Why We’re So Good at Procrastinating But So Bad at Being Productive

Why We're So Good at Procrastinating But So Bad at Being Productive - let'sreachsuccess.com lidiya k

I take a look at my to-do list and see that the first item is to do some freelance work for a client. I know where to start, I know it will be some of the most important work for the day (and that’s why it’s on top), I know I’ll feel good after that and will even build momentum to move onto the next items on the list.

I open a Word doc, ready to start writing. But then I go and check email, think about the tasks I’ll have to complete later, text someone, or even do something I’ve been putting off for later. And all that, just not to do my actual work right now.

That’s a situation we’re all familiar with. It happens all the time in daily life.

Why is that?

Because if we don’t just get to work on something right away, our mind comes up with excuses, wants to do other things just to avoid doing this. We start procrastinating, even if the activities we choose to do are productive to some extent.

It’s still bad because we don’t fight the resistance. We prefer to do what feels comfortable. Or indulge in things like social media and email, which we check often unconsciously but which doesn’t lead to business growth or increased productivity.

We’re Really Good at Procrastinating

7 Signs You Really Love Your Job

When most people have something to do, they can come up with tens of other things to do instead of it. However, when in other situations they are asked for a creative idea, a solution to a problem, or just advice, they have nothing.

Procrastination takes many forms, and even the reasons why we do it are absolutely clear. But still, we rarely get our work done on time.

Why are we such procrastinators? Is it in our nature?

No. It’s just a result of 2 main things: discomfort and uncertainty.

We want to avoid these at any cost. And as you probably know, our desire to skip negative experiences is much bigger than to have the good ones (that’s why we forget about how good we’ll feel once we get things done and how much progress we’ll have and focus on how we can put off the discomfort and uncertainty of working on the task in front of us).

It’s ridiculous how good we are at procrastinating.

This post, for example, is a result of procrastinating on other work I had to do, which is also writing. It takes the same amount of effort and time, but I found it easier to come up with a new article (which may still be helpful to a bunch of people, of course, and that makes it meaningful).

So it’s not that we’re lazy. No. We’re ready to do stuff, to move on, to take action, it’s just that we don’t feel comfortable doing whatever we’re supposed to do, and there’s also the fear of failing at it.

Check out my book How to Kill Procrastination One Excuse at a Time

Such behavior doesn’t need to become a habit, though. In fact, the solution is pretty simple.

The Best Productivity System in The World

There are many systems out there you can read about. Some are fantastic, brilliant and practical. Others just sound complex and smart but can’t be applied in daily life.

So let’s break things down to one step.

You know what the task you should be working on now is. We all do. We even feel guilty when we’re procrastinating, but prefer not to think about it. But still, the actual work that’s waiting to be done – the one that gets you closer to your goals, helps you make a living, makes other people’s lives better in some way – is in the back of your mind.

So the best productivity system is to simply take action right now.

Without overthinking, without giving another activity a try, without letting doubts and excuses talk you out of it.

‘Just do it!’ is the best advice in terms of productivity. There’s resistance in the beginning. There always is with the things in life that make us successful.

You’ll fight it once today, then tomorrow. On the third day it will be easier.

Then, it will become a habit. And that’s when you’ll get good at being productive.

PS, This post was inspired by Leo’s ‘What Productivity Systems Won’t Solve’ over at ZenHabits.

What’s your take on this? How do you fight the resistance and what do you do to get to work instead of procrastinating?

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How This Family Guy Makes $10,000/Month Online Teaching Others How to Make, Save and Invest Money

How This Family Guy Makes $10,000/Month Online Teaching Others How to Make, Save and Invest Money - Interview with R.J. Weiss from TheWaystoWealth.com

This is an interview-style post with R.J. Weiss from The Ways to Wealth.

Hey R.J. What’s your background and what do you do?

I blog about all things personal finance at The Ways to Wealth.

Before I went full-time into blogging, I spent ten years in the financial services industry. Specifically, helping families buy the right type of life insurance.

During my time with a full-time job, I’ve always had different side hustles going on. From freelance writing, Amazon FBA, conversion rate optimization, to website design — there were many projects I pursued outside of work.

How did you start your career in finance?

I got started in finance straight out of college working for my the family insurance business. As I love the financial planning side of things, I choose to specialize in life insurance planning. This led me down the path to obtaining the CFP® Certification.

What made you start blogging?

The Ways to Wealth, which I started in 2016, has been my 5th blog.

The others mostly fizzled out most due to a lack of interest. But, in 2009 I started a personal finance blog called GenYWealth.com (no longer around) that had some success.

The idea GenYwealth.com was to write about what I was learning about studying to take the CFP®. The blog was, by all means, a success. I was able to gain valuable knowledge, pass the CFP® exam, earn some extra money and build up a good community.

I then took this knowledge and started a business blog, which allowed the insurance agency I was working for to generate leads.

I started The Ways to Wealth because my passion is personal finance–from investing to travel hacking, I love the challenge of optimizing my finances.

How was The Ways to Wealth born?

I didn’t have much of a plan for starting The Ways to Wealth when I purchased the domain name.

I was actually thinking it would be a niche site, which was inspired by Pat Flynn’s niche site duel. Then, I came across the income reports of Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and wisely changed direction to a more traditional blog.

This change came about 6-months after starting to blog.  I did a timeline of the site in one of my income reports.

What worked best when trying to grow the site?

I had a decent knowledge of SEO. So at first, I started growing the site with email outreach. One of the first posts I had about best investing books of all time, had about 15 links to it.

This was nice to start with but was quite slow to build up, as it can take a while to earn Google’s trust.

The big turning point came when I started to understand Pinterest. I spent a few frustrating weeks on the platform, then it finally started paying dividends.

I went from about 100 sessions a day to 1,000, which was huge for me at the time.

How did you get to 3 million monthly viewers on Pinterest?

the ways to wealth pinterest 3 million monthly views

I lay out my Pinterest strategy here. But at the core the idea is to:

1) Write high-quality content that Pinners want to click through, read, and share.

2) Pin to my own and high-quality group boards, with a keyword-rich description.

3) Continue to Pin my best pins across my own boards/group boards, ruthlessly eliminating Pins that don’t perform well.

One thing to keep in mind is impressions don’t mean much on Pinterest. What counts are clicks to your website. So, you want to design not for impressions but clicks.

What aspects of the online business are you outsourcing or automating and how?

The first thing I outsourced was Pinterest design. I’ll design about 30-40 pins a month, so this was big time saver for me.

Of course, it took some work to get going. At first, I hired 5 or so people on Fiverr. I found one decent designer but the work quality deteriorated over time.

I then went to Upwork and posted a job for a  graphic designer. I found a great team down in Argentina, who I’m very happy with.

I’m currently experimenting with working with a ghostwriter. A few of my latest posts have been transcribed from my recording, with the ghostwriter making sense of it all.

I can compile about 3 posts in 90 minutes, then take another 90 or so minutes to prepare them. Saving me around 3-4 hours per post this way.

What’s your main income stream and why do you think it works for you?

My main source of income for the blog is affiliate revenue. It works because the partners I do have are high-quality businesses, who deliver value and solve real problems. This makes it easy to naturally link to such a partner.

When did you start making more than $10K/month and what was the turning point?

My first month over $10K was in January of 2018. In December of 2017, income was around $3,000 and in July of 2017 around $500. So, it was definitely a jump.

What happened then in January?

First, personal finance is at its peak interest in January.

Second, I had multiple Pins go viral.

Third, in November I started driving traffic via Facebook to the site. So, in January I could take campaigns I’d been fine-tuning for a few weeks and scale them.

How do you balance work and family life?

I have a routine I stick to Monday through Friday.

When inside of my designated working hours, I work. When outside of these hours, I’m not.

This is a lot easier said than done. But the thing important for me is not to take work everywhere I go. This means I don’t have any apps on my phone that are work-related (email, analytics, etc..)

What are you 3 best finance tips for newbies?

  • Focus on your savings rate. How much you save is the most important decision you’ll make.
  • Small incremental improvements add up over time. My favorite example is increasing your savings rate 1% every quarter, means you’ll be saving 20% of your income in just 5 years.
  • Study happiness. Become a student on how to increase your level of happiness. The natural result is you’ll want less overtime, making the game of personal finance a lot easier to win.

What books, blogs or podcasts help you stay motivated along the way of growing an online business?

I read a fair amount to keep fresh ideas in my head.

My favorite podcast is The Tim Ferriss Show.

Two blogs I enjoy reading are:

Farnam Street
Barking up the Wrong Tree

And as far as books. I try to read one a week. A few books I would recommend to online entrepreneurs would be:

Deep Work by Cal Newport
The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy
The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

Pin this post if you enjoyed the interview.

Check out my interview with R.J. from TheWaystoWealth to see how he entered the finance niche, started making money blogging, began bringing traffic from Pinterest and monetizing it with affiliate marketing, and is now making $10,000/month from his online business. #blogger #interview #blogtraffic #incomeideas #income