This article has been published first on THOUGHT CATALOG
I had the privilege to discover the freedom of studying at a German public University when I was in my early twenties. Nobody cares when you finish your degree. Nobody pressures you to write that paper this semester, easy…don’t stress do it next year. You are overwhelmed by distractions and opportunities.
I also manifested the word procrastination in my daily dictionary.
While planning my life in 3 months quarters and before an exam in hours (learn 8 hours, sleep 2 hours, learn 8 hours again and then jump into the exam and magically pass it) I realized that having more freedom requires having actual an internal plan for life.
Most of us are guilty of this. PROCRASTINATION. Not getting anything done. Feeling overwhelmed and lazy at the same time. Netflix and panic. Coffee and no flow state. A mind full of thoughts but no structure. Spending the day on the couch but no relaxed feeling.
But still feeling as tired and mentally exhausted like climbing the Mount Everest.
And we are also guilty of looking for help from external places. Reading this guide. Getting this advice, watching this YouTube Video, trying this method and always looking for this ONE hack that will change our lives. I realized that every goal setting, life coaching and productivity hack comes down to a few undeniable factors you need to succeed. Right here is a list of the most important ones.
HAVE A FEW SPECIFIC GOALS.
If you feel super busy the whole day or even week but in the end, you didn’t accomplish a lot, you are probably not focusing enough on a few wisely chosen goals. According to many goal-setting experts, the easiest and most successful way to accomplish a goal is to focus on a maximum of 3 goals. 3 Goals a day, 3 goals a week, a month and so on. That might sound like not enough, but if you dedicate yourself to actually get 3 important things done every day you are way further ahead than somebody who is creating one long to-do list with endless tasks they will never even start working on.
Psychiatrist Ned Hallowell explains that people are more overwhelmed by having too many choices. You can basically do your taxes, write a book, book your next holiday and do your shopping from your phone while commuting to work. The problem is that we have more choices than ever. Our brains perceive this freedom of choice as a cognitive overload. Every person has a certain amount of cognitive ability during the day to make decisions. If we use all our cognitive ability for minor targets like what music we want to listen to while working, what salad dressing to pick, what outfit to wear or other first world countries problems, we basically waste our cognitive resources on minor tasks and the big tasks won’t get done. Instead of doing too much at the same time (multitasking does not really work) try to focus on one task until it is finished.
Being a selfish person has a negative connotation of essentially being an asshole. But what comes the world selfish actually mean? It is the opposite of being selfless, which is the complete devotion to other people and the neglect of somebody one emotional, mental and physical needs. Being selfish means, in essence, to take care of yourself regardless. Not making other people responsible for your well-being or for your happiness. Try to say no or maybe instead of yes all the time. It also will give you more time to focus on your own projects.
What is this now? Yes, be selfless too. Be incredible selfless on purpose. Do something for another person without expecting ANYTHING in return. Not even a smile or a Thank You. Just do it because you are in the great position to help other people. It is a privilege to be able to help others and choosing to execute this privilege alone will help you to build a strong foundation for anything that comes.
GET RID OF ENERGY DRAINERS.
This is quite self-explanatory. First, you need to identify them. It can be a certain type of food, people you surround yourself with, TV shows, music, social media or thought patterns. Once you identified them replace them with a more energy creating an alternative.
These small but significant things will help you to chill, focus and get things done!