Don’t procrastinate on beating procrastination

Has it happened to you that you were postponing something over and over again? Something which could have been long done, but still ends up on the new “to do list” with a new date to it…

Have you ever told yourself that you will do it, just maybe a bit later, ‘cos now is not the right moment?

Have you ever stepped back instead of making that confident and long-planned step forward?

Then probably procrastination is nothing new to you.

The bad thing is: procrastination steals your time and eventually kills your drive on the way to your goals.

The good thing is: you can beat it fairly efficiently. Unless you procrastinate on doing that…

So let’s review some simple life hacks which can get you out of your deep procrastinator’s hole and onto the road to success in whatever you set your mind for.

In psychology there is such thing as present bias. In the nutshell, it is about us being programmed to procrastinate. That’s right. This “bug” is in our system. Once we need to actually make a step forward right here and now – in our present – our mind immediately sees trouble. The present bias makes us vividly realize that this trouble is very real, very tangible and logically – we want to avoid it.

But here are the techniques that you can apply once you got yourself into a procrastinator’s mode:

  1. First, visualize the end result. Imagine how great it will be to have it finally done, to get it off your plate. Imagine yourself there, try to get your inspiration and energy in the future happening.
  2. If public commitment is your thing – do that: post it on your Facebook wall, or pick any other public commitment way. If not, at least tell your friend (-s) about what you are going to do. Outside pressure or fear of “losing face” might act as a push you needed.
  3. Now, what is extremely important – define your first three steps. First step can be very small, even tiny. Pick something that you can definitely do in the next…euhm…couple of hours. The second step can be a bit bigger yet should happen in the next 24 hours; with the third step “postponed” for a maximum of 48 hours. There you go – in two days you have made three steps forward. It might not be anywhere closer to the end result, but at least you are out of the hole. And once you’re going, just keep the pace. As an add-on: get yourself a “candy” for making those first three steps. You deserved it.
  4. And if all of the above doesn’t work – then think about the following. We tend to analyze all the pros and cons of doing something, but what about the other side of the coin? Think about all the pros and cons of not doing the thing that you are procrastinating over. The downside of inaction if you will. It might change your perspective and get you the required kick.

There are more techniques out there on how to deal with procrastination, but these four seemed the most efficient to me. Did I miss any of your favorites? If so, please share them in the comment section below.

Have a great (and procrastination-free) start of the week!

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