Every time I write something about procrastination, I can always expect humorous responses like this:
It's funny...but it's also true.
I get lots of emails each week from people who struggle with procrastination. And I can relate to EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. Because I was a master procrastinator...I took procrastination to new levels.
I sometimes even procrastinated on my procrastinating.
Dealing with procrastination is a daily struggle, and it can affect so many different facets of your life.
Maybe you struggle with getting started on a project...so you put it off.
Or you might procrastinate on exercising...it can start tomorrow, right? So you put it off.
Perhaps you simply procrastinate on taking action on that big (scary) dream of yours...so you put it off.
If so, I want to help you win just ONE battle against procrastination today, and I'll make it as easy as possible for you. Here's what I want you to do:
a) Read the five quick procrastination "hacks" below. Read them right now (it will take about 2.5 minutes). Don't put it off to later.
b) Think of one thing you've been putting off. Something simple.
c) Pick one of these hacks...it doesn't matter which one, just pick the one that resonates the most with you.
d) Try it.
e) Accomplish your simple task. GREAT JOB!
f) Do it again tomorrow....
Ready? Let's go!
1. The "(10+2)*5" Hack
This one comes from 43 Folders and it's like a shortened version of my beloved Pomodoro Technique.
a) Pick your task.
b) Grab a timer and set it for 10 minutes. You can only work on this task.
c) Then give yourself a two-minute break.
d) Repeat the second and third steps five times.
2. The "Super-Tiny Tasks" Hack
This technique is great for any big and intimidating tasks. Simply take the big task/action/whatever and break it down into easy, super-tiny tasks. Here's an example:
Let's say the BIG task is going to the gym and working out.
The super-tiny tasks would be:
a) Put on your sneakers.
b) Get into your car.
c) Drive car to the gym.
e) Workout for 15 minutes.
3. The "Airplane" Hack
This one is my favorite.
If you're someone who spends lots of time responding to emails, text messages, social-media updates, calls...this one is for you.
a) Pretend you're on an airplane (one without Wi-Fi).
b) Put your phone in airplane mode. Pause your email.
c) Get stuff done.
4. The "Scheduled Stress Time" Hack
This one sounds really weird at first, but it's oddly effective...especially if you're someone who is very anxious and constantly stressed out.
When you're stressed, you're typically going to be less effective, and of course...less productive.
With this hack, you're accepting that stress is a part of life, BUT it doesn't have to be all of your life.
So what you do is simply schedule a short block of time, like 20 minutes, when you give yourself permission to give into all of your stress.
I find that it's even more helpful to write down all of the crazy thoughts that come up...it really helps to purge them.
5. The "Schedule It Last Minute" Hack
This one comes from Leo Babauta and will help make your procrastination an asset (in small doses).
Do you have an absolute deadline for a task that will take one hour?
If so, simply schedule it so you don't actually start on it until about an hour before that deadline (even though he recommends giving yourself a 30-minute cushion to be safe).
The thinking behind this is that if you have absolutely no padded time in your schedule...you will have no choice but to get a move on.
Think about how productive you are the day before you go on vacation....
Now it's your turn...ready?