Stop Procrastinating and Get the Work Done

During a recent press conference, President Obama mentioned how his daughters, Sasha and Malia, finish their homework a day in advance. I’ll bet that on occasion, they finish long before that. I’m thrilled that his daughters are learning how not to procrastinate.

Here’s help for those of you who still wait until the last minute, thinking you do your best work when you’re under pressure.

Give yourself enough time to do it right.

You can replace the habit of procrastinating with the habit of doing the work. To break the habit, you’ll have to get as creative in coming up with ideas of how to get the work done as you are in thinking of reasons not to do it. Planning ahead and getting everything you need to complete the job, including acquiring the right skills, will help.

Why You Procrastinate

Are you the best person to do the work? Do you possess the right skills to do the work well? It is common to procrastinate about things that you lack the confidence to do. If it’s not as hard as chemical engineering to improve your skills, take some classes and read some books.

Do you have everything you need? In addition to having the right skills, you might also need some tools, supplies, etc. Make a plan and list everything you need so you won’t have an excuse to stop later.

Can you look at the task differently? Instead of looking at a project as one huge job and being overwhelmed by it, break it up into smaller projects and set deadlines for each phase. Setting deadlines, even when you’re working on a project alone, gives you a goal to work toward. Make a commitment to yourself or someone else to review the work by a certain date. This will help you get started and will keep you motivated.

Could technology make the job easier? Computer software has been written to perform magic. If you learn how to use whatever software you touch every day, you’ll complete your work much more quickly.

Do you like doing that type of work? You may not like every (or any) aspect of the job you have to do, but you should still do your best. When it’s something you don’t like but have to do, don’t spend your valuable time agonizing over it. Develop a better way to get it done, then schedule time on your calendar to get it done and off your mind. If you do things you dread doing first thing that morning, the rest of your day gets better.

Do you need to get organized? Organize everything so you can find it the instant you need it. No clutter on the desk means you’ll think more clearly with laser focus. And you’ll save hours every day!

If your eyes always see a mess, your mind will become one.

Do you have enough to do? When you don’t have enough challenging work to do, you’ll become bored and won’t want to do anything. Not one thing. A busy person working on the right things the right way gets things done.

Now is a good time to examine your work and how you go about doing it. If procrastinating gives you a rush, you’re going to have to find something else to get excited about. The work needs to get done, and it needs to be done right. Giving yourself sufficient time to do your best work will lead to greater success with less stress.


Five Reasons I Knew the Email was SPAM – Phishing – Spoofing

I just received an email message that, at first glance, looked like it came from (the sender had altered their URL, which is called spoofing). I was immediately suspicious, and didn’t click the embedded link they’d warned me to check out.

Here are five reasons why I Shift+Deleted this message (holding down the Shift key when you press Delete bypasses the Deleted Items folder in Outlook. The message leaves my computer permanently).

  • Salutation. They didn’t address me by name or company. Instead, it read “Greetings from FedEx!”.
  • Hyperlink. The URL they wanted me to click wasn’t Instead, it started with “http://www.netkreds…”
  • Junk Folder. Outlook had detected it as spam and sent it to the junk folder. I’m a FedEx customer and receive emails from them every month, so Outlook should have recognized them.
  • Certain words. The message included the words, “personal information.” My radar went way up when I saw that and thought phishing (a way of attempting to acquire sensitive information such as usernames and credit card details by masquerading as a legitimate entity).
  • Grammar. The message had bad grammar and punctuation. I think better of the real, and didn’t think they’d send a message like this.

The Message

Here is the full message. I’ve indicated the grammar in question by marketing it red.

“During our regularly scheduled account maintenance and verification procedures, we have detected a slight error in your account information. This might be due to either of the following reasons:

1. A recent updates in our SSL server ( Due to slightly problem ) 2. A recent change in your personal information ( i.e. change of address).

Please update and verify your information by clicking or enter the following URL in your browser: ….

If your account information is not updated within 48 hours then your ability to access your account will become restricted.


This message was created by FedEx Webship/Corporateship, a product of FedEx, at the request of the sender. No authentication of email addresses has been performed.

(Please do not reply to this email address since it is not monitored for responses).”

Report to FedEx?

I won’t bother to try to figure out how to report this to FedEx. They’ve probably already received a gazillion alerts and are already on top of it. If this were from someone I knew personally, I’d let them know.

Be careful out there. Keep an eye out for these five attributes in a message that just doesn’t feel right.


Promote What You Do on the From Line in an Email

Have you sent an email message to yourself from your main email account? You should so you can see what we see. Missteps include your name in all lower case, first name only, initials, etc. I don’t squander this opportunity to promote what I do. When you receive a message from me, it doesn’t just read “Peggy Duncan”. It also promotes who I am and reads “Peggy Duncan, Personal Productivity Expert”.

I use Outlook 2007, and here’s how I set this up for an email account that’s already set up.

  1. From Inbox view, click the Tools menu, Account Settings, double-click the account you want to change.
  2. In the Your Name box, whatever you type here will appear on a recipient’s From line. Click Next when you’re done.


That’s it!


If You Say It A Lot, Register the Domain

My Shameless Self-Promotion: DIY SEO seminar and booklet are all about my being on the first page of Google’s organic search results for my expertise and not spending one red cent to get there. Attendees begin to chant “not one red cent.” One suggested I register that domain…couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of it.

I just registered Now I’ll have to carve out some time to set up a WordPress site for it. That site will only be about DIY SEO.

Is there something you always say and you’re known for it? Register that domain before someone else does!


Take One Blog Post and SEO It to Death – Video

Check out this short video where I share ways to take one blog post and turn it into different options that will boost your search engine rankings. Excerpt from May 2011 conference in St. Croix, Virgin Islands (Shameless Self-Promotion: DIY SEO).


If you’re interested in my SEO booklet, a link to it is in the sidebar.


How to Leave a Video Comment on YouTube for Better SEO

I pay a lot of attention to search engine optimization (SEO) and the things I need to do to stay on that first page of Google. Yep, that’s right! When people search for my expertise as a personal productivity expert, I’m solidly on that coveted first page, often taking the top spot…and I didn’t spend one red cent to get there.

YouTube is the second largest search engine, so it gets a lot of my attention too. I’ve had a YouTube channel for years, and am working to take it to another level. You’ll find several articles on this blog about that, and I’ve written a 24-page booklet, Create, Build, and Manage a YouTube Channel Made Easy, that walks you through everything step by step.

This tip is on how you can add a video comment to a YouTube video, either by choosing one from your channel, clicking to create one with a Webcam, or by uploading one from somewhere else.

Leave a Video Comment

I started to record a video to demonstrate this, but it’s just too easy to make it worthwhile.

If you’re on the channel page, click View comments, related videos, and more at the end of the video’s description box, then click inside the Comments box under the video. (On the other hand, if you’re on regular YouTube (outside of the channel), you’ll simply click inside the Comments box under the video.) Then proceed as follows.

  1. Click the link that has appeared, Create video response.
  2. Click the Upload a Video tab, then click Start (if you have videos on your channel you want to add, click Choose a Video).
  3. Click Upload video (or click to record one with your Webcam).

If you haven’t started using video to promote what you know, now is a great time to start. Turn off the TV and get this going!