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Conquer Procrastination Like a Pro: 3 Game-Changing Tactics to Unlock Your True Potential
Unlocking the secrets to overcoming procrastination and achieving peak performance
Hello friend! 👋
Happy June (it is nuts that we are almost closer to the start of 2024 than we were to the beginning of 2023!)
Anyway, I hope you’ve been crushing it this year, folks!
Use the below to check in on how the month of May went for you (or the first 5 months of 2023)
Three things that worked and you’re grateful for.
One thing that needs work and could have been done (or done better)
What you will do next to get it done (or do it better).
This simple 3-step reflection process is so powerful and has been the powerhouse behind my growth.
Now onto the topic of this week.
Three ways procrastination shows up in your life and how to crush through it
Let’s dive straight in!
Think of starting, not finishing
When we are procrastinating, we are usually dreading how big the task is and the time it needs.
The mental framework we use here is “How long it will take me to finish the task”
Instead, we can think of “I only need to start and can stop whenever I want to”
This allows for more autonomy and simplifies the process.
Funny enough, at other times, we procrastinate the easy and mundane (like washing the dishes, for example)
Why is that?
Well, Jim Rohn tells us:
“The things that are easy to do, are also easy not to do.”
That’s a powerful insight and a common human behavior.
What we want to do is to cultivate the wisdom to understand this tendency and make the commitment to show up at our best.
Making the decision to do the easy and mundane.
Because how we show up moment-to-moment is how we show up our entire life.
In the 5 Second Rule, Mel Robbins tells us that your brain can talk you out of any task after 5 seconds.
If you want to crush through it, make it a habit of doing whatever needs to be done after counting down from 5.
So, need to work out but currently watching TV and not so motivated? 5,4,3,2,1, GET UP!
Want to wash the dishes but think you’re not in the mood now? 5,4,3,2,1, GET GOING!
For whatever task you feel you’re procrastinating, reframe your time horizon and think of just starting the task vs. finishing the task.
For added willpower, you can try Mel Robbin’s “54321” countdown to create urgency toward action.
Make it micro
The science of habit tells us that the secret to creating any habit is having the right balance between motivation toward the task and the ability to perform it.
It is very much similar to the concept of Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, where he tells us that we can get in an altered state of super productivity and creativity.
This state is accessed when the level of existing skills matches the level of the challenge.
If the skills are too high, and the challenge is easy, the task is boring.
if the skills are low, and the challenge is complex, the task is overwhelming.
Similarly, we want to avoid the sense of overwhelm that comes from tasks, which can find its way into creating procrastination.
In this case, what we want to do with the task is chop it down into smaller pieces, so that it isn’t too daunting.
This goes hand in hand with the mindset shift of thinking of starting vs. finishing.
When dealing with a task that you tend to procrastinate on very often, think of only starting (vs. being overwhelmed with finishing the task) and think of only a micro step. For example:
Just start writing the first paragraph of that paper.
Just start with jumping jacks for 5 minutes.
Just start clearing up the first 10 emails in my inbox.
Once momentum is built, you’ll find that you get in a state of flow and the task is much easier (and usually more rewarding as well! 💪)
Know your why
This is always going to find its way in driving any action.
Our intentions are our most profound sources of energy.
The best way to harness this energy is to connect to our deepest values.
When procrastinating something, you simply haven’t connected it to a more profound value.
Think of two WHYs that can help you connect to this:
Why #1: What is the long-term (abstract) value that makes this task worth doing for you?
Why #2: What short-term (concrete) value will you get from doing the task right now?
Connecting with your deepest values can provide you with intrinsic motivation.
Science shows that being intrinsically motivated is the best way to move towards a goal because it provides value before, during, and after achieving it.
It is also the most significant contributor to overall happiness and well-being.
In contrast to extrinsic motivation, which usually stems from external values set by social trends, norms, and expectations.
Discipline is simply the clarity on the why.
Once that is clear, discipline is an inevitable by-product that doesn’t require energy.
As wise Seneca once said:
How much better to pursue a straight course and eventually reach that destination where the things that are pleasant and the things that are honorable finally become, for you, the same.
The next time procrastination strikes and motivation dips, instead of simply going on auto-pilot and reacting to it in the habitual ways you are used to (getting distracted, sleepy, or frustrated), try to think of the value this task brings you.
Think of it from the long-term and the short-term point of view.
I hope this has been helpful. Don’t forget to bring these actions to your daily life so you can get the ROI for the time spent reading this article.
All the best and reach out for any help!
Have a Super Sunday! 💪
With much joy,
Whenever you’re ready, here are 2 more ways I can help you:
Awareness Strengthening via Mindfulness Workshop: Join me for a FREE 90-minute session in just two weeks and unlock the profound benefits of mindfulness. Reserve your spot now to embark on this transformative journey. Don't miss out on this exceptional opportunity—click to sign up today! 🌟
1:1 Coaching: Book a free 30-min Coaching Discovery Call to explore the value of getting scientifically-proven Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology frameworks that are tailored to your own journey to reach your goals. Let’s grow together! 💪