Let’s talk procrastination! This is the number one problem my clients and the general public have, so here are 4 tips to help you stop procrastinating.
Find the pleasure. If you are procrastinating on something it means that whatever that is, it’s giving you some sort of pain. That can range anywhere from something that scares the bejesus out of you, to something that just sucks and it makes you slouch and complain and put your stink face on. Whatever level you’re at, it’s some sort of pain. So you have to change it around and make it pleasurable. And the way to do that is by making a list of the benefits you will get by accomplishing that task. We will do far more to avoid pain than we will to gain pleasure. Which is why you go on facebook, or binge watch Netflix or whatever your poison is, when there is something you know you should be doing instead. That’s more pleasurable, am I right?! Write down everything you will get, everything you will gain and how you will feel by getting that thing done and switch it to a pleasure instead of a pain in the butt.
Chunk it down. I talk about this a lot and there’s a reason for it. Too many times we take a task and it seems so big that we can’t seem to get past exactly that, that it’s so big. So we stay paralyzed in the big, not knowing where to even start so…we don’t. We then start procrastinating! So take the task and chunk it down into small actionable steps. And when you think you’re done, chunk it down again. Your brain reacts a lot better to small tasks, and this will help you get started and keep going until the end.
Model it. If you are stuck on something because you don’t know where to start or even if you know where to start but you just don’t start, find someone to model. Find someone who has done that thing or is really good at doing that thing on a consistent basis and study them. Ask them questions if you can. If not research it/them as much as you can. Figure out exactly what they do, step by step, and then do that.
Use the 2-minute rule. In David Allen’s book “Getting Things Done”, one of his rule of thumb’s is if it takes you under two minutes to do, do it now. So that’s the first part. Go through your todo list and whatever is on there that takes under two minutes to do, do it right then. And then for your bigger goals that can’t get done in under two minutes, give them two minutes of your time. Make a phone call, write out a plan, chunk it down, research how other people have done it, take that first action step for two minutes. Getting started is more than half the battle. Once you start something it’s a lot easier to keep going.