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/goal-setting-defined-and-deconstructed">Goal Setting, Defined and Deconstructed</a>)</p> <h3>1. Eat That Frog</h3> <p>This is actually just a clever version of some age-old advice. No, you don't actually have to eat a frog (much to my children's relief!) &mdash; you just have to pick the worst thing on your to-do list and tackle that project first.</p> <p>Why?</p> <p>Because until you do, it will sit there looming in your subconscious. You know you have to do it, and you're loathing every minute it's going to require. But as long as you're thinking about the frog you have to eat, you can't fully focus on anything else.</p> <p>So eat that frog, and the rest is cake.</p> <h3>2. Jump the Shark</h3> <p>In the entertainment industry, &quot;jumping the shark&quot; means that a TV show has reached its peak. The actual &quot;jumping&quot; is a moment in the series when it's clear that the writers are really reaching to come up with something new and interesting for your favorite characters to do.</p> <p>Obviously, jumping the shark usually marks the end for television shows. But in your personal life, jumping the shark is actually a solid practice. Unlike television series, we're not always spending time thinking about how to make our lives new and fresh week after week. Quite the contrary, we spend most of our waking hours going through the same motions we've gone through for years. Is it any surprise that we start to lose interest and focus after a while?</p> <p>Jumping the shark is all about shaking things up &mdash; really reaching and exploring all the possibilities. What's the craziest thing you can think of? If you could do anything, what would it be? What's something you'd like to try but seems way out of character for you?</p> <p>In a television series, the writers have limits on what their characters can do and become. But your character is still developing, and it's up to you to push the envelope and find your shark.</p> <h3>3. Make a Commitment</h3> <p>Sometimes all it takes to get going is one small step. So take that step. Pick out one task and commit to spending 30 minutes on nothing else. No breaks, no distractions, no multi-tasking. For the next 30 minutes, you're going to give this one project your full attention. When that 30 minutes is up, you can take that break and go back to procrastinating if you choose, but chances are, you'll find the motivation you need to keep on going.</p> <p>Apply this same strategy to all the items on your to-do list, and see how many you can cross off using 30 minute intervals. The more tasks you complete, the more motivated you'll be to finish the rest.</p> <h3>4. Prioritize</h3> <p>When you've got a lot to do, it can be hard to figure out where to start. This is the perfect breeding ground for procrastination.</p> <p>Instead, break your tasks down into smaller, manageable projects, and then prioritize. Which items really need your attention first? Which items can be completed quickly and crossed off the list?</p> <p>Formulating a game plan gives you the starting point you need to move forward, and once you get going, the rest is easy.</p> <h3>5. Organize</h3> <p>It's hard to get anything done when you're surrounded by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/toss-it-or-not-5-organizational-tips-from-a-chronic-clutter-bug">clutter</a>. I'm speaking from personal experience on this one. As a freelance writer, I spend a large amount of time sitting at a desk that's often covered with papers, mail, books, and whatever else might find its way there. The result is that I spend quite a bit of energy and time moving things around so that I can work. And even if I'm not moving things around, I'm still aware of the clutter and that clutter blocks my creative energy.</p> <p>The solution, of course, is to get organized. File those papers, put pens and pencils in a cup...you get the idea. Organize your work space &mdash; be it your desk, your garage or your kitchen &mdash; and you'll find that it's easier to tackle your list of to-do's.</p> <h3>6. Ask for Help</h3> <p>Just because the items on your list are your to-do's doesn't mean you can't ask for help. Quite the contrary, recruiting others to assist a great way to get motivated and get the job done. Ask your neighbor, your co-worker, your kids, or your spouse to pitch in. Make some of your bigger projects a group effort and then watch the work get done. Just be sure to return the favor.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-easy-ways-to-get-back-on-track&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Easy%2520Ways%2520to%2520Get%2520Back%2520on%2520Track.jpg&amp;description=6%20Easy%20Ways%20to%20Get%20Back%20on%20Track"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Easy%20Ways%20to%20Get%20Back%20on%20Track.jpg" alt="6 Easy Ways to Get Back on Track" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kate-luther">Kate Luther</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-easy-ways-to-get-back-on-track">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/friends-and-goals-dont-let-a-blue-falcon-bring-you-down">Friends and Goals: Don&#039;t Let a Blue Falcon Bring You Down</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/give-yourself-a-break-the-productivity-secret-thatll-change-the-way-you-work">Give Yourself a Break: The Productivity Secret That&#039;ll Change the Way You Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-it-done-how-to-measure-your-goals">Get It Done: How to Measure Your Goals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-steps-to-achieving-all-your-goals">6 Steps to Achieving All Your Goals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier">10 Self-Improvement Apps to Make You Smarter, Stronger, and Happier</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Productivity achieving goals motivation procrastination Tue, 12 Jul 2011 10:24:08 +0000 Kate Luther 616660 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways To Make Time For Long-Term Projects http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/5-ways-to-make-time-for-long-term-projects <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/5-ways-to-make-time-for-long-term-projects" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/articles/5-ways-to-make-time-for-long-term-projects</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/5-ways-to-make-time-for-long-term-projects" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000003115041Small_1.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If most of your revenue is generated through daily interactions with customers, a project can be problematic. Longer-term engagements require thought processes that are much different than day-to-day tasks (think design and production of custom product instead of ordering and shipping stock items, writing an e-book instead of a blog post, hosting a client appreciation weekend instead of a meet-and-greet session).</p> <p>New business initiatives can be more troublesome. Projects involving innovation, such as investigating the potential of a new product line, choosing and applying a new technology to operations, or figuring out what trends are relevant to your industry and business, can be ambiguous at the start. Planning for these can be more complex and require greater agility.</p> <p>Whether your goal is a completed project or business initiative, planning now can allow you to avoid panicking about missed deadlines, botched presentations, lower-than-average efficiency, or missed market opportunities later.</p> <h3>Deal with Your Resistance to Planning</h3> <p>Maybe you don&rsquo;t have extra time now to devote to preparing for an event or plotting how to capitalize on a trend that may (or may not) be relevant to your business. Based on your best calculations, your workload will be lighter in a few months, giving you time to plan and execute well before any deadlines or changes in the business landscape.</p> <p>Maybe a project or technology doesn&rsquo;t seem all that complicated or time-consuming. You believe that you don&rsquo;t really need to explore or analyze anything right now order to execute effectively when the timing is right.</p> <p>Maybe your business model and project deliverables involve day-of-event issues so that <i>not planning</i> seems like a wiser use of time. You can&rsquo;t get commitments from vendors, customers, etc. too far in advance and you can&rsquo;t predict trends, so you don&rsquo;t even try.</p> <p>But as a deadline looms or as methods, technologies, trends that were cutting edge years ago become widely accepted as norm, forethought looks smarter. What to do? Craft a plan to keep the order-shipping routine intact <i>and</i> make progress toward your goals so that you can calmly approach your workdays.</p> <h3>Figure Out <i>What</i> You Plan to Accomplish</h3> <p>Define the purpose and scope of your project or the content of your initiative; that is, figure out what you want to do in as precise terms as possible. A project for a customer should have firmly established objectives, deadlines, and budgets. The design of a new product line, trend analysis, or technology investigation should have general parameters with allowances for flexibility throughout the planning and execution phases.</p> <p>Engage those involved in your project or initiative (these may be customers, employees, and community members). Clarify areas of uncertainty or possible confusion. Think about what success will look like if execution is flawless. If the vision of your stakeholders is described differently than yours, or the ROI looks unreasonable (that is, the technology being considered is out of your capital-expenditure league), ask more questions and tighten your project&rsquo;s definition. Develop a shared understanding of what requirements and outcomes are fixed, and which are flexible.</p> <h3>Get a Handle on the Details</h3> <p>Planning at a high level is pretty easy. But when you start identifying details of a project or initiative, things get more complicated and overwhelming. Cataloguing the details to be considered and acted upon is crucial to effective execution. So, take your time and make the effort to nail down specifics.</p> <p>How should you figure out the details to be included in the plan? Unless you have led many projects or spearheaded new programs just like the ones you are plotting now, it&rsquo;s likely that you will miss something. But don&rsquo;t let uncertainty stop you. Get started and then fill in the gaps.</p> <p>Write down the details you have already considered. Take a mental walk-through the entire project or program to discover more. Consult an expert to uncover items that you would have never considered or may have mistakenly judged inconsequential to the success of your project or business initiative.</p> <p>Translate details into action items. For example, &quot;information&quot; becomes &quot;identify and contact sources&quot;; &quot;printed materials&quot; becomes &quot;find professionals inside or outside of your company to write copy, create design, and produce materials,&quot; and so on.</p> <h3>Set Aside Time</h3> <p>Make room on your calendar for project tasks, interjecting them with everyday business. Ideally, you can create a project plan, listing one action item after another in a linear sequence until all actions are completed and the project is complete.</p> <p>Note that business initiatives and innovation projects may not follow a straight linear path. For these situations, certain actions will lead to defining next steps but may involve temporary reversals before moving ahead. Doug DeCarlo describes one way of guiding this process as <a target="_blank" href="http://www.projectconnections.com/articles/070901-decarlo.html">extreme project management</a>.</p> <h3>Start Now</h3> <p>Start as early as possible so that the schedule can accommodate setbacks as well as surges in everyday execution without compromising completion dates.</p> <ul> <li>Develop strategies to keep the project or initiative moving forward.</li> <li>Devise timelines that take into consideration lead times for products to be ordered, services to be arranged, project approvals from stakeholders, etc;</li> <li>Discover what actions are dependent on previous steps so that your path is as linear as possible and backtracking is unnecessary;</li> <li>Anticipate constraints and allocate resources to prevent bottlenecks based on these limits;</li> <li>Review project status regularly to deal with unexpected or recurring problems;</li> <li>Make decisions quickly and stay focused on well-defined and well-understood goals of projects and initiatives.</li> </ul> <p><i>Do you have planning tips and techniques for those who manage high-volume workloads?</i></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/5-ways-to-make-time-for-long-term-projects">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-why-your-projects-always-take-longer-than-you-expect">This Is Why Your Projects Always Take Longer Than You Expect</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-budgeting-skills-everyone-should-master">11 Budgeting Skills Everyone Should Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-unexpected-benefits-of-solo-travel">6 Unexpected Benefits of Solo Travel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-hire-your-first-employee">How to Hire Your First Employee</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center extreme project management planning procrastination project management small business Thu, 02 Jun 2011 23:35:41 +0000 Julie Rains 545615 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways You're Sabotaging Your Business http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/5-ways-youre-sabotaging-your-business <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/managing/article/5-ways-you-are-sabotaging-your-business" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/managing/article/5-ways-you-are-sabotag...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/5-ways-youre-sabotaging-your-business" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000010391817Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="203" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You worry about how best to advertise. You worry about marketing. You worry about getting the right employees, paying the bills, paying the vendors, producing something great, getting new customers, keeping old customers happy, and not letting work take over your life.</p> <p>You worry that your competitors, or a changing market, or some unforeseen technological advancement, or some slow but steady trend of change, will render your business obsolete before you've had time to figure out what to do.</p> <p>While you're worrying about all those things beyond your control, you might be missing some definite damage you're doing to your own business. See if you're unconsciously sabotaging your business and take action to change it.</p> <h3>Sabotage #1: Focusing on long-term goals at the expense of short-term movement</h3> <p>Procrastination often masquerades as planning. Don't be taken in. Yes, you need a business vision. You need long-term goals. You need to know where you're headed. But don't let the planning take the place of what is happening in the present. Neglect the present, and you have no future.</p> <p>Successful business managers and owners, freelancers, and entrepreneurs must not only have long-term goals but must also advance steadily toward short-term goals with daily action. And of the two, short-term goals are more important. If you have to choose between steadily pursuing long-term and short-term goals, focus on the short-term; if you have a coherent business plan, those short-term goals will line up with a long-term plan, and you'll be moving in the right direction. But the key is that you'll be moving.</p> <h3>Sabotage #2: Failing to systematize</h3> <p><i>Dear One-Man-Shop Jack of All Trades:</i></p> <p><i>You cannot do it all. If you do not learn how to systematize what you are doing, you won't be able to delegate. If you aren't able to delegate, you will fail.</i></p> <p>Systems keep you from needing to do everything yourself. Systems enable you to transfer responsibility to your employee, your consultant, or your outsourced professional. Systems allow you to check in and see that things are being done as you want them to be done, but without needing you to do them.</p> <p>Take a look at what Peter Drucker calls &quot;conditions for survival&quot;; these &quot;four entrepreneurial activities that run in parallel&quot; can be paraphrased as:</p> <ol> <li>Organization for systematic abandonment of what is no longer optimal;</li> <li>Organization for &quot;systematic, continuing improvement&quot;;</li> <li>Organization for &quot;systematic and continuous exploitation&quot; of what is successful;</li> <li>Organization for &quot;systematic innovation&quot;.</li> </ol> <p>Notice any keywords in there?</p> <p>Turning procedures and processes into a system, training your people in those systems, and then seeing that those systems are followed are among the chief responsibilities of a business leader.</p> <h3>Sabotage #3: Keeping dead-weight on board</h3> <p>Drucker's first condition for survival is organized abandonment &quot;of products, services, processes, markets, distribution channels, and so on that are no longer an optimal allocation of resources.&quot; By forcing your business to hang on to old methods, old products, and old ways of conducting business that are no longer working optimally, you force your business to maintain itself at a level of survival when it could be moving up in growth and profitability.</p> <p>Notice that there are two conditions understood here. One is, you don't abandon anything at the drop of a hat just because it doesn't work once. If you have a consistently positive return from some method or product, and one freak failure in the bunch, you don't cut it off. You figure out why, you move on, you keep tracking.</p> <p>The second condition is just as important. Most methods, products, services, etc., that need to be dropped won't stop working altogether. A distribution channel, for example, may still get the product distributed, but it won't be the best way to get the work done. You've got to analyze not only what you have, and how well it is working, but how much better things could work with some newness thrown in the mix. Then you have to drop the old stuff, the dead-weight, and move on to what works better.</p> <h3>Sabotage #4: Failing to build innovation into your business</h3> <p>This (bad) habit goes hand-in-hand with Sabotage #3. If you aren't constantly looking for ways to improve your business, you won't be aware of how much your business could improve. New things will scare you, rather than cause you to see the possibilities for profitability, growth, and sustainable practices. Just as you need to systematize your day-to-day work, you need to build innovation systematically into your business.</p> <p>&quot;As counterintuitive as it sounds, I think you can innovate methodically. You can force innovation. There is a process you can follow to improve both the number and the quality of ideas you can come up with.&quot; &ndash; Kevin O'Connor, <i>The Map of Innovation</i></p> <h3>Sabotage #5: Taking things personally.</h3> <p>As an entrepreneur, business owner, or freelancer, you invest much of yourself into each new venture, or into each day's work, or into each new client or project. Your personal identity is often wrapped up in your business, and that isn't a bad thing unless you allow your personal reactions to color your business sense.</p> <p>Can you respond to a customer's complaints, or an employee's criticism, without being personally offended? Can you listen to a new idea without shutting it down because you didn't come up with it? Can you consider a failed project as a way to learn rather than a personal chasm of despair? If you can't, time to start learning. You may still feel strongly about what happens in your business; that's okay. But you've got to respond with dignity, open-mindedness, and the ability to see the value in each experience or critique rather than allowing those personal feelings to put you into shut-down mode.</p> <p>Self-sabotage, in the way I've described here, is hardly ever deliberate. In fact, it's hardly ever done consciously. It's most often a matter of you doing the same things you've done, following those old habits, without considering how your habits could debilitate or even destroy your business. The simple solution is to identify and destroy those habits, and then focus on building new habits that help build your business.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/annie-mueller">Annie Mueller</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/5-ways-youre-sabotaging-your-business">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-clutter-keeps-you-poor">8 Ways Clutter Keeps You Poor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/need-business-credit-build-your-personal-credit-first">Need Business Credit? Build Your Personal Credit First</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-budgeting-skills-everyone-should-master">11 Budgeting Skills Everyone Should Master</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center business planning innovation organization procrastination small business Wed, 11 May 2011 20:44:31 +0000 Annie Mueller 536679 at http://www.wisebread.com