Seven ways to beat procrastination

Seven ways to beat procrastination
Photo by Ruben Ramirez / Unsplash

I bet you're procrastinating right now.

It sucks.

Here's 7 ways to beat it so that you don't miss out on life and business opportunities that matter to you:

1\ Quit after 5 minutes

Getting started is the hardest part.

We imagine how much of a pain in the butt our task is, which stops us dead in our tracks.

Conquer that inertia by working for just 5 minutes and then let yourself quit.

Yup, give yourself permission to stop after 300 seconds.

But often you'll end up working for way more than that.

It's just that getting started is the hardest part.

So lower the bar instead.

It won't make your task any less of a slog, but it solves the hardest part: starting.

2\ Small chunk tasks

Break up projects into their separate moving parts.

Still stuck?

Break up those parts into even smaller parts

Repeat until they're small enough for you to wrap your mind around.

What's the easiest way to eat an elephant?

Small bites.

Cliche, but true.

3\ Set clear goals

Defined goals help you with:

  • Focus
  • Planning
  • Motivation
  • Momentum
  • Consistency
  • Accountability

Lack of clarity injects uncertainty.

And uncertainty kills action.

Avoid that by setting quantified goals.

For example:

"Raise website visits by 35% in the next four months."

4\ Clear your visual space

Remove distractions from your screen and physical environment.

Close unused apps on your taskbar and remove the piles of paper on your desk.

Put your phone in another room.

And for God's sake don't have dozens of browser tabs open.

5\ Choose silence

Music can be a motivation or distraction

If you do play it choose titles with:

  • No lyrics
  • Lyrics in a language you don't understand

On especially cognitively demanding tasks: stick to songs you know well so your brain doesn't have to process new rhythms

6\ Track your time

I use to know:

  • How long I work
  • What I'm working on

I pair it with to know:

  • When I work
  • When I play
  • The % breakdown of my work categories
  • The % breakdown of my play categories

7\ Live with imperfection

Perfectionism immobilizes our mind.

Be ok with imperfection in your work.

Unless you're working in industries (law, fintech, etc) that demand perfection (or near perfection), be comfortable with prioritizing consistent delivery over perfection.

8\ Summary

Seven ways to conquer procrastination:

1) Quit after 5 minutes

2) Small chunk tasks

3) Set clear goals

4) Clear your visual space

5) Choose silence

6) Track your time

7) Live with imperfection