• Alana Stern

10 Tips to Ensure a Terrible 2020!

One year ago, I wrote My Top 10 Tips for Tackling To-Do's in 2019. At the start of 2020, I'm turning the tables and hoping you don't take any of the advice below!

1. Foster Forgetfulness

Carry everything around in your head – appointments, errands, those important but not urgent things you really want to get to… If by some small chance you doubt your ability to remember it all, write things down wherever you are on tiny scraps of paper – or create a new note or additional list on your phone for every to-do.



2. Let Others' Demands and Random Circumstances Determine your Priorities

Pick the first thing that is on your list. Choose whatever you are in the mood for. Choose the quickest task just to get a feeling of success. Pick the task that other people loudly demand of you. Pick the things that feel urgent but are not really important.



3. Jump Right into your Day

Once you’ve selected a wish list of your “priorities” for the day, get on it as soon as possible. Don’t bother to look at your calendar to see where this wish list fits in. It’s especially important never to schedule time for those important maintenance things like exercise, reading, catching up with friends and other long-term goals.



4. Procrastinate!

Keep focused on the big overwhelming end-product you want to achieve. Do not break things down into small steps. Embrace “procrasitvity” – doing something productive like cleaning up or making phone calls, but not what you are supposed to be doing. Or better yet, pick a binge-worthy, cliff-hanger ending Netflix series and let the automatic “next episode” button take over. Bonus points for removing all clocks and watches from the room.



5. Multi-Task

If you really can’t let procrastination get the better of you, start on something and respond immediately to every WhatsApp ping and every email notification as it comes in. Open a new tab while you are waiting for your work tab to load. Follow all internet rabbit holes. And here’s a really good tip: When you suddenly remember something else you need to do, don’t write it down. Get up immediately and go do it, even if its less urgent and important than your original task.



6. Be Overly Optimistic about your Time

Always assume things will go perfectly and that you don’t need to leave any wiggle room for the unexpected to happen or for things to run late. Schedule things one after the other without time for transitioning between switching. Forget about travel time and just focus on the actual time of your appointments. Embrace “just-one-more-thing-it is” every time you are about to walk out the door.



7. Let your Emotions Rule

Succumb to frustration, anger, disappointment, overwhelm and stress by allowing these emotions to pull you off-track. Better yet, try really hard to suppress the emotion by telling yourself you are being stupid for feeling this way and wondering why you can’t just pull yourself together. Nothing makes an emotion grow bigger than trying to stop thinking about it. (Try this now: Whatever you do, DO NOT think of a blue feather! See? ) It is especially effective to refuse to take a few minutes to accept the emotion and let it process through your body by something silly like deep breathing or getting some fresh air.




8. Leap Before You Look

Respond immediately to your urges to say or do something. Do not pause to consider possible implications of impulsive actions. Don’t wait 20 minutes when you have a food craving. Don’t distance yourself from distractions like Facebook. Buy something expensive as soon as you feel you want it. No need to wait 24 hours to see if the impulse subsides.



9. Cultivate Disorganization

Refuse to have permanent homes for any of your stuff. Ignore the need to maintain any systems that you have already established. Go for an unread email inbox record by never scheduling time to process your emails.




10. Think Failure not Feedback

When things don’t go your way, do not use the experience to stand back and evaluate where you went wrong and what you can do differently next time. In fact, take failure as a sign to stop trying. Because, hey, if you can't do it perfectly, why bother at all?!



No, but Seriously...

Now for the serious bit. Jokes aside, if you do have one or more of these bad habits (and we all do these things some of the time), you may want to watch the video on how to make successful and lasting changes. There’s a freebie worksheet you can get here too.

May the new decade and 2020 be full of successful and lasting changes for the better.



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