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7 Ways to Quit Procrastinating and Become Productive

Raise your hand if you’re guilty of procrastination (me!!)

But for real, sometimes we find ourselves getting so overwhelmed with all that we have to do that we don’t know where to even start. Or maybe the task at hand is, frankly, so boring that we can’t focus for more than .3 seconds.

So the only solution to combat procrastination is to wait until the very last second and cram to get something done, right? Wrong!

As much as we all use excuses like “I work well under pressure,” or “I do my best work at 3:00 am,” these are just lies we tell ourselves to make procrastination okay.

Procrastination sets us up for some pretty unhealthy habits. It brings unneeded stress into our lives and messes up our schedules so that what we could have done weeks ago becomes first priority last minute.

We’re too young to be setting ourselves up for a lifetime of stress and staying up until 3:00 am to finish something. Those habits are literally taking years off our lives.

Since I started blogging, freelancing, planned a wedding, and took on more commitments to my personal and professional life, it has become all too easy for me to procrastinate. I find that I procrastinated on literally the smallest task – like calling the organist for our wedding – and I created so much unnecessary stress about it that I started to panic. It isn’t a healthy way to live, and life isn’t going to get any less complex.

We all have a ton on our plate, and if we don’t start to organize ourselves and prepare ourselves to work now, we will only be setting ourselves up for failure. So here are 7 productivity hacks to combat procrastination.

Stop making enormous lists

If you’re like me and super type-A, you probably live on lists.

I mean, I have made a to-do list with the first item being “make a list.” It’s obsessive.

While lists are excellent to help organize your thoughts and know what you need to do, they often become entirely too overwhelming.

Instead of making one big list, I suggest splitting your life up into different to-do sections. For example, my current one includes things to do for my 9-5 job, household, personal, blog, freelance, and wedding sections. This helps me to focus on one thing at a time and I can clearly see what all I need to do.

I love this method because it has helped me to prioritize which aspect of my life is most important at that time. Am I behind on blogging? Do I need to focus on myself personally? What do I have left to accomplish for the wedding? It has helped my stress enormously.

Schedule out your week

Scheduling your week ahead of time helps you to prioritize and plan without being overwhelmed by so many things to do last minute.

If you are a couple, I have also found that scheduling out our week together and making to-do lists together helps to eliminate any communication issues or stressors. We both know what is coming up and what we need to get done. It has been extremely helpful in balancing everything in our lives!

Take a few minutes every Sunday to schedule out your week. You’ll be entering the week with success and it will help you to stay on task to prevent procrastination.

Remind yourself of your goals

Have visuals of your goals everywhere.

We procrastinate when we forget about our goals. When we remember our goals, that should light a fire within us to get stuff done.

Write down your goals and paste them everywhere that you commonly pass or work. Put them in your office, bedroom, kitchen.

If your goals aren’t enough to motivate you, maybe you should be reevaluating what you want to be doing. I know when I think about what I really want to accomplish, I quickly stop my Netflix binge and get working!

Give yourself a kick in the pants

There’s only so much external motivation you can do. Sometimes you gotta kick your own butt to stop procrastinating.

You are solely responsible for yourself. If you find yourself procrastinating, you are the only one to blame.

I am the first person to advocate adequate rest, but most of the times when we are procrastinating, we aren’t doing anything worthwhile at all. There is a difference between procrastinating and relaxing, so know how to tell the difference and how to stop procrastination when it is at its strongest.

Don’t give yourself too much time

Giving yourself too much time to complete a task only allows for procrastination.

The reason people *think* they accomplish something so much better last minute is because they have no choice but to work with a time limit.

Think of it like this. Say you have a task due in two weeks. If you give yourself two full weeks to do it, you’ll only end up procrastinating. But if you give yourself a new, shorter deadline, you’ll be sure to prioritize it enough to get it done.

Have a “power hour”

This is probably my favorite tactic to combat procrastination. When you find yourself procrastinating majorly, I do a power hour, in which I try to get every dreaded task done within an hour.

You can do anything for an hour. Commit to a focused hour of working on that paper, planning your wedding, or cleaning the house. You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish when you are focused and trying to get things done quickly.

It’s always funny to see how quickly I can actually accomplish something when I want to! When I procrastinate, that task can take a week to finally finish. When I focus, I can accomplish it in an hour!

The key to a successful power hour is to remove all distractions. Turn off the TV, put your cell phone away, and block Facebook. Dedicate just one hour to the task at hand and you’ll surprise yourself at how easy it really was.

Get up and get active

When nothing seems to work, force yourself to get outside and get active.

Take a break to go for a walk, run, or go to the gym. You’ll increase your motivation and the endorphins will put you in a better, and more refreshed mood.

Procrastination doesn’t, and probably shouldn’t, be an acceptable way to accomplish the task at hand. All it does it prolong the amount of time it takes to complete something. The key to fighting procrastination is to identify your triggers and motivate yourself to focus.

Are you guilty of procrastination? How do you get past it? 

What’s a Credit Score?

I’ll be honest. Until a few years ago, I didn’t really know what a credit score was, why it was important, or how it impacted finances.

Here are the basic essentials about credit scores.

What is a credit score?

A credit score is a 3-digit number that reflects how you utilize credit, like credit cards, car loans, mortgages, and just regular bills.

This number is generated by information on your credit report. Think of your credit report as like a report card that goes into detail about various ways you could improve. Your credit score is the number to show whether you earned an “A” or an “F.”

Why credit scores are important

It’s important to have good credit. With a bad credit score, you could be denied an apartment, get a much higher interest rate on a mortgage, and even be denied the chance to get cable or car loans.

When you commit to a service or borrow money, companies want to know that you’ll be able to promptly pay them back. A low credit score shows you as a risk, and many lenders are unwilling to work with you.

What goes into factoring your credit score?

5 different factors go into determining your credit score, which are as follows:

  • Payment history
  • Amount of debt owed
  • Types of credit used
  • Amount of new credit
  • Length of credit history

Payment history accounts for around 35% of your credit score, so therefore is the most important thing to focus on. So in short, pay your bills!

If paying your bills is an issue, you need to focus on lowering your expenses and raising your income. Starting a blog is one great way to create income. Learn how to start your own blog here.

Using credit cards wisely, having a low credit utilization score, and having long-term lines of credit open all impact your credit score, however, they don’t impact it nearly as much as payment history. So if you’re just starting to focus on raising your credit score, figure out how you can pay your bills on time.

What your credit score means to lenders

  • <500: Very bad
  • 500-549: Bad
  • 550-599: Poor
  • 600-649: Average
  • 650-699: Good
  • 700-749: Very good
  • >750: Excellent

How to find your credit score

The law mandates that you have a right to a free credit report every year, but unfortunately, that doesn’t include a free credit score.

Luckily, most credit cards allow you to see your credit score on your monthly statements. You can also use creditkarma.com to find a free score.

Do you have any other questions about credit scores? I’d love to hear them. Drop a note below.

The Best Summer Wedges

If you’re going to purchase one thing this summer, make it wedges (and maybe a swimsuit!) Wedges are so great because they elevate any casual summer look, plus, they are extremely comfortable. Here are a ton of options for cheap!

10 Expenses You Should Consider Cutting Out if You’re Broke

Broke? Here are 10 expenses you could consider cutting out to save money.Most of us have had periods of time where money is tight. But going through a tight period is different than being completely broke.

If you’re flat out broke, you have to know that you can improve your financial situation. The only way to do that is to either increase your income (like by starting a blog), cut your spending, or ideally both. So now we are going to be talking about cutting your spending.

I want to put on my person finance serious face for a second and say that, though we laugh about being broke, being broke is a serious thing. Being broke all of the time means you will never become debt free, you’ll never retire, and you’ll never have the means to live the life you want right now. You absolutely have to make some sacrifices to improve your future.

Trust me, making a few cuts now will allow you to live the life you really want to live. If you’re constantly living from paycheck to paycheck, you’ll never get the life you want. No one should accept living under that much financial stress.

Luckily, there are a few simple expenses you can cut out while you get your financial situation in order. If you started cutting out all 10 of these tips, you could save hundreds, or even thousands of dollars a month, depending on your current spending.

Though that would be incredible to cut out all 10 things, it’s not to say you are bad with money if you still choose to do some of these. Personal finance is personal and everyone has different priorities. But here are some ideas to get you started 🙂

1) Cable

Cable is pricey! And in all honesty, it’s a high price to pay for a bad habit. If you’re a serious television watcher, there are many cheaper options, like Amazon Video (included in the price of an Amazon Prime account!) or Netflix.

Missing out on a few of your favorite shows is worth the savings of $60-200 a month. And nowadays, you can usually steam shows online after a few months.

2) ATM Fees

Though an occasional ATM fee might not seem like a big deal, all of those little expenses add up. And have you ever thought about how silly it is to pay that much to access a few dollars of your own cash?

You can easily avoid this fee by making sure you always have a bit of cash on you, or by driving through or stopping in your bank before you go somewhere where you need cash. And you can keep tabs on what ATMs are free for you depending on where you bank.

3) Entertainment and Alcohol

FOMO is real and no one wants to miss out on anything his or her friends are doing, but you gotta be honest about your financial situation. If you can’t afford a $50 bar tab and an Uber every Saturday night, you can’t afford it.

Fortunately, you can still go out and be the DD, or you can host parties at your place. Having a social life is important, but there are so many cheaper (and healthier) ways to do so.

4) Eating Out

Sit-down restaurants can be very expensive, but yet, they seem to be a common social place to gather.

If you can’t sacrifice eating out in its entirety, you can commit to eating a quick bite at home before you get to the restaurant and only order an appetizer. And skip the drinks!

And fast food is another must-go. Though you might not think it’s expensive, it does add up. If you’re even just spending $6 a day on fast food, that’s $180.00 a month. And that’s just for one meal a day!

5) Clothes Shopping

I’ll admit, this is my biggest pitfall. I love shopping and clothes. And sometimes it’s hard to pass up a really great deal.

But when times are tight, or we have big savings or debt repayment goals in place, I don’t allow myself to shop, unless I desperately need a new pair of something I wear frequently (like tennis shoes or heels for work that I wear all the time) Other than that, it’s really amazing what you can come up with when you shop your own closet!

6) Subscriptions

Glam bags, magazines, gym memberships, and any other type of subscription service can save you a lot of money now and in the long-run if you cancel them.

A lot of these items are fun, but not necessary in daily life. You can exercise at home or outside instead of going to the gym, or buy makeup as you need it instead of getting a glam bag of items you don’t even know if you’ll like.

7) Rent

This is #1 the best thing you can do if you’re broke. If you live in a city with a family member, moving back in with them can save you a ton of money.

I know, I know, few people want to do this. But this can save so much money. You can use your would-have-been rent money to save or pay off debt instead. If your rent is $500 a month, that’s $6,000 a year!

8) Travel

Obviously, this includes big trips, but I’m also talking about small travel too! Even a day-trip to a nearby town can get expensive when you factor in gas and food.

9) Trips to the Salon

I know this is unpopular, but you really can forgo trips to the salon.

I know girls who spend $200 every 2 months on their hair. That’s $1,200 a year for just hair.

If salon trips are a must for you, try spreading out time in between visits, or stop coloring your hair entirely. You can probably trim your own ends between visits and not botch it up, or have someone help you for free. Remember, these are sacrifices!

10) Gifts for Others

If you’re like me and love giving gifts, this can be hard. I love to mail gifts for birthdays or celebrations, but it does get expensive.

Luckily, friends and families should be the most understanding when it comes to gifts. If you feel like you have to give them something, you can always lower your budget or just send a card.

Remember, you need to take care of your own finances first before you can be responsible in giving gifts.

Have you cut any of these expenses out? Is there anything else you’ve cut out to save money? Comment below!