Rene Manfre's Blog

10 Ways to Beat Procrastination

Is there something in your life that you’ve been putting off?

Maybe you’re “planning” to start a big project next month. Perhaps you keep saying you’re going to do jump on your latest business idea as soon as you have more time. Or you could just be putting off cleaning up the house or washing the car.

Even if you’re putting off something that seems like a little thing, it’s not the size of what you’re procrastinating about that’s the problem. It’s that you’re giving energy to a bad habit that will grow and strangle your success.

So if you have a tendency to put things off, here are ten things you can do to beat procrastination and enjoy a happier, more fulfilling life:

1. Make a decision. This is my favorite way to overcome procrastination. Decision is the opposite of procrastination. Just like right and left, up and down, hot and cold, there’s procrastinate and decide.

To become more decisive, get Think and Grow Rich and read the chapter on decision every day for 30 days. This will go a long way in helping you act quickly on your ideas.

2. Write it out. Set aside a little time and follow this three-step process:

a) Get a sheet of paper and write out how you currently feel about procrastination. Elaborate on how you procrastinate—what you do, when you do it, etc.

b) Take out a second sheet and ask yourself, “What would be the exact opposite of that?” Then, on the top of the page, write “I am so happy and grateful now that…”and below it write out detailed statements that are the opposite of the things you wrote on the first sheet. When you are finished, burn or shred the first sheet of paper.

c) Read and rewrite what you wrote on the second sheet every day until you notice that you’re no longer procrastinating.

3. Chop it up. Sometimes we procrastinate because we don’t know where to begin. Break large projects into milestones, and then into small, actionable steps.

4. Quiet your mind. This one might surprise you, but meditation is one of the most effective ways to get rid of self-sabotaging behavior, including procrastination.

5. Stop trying to be perfect. Perfectionism is an illusion that slows you down and prevents you from reaching your goal. Act quickly, doing the best you can.

6. Partner up. Find an accountability partner so you can help each other commit to and follow through on the things you each need to do to move toward your goals and dreams.

7. Take a closer look. Revisit what you’re putting off and ask yourself why you have it on your list. Be honest with yourself. Maybe you’re putting it off because it’s something someone else wants you to do, but it’s really not important to you. If it’s not something that you really want or should do—or something that will move you closer to your goals, stop wasting energy on it and remove it from your list.

8. Put it on your gratitude list. Tomorrow morning, write down how grateful you are that you started the project and it’s going well. Write it in the present tense and feel like you already achieved it.

You see, expressing gratitude isn’t only for things that have already happened. Being grateful for things that you want and expect to happen raises your vibration, and thereby helps you get the results you want.

9. Reward yourself for taking action. When you accomplish something you want to put off, reward yourself. Take a coffee or tea break, go to a movie, or eat at a restaurant you’ve been wanting to check out. Do whatever will make you feel good about overcoming the procrastination.

10. Adjust your attitude. Procrastination stops you from winning and realizing many great joys in life. But even a small shift in your attitude can make a big difference in your results. So every day ask yourself, “What environment do I want to create for my life to really thrive?” Procrastination can’t survive in an environment like that.

There is no magic pill that will put an end to procrastination forever. But these tips will help you take concrete steps toward achieving more and feeling a lot better about yourself.

To more and better,

Rene Manfre's Blog

Banks tighten lending standards, S&P 500 posts best quarter since ‘98, and a cashless society nears: This Week in Finance

Banks tighten lending standards, S&P 500 posts best quarter since ‘98, and a cashless society nears: This Week in Finance

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Welcome to This Week in Finance, your weekly roundup of the conversations trending among financial professionals on LinkedIn. Click Subscribe above to be notified of each edition. This week:

Banks pull back on lending

Consumers may have a harder time qualifying for credit cards and loans amid the coronavirus pandemic, as banks pull back on lending due to increased uncertainty around who is creditworthy. The crisis has pushed millions of Americans into deferment or other pandemic relief programs — and many missed payments aren’t being reflected in credit scores, The Wall Street Journal reported. Lenders are seeking new data to better evaluate consumers applying for loans. Meanwhile, roughly 39% of domestic banks say they’ve already tightened credit requirements, according to the Federal Reserve. 💲 Here’s what people are saying.

Stocks are climbing like it’s 1998

Despite growing economic unease tied to the pandemic, U.S. stocks finished their best quarter in over two decades, with the S&P 500 index climbing 20% — the most since 1998 — and the Dow Jones Industrial Average notching its best quarter since 1987. What’s behind the disconnect? A $1.6 trillion stimulus package from the Federal Reserve and Congress has helped fuel expectations for an eventual recovery and allowed stocks to rebound from earlier losses. The earnings season is expected to provide the next major test for the market, as companies shed details on how they’ve been affected by closures. 💲 Here’s what people are saying.

  • Amateur Asian stock trading booms: Japan, Thailand, India, Singapore, South Korea, and the Philippines are among countries reporting surges in retail trading accounts since lockdowns began in March.

CEOs see financial pain past 2021

The financial hit from the pandemic will last through 2021 or possibly even beyond that, according to the leaders of America’s biggest companies. The Business Roundtable’s new survey of CEOs fell to 34.3, the lowest reading for the index since 2009. Hiring plans and sales expectations also dropped sharply, as rising coronavirus infections have prompted at least a dozen states and cities to pause or reverse reopening plans across the country. 💲 Here’s what people are saying.

  • U.S. unemployment falls to 11.1%: The report captures the employment situation before coronavirus surges recently forced many states to halt or reverse their reopening plans.
  • Where jobs are, and aren’t, coming back: For some sectors, the road to pre-pandemic employment recovery may take years — or worse, never occur.
  • Still working, but for less: About four million U.S. workers, particularly those in white-collar jobs, have had their pay cut during the pandemic. This could signal a long-term recession.

Crisis shifting how we shop

New research suggests the pandemic is changing Americans’ shopping habits in ways not seen since the Great Depression. The Bloomberg and Morning Consult survey shows decreasing interest in events or places involving crowds, like enclosed malls, movie theaters, bars, and concerts, as well as a diminished interest in extravagant purchases. On a more encouraging note, the survey found people aren’t as fearful of restaurants, and they now say they prefer smaller retailers. The findings suggest society has entered an era of fear and austerity that may delay a full economic recovery, according to Bloomberg. A retail analyst told The New York Times that about 25% of the country’s 1,200 shopping malls are in danger of closing over the next five years. 💲 Here’s what people are saying.

The costs of pandemic-era M&A

As businesses struggle to weather the pandemic and its economic fallout, a handful of large firms — including some in the tech industry — have swooped in with buyout offers. Such consolidation could result in layoffs, higher prices for consumers, and diminished innovation, warns the Open Markets Institute’s Michael Bluhm. Columbia Law School’s Tim Wu argues that these deals could ultimately widen the wealth gap in the U.S. What might help? Bluhm suggests a moratorium on certain M&A deals. Wu offers several ideas, including ailing companies opting for employee ownership arrangements versus a buyout from an outside firm. 💲 Here’s what people are saying.

VCs on the hunt for edtech

In India, edtech startups have become a hot favorite of venture capital firms amid the pandemic, Livemint reported, citing data from Venture Intelligence. The industry attracted $795 million in the first half of the year, accounting for a fifth of the funding raised by Indian startups and up several times from $108 million in the same period last year. Byju’s and Unacademy bagged big checks, with demand for online courses skyrocketing amid prolonged school closures. E-commerce was a loser in the data: Fresh financing in the space plummeted 77% to $393 million. 💲 Here’s what people are saying.

Pandemic hits the oil patch

Chesapeake Energy — a leader in the U.S. shale boom — filed for bankruptcy protection, marking the biggest oil-and-gas company to do so since the pandemic began. At least 20 producers have gone under recently, Bloomberg reported, with oil prices suffering from both excess supply and lower demand tied to stay-at-home orders. Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake had been struggling to service its mountain of debt, and in May it warned that it might not be able to stay in business. 💲 Here’s what people are saying.

  • Shell faces $22B write-down: The energy giant said it expects the pandemic to have a lasting impact on demand for oil. It anticipates an oil price of $35 a barrel this year and $40 next year before stabilizing around $60.
  • Gulf’s recovery under pressure: Squeezed by the pandemic and drop in oil prices, the GCC economies will shrink by 7.6% this year, said the IMF, revising downward its previous forecast for a 2.8% contraction.

A cashless society is nearing

Cautious consumers around the world, nervously navigating the pandemic, are expediting the move toward a cashless economy, Axios reported. As shoppers abandon in-store browsing and swarm online, many are eschewing cash and opting for contactless credit and debit cards. ATM usage has plunged by 32%, according to Visa, with 63% of consumers using less cash overall. The decline is not only being driven by convenience — it’s also fed by the perception that “money is dirty and payment terminals carry germs.” 💲 Here’s what people are saying.

Finding economic recovery from crisis

At first glance, things may seem particularly bleak: The coronavirus continues to spread across the U.S., putting lives at risk and keeping large parts of the economy in a holding pattern. But Harvard economist Rebecca Henderson argues that, rather than despairing, we can treat this crisis as a unique opportunity to build an economy that’s stronger and more resilient than it was before the pandemic. One of her recommendations: tackling employment and environmental challenges in one fell swoop, with a sizable jobs program geared at combating climate change. 💲 Here’s what people are saying.