Rule #1 - Never perform leisure activities at the same place as you are working. Reason? You get mentally conditioned to have fun in that place. This is what is known as context-dependent memory.
Rule #2 - Never sit for prolonged periods of times without getting up and walking/exercising for at least 30 minutes. The muscles in your legs work as compressors to pump blood from your legs to your heart... If they are not working, your blood circulation starts to slow. Heck, you get sleepy and your cognition suffers!
Rule #3 - Never deprive youself of food and water. Take water frequently in small doses. It does wonders to keep yourself awake, as well as keep those annoying migraines away.
Yeah, those were rules. Here are the tricks:
1. You need to have a "Beast" side. (I got inspired by John Carlton for this tip.) This Beast of you will never say "no", and it will always be aggressive and forceful.
You are going to use this Beast to SET DEADLINES. Now I don't care how comfortable I become when I set deadlines. The more uncomfortable, the better. How to set deadlines?
No, it's not just marking something on your calendar. You need to get an external referee. So what you're going to do is, let's say you want to film a video. Now you're going to Craigslist and you're going to hire a video camera man. You're going to tell him your exact date for him to arrive, and that is your deadline for completing everything else before that.
Get the idea? Heck, you can be creative with it. If money pains you, then tell someone else to hold your money and only return you when you complete the task at hand.
Don't have the courage to do it? Heck, you need to slip into your Beast mode. In your Beast mode, you aren't you. You're roleplaying a Beast having a control over you. You need this mode to discipline yourself!
2. When it gets too large as a task, do the following: BREAK, GROUP, SPECIFY. BGS, BGS, BGS. Too big? Break it down into parts, then group the things that can be done together, and then you make these individual tasks specific.
Once you're done with that, you're go Beast mode. Every single task will have a deadline!
3. Time-blocking as time-management. This is the deal-breaker. once you've gotten those tiny, specific tasks in a list, you need to choose specific time-blocks to do them.
You're going to get a grid like this:
i personally use Google Calendar for this. You're going to set BLOCKS for the whole week. For example, I could set "write xxx email to xxx supplier" from Monday's 1.00 to 1.30 pm.
Here are things you need to do in time-blocking:
(a) Group all the small tasks together
(b) Set at least 1-2 hours of free/leisure time everyday
(c) Have a definite time of waking up/sleeping
One reason why I like blocks is that if something crops up unexpectedly, I can go over to Google calendar and pull that timeslot's activity to another day.
4. This one is a little controversial, please research on your own. I use nootropics - these are "drugs" that are used to enhance your cognition. For example, I use Modafinil and it gets me into an extremely focused state where there is nearly a zero will for procrastination.
Disclaimer: This does not mean that I'm endorsing it. Seek your physician advice and research by yourself before doing anything like it. Also, it is helpful to understand how it feels to be in the "zone", but do not rely too much on nootropics because like all drugs, you develop tolerance.
5. Hang ONE poster right in front of your work desk. This poster must be something that you want. It must be something that you really desire. If it's your family, hang a family photo. If it's a car or a house, hang it right there. Something that gives you a reason to move on. People are more powerful when they have something they want to protect or earn.
Listen, I'm NOT talking about affirmations. What I'm talking about is a REMINDER. Whenever you look at this poster, think to yourself... "Why am I doing what I'm doing? Well, it's for THIS!"
You can do a little action to anchor that motivation feeling. I personally grip my left hand into a fist, because research has shown that gripping your left fist tightly can produce motivation.
6. Do "Adventure Working". Now what i mean by this is... try not to work in the same spot! Go to Cafes... Go to a silent park... Go to a library... Go to somewhere where you are unfamiliar with.
Why? Well, because going around decreases the chance of depression. Depression is literally a drain for any kind of motivation. "Adventure" excites you - it fuels motivation! On top of that, you're not conditioning yourself to be lazy or procrastinate.
7. Get an accountability partner. Get someone to go and work with you. Do not waste time by engaging in small talk though. What you want is mutual motivation.
Hope this post helped!
I do have more tips, but I'm sure these will do good.