Procrastination – a deadly foe.
More dreams have died by the hands of this villain than any other.
Wading into your mind with the promise of comfort and future action, it sets up camp and etches it’s way into your life forever.
“I’ll do it, I’m just going to wait until tomorrow.”
One day turns into a week…
Don’t let this happen to you.
We need you.
If we’re going to make a positive impact on this planet – if we’re going to start turning things around – we need your talents, your skills, your gifts.
Together, we can beat mediocrity and change the world.
How to Beat Procrastination
There are two ways to use this list:
1) Pick 2 strategies that stand out to you and apply them immediately.
This way is OK, it might get you over whatever hurdle you’re facing today, but if you want lasting change…
2) Work your way down the list one discipline a day. In two weeks time you’ll have built an arsenal of skills to combat this killer.
Two weeks of taking action – not just taking action, but learning new ways to do it – will leave a powerful impact on your psyche. This is definitely the better of the two options.
Here’s what you do:
1) Bookmark this page
2) Read through the list
3) Apply the first strataegy immediately
4) Start each day by reviewing a method, putting it into play that day
1) Do it NOW
You know what you need to do, so why don’t you do it?
For the next 10 days, when something comes to mind – do it!
I should get gas… DO IT!
I should wash the dishes… DO IT!
I should discover what my passions are… DO IT!
Just 10 days!
If you don’t like what you see, go back to doing nothing!
2) Stay Motivated
“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”-Zig Ziglar
We’re heavily influenced by our environment.
It’s been said that we are an accumulation of the four people we hang out with most.
I’ll take it further to say that we are an accumulation of the four things we do most.
What we listen to. What we read. What we watch.
Have you ever taken the time to observe this?
With that in mind, who are you hanging out with? What are you listening to? What are you reading?
Does it inspire you?
Does it motivate you?
Does it encourage you to grow and be all that you can be?
If not, it’s got to go.
If you want to beat procrastination – you’ve got to set yourself up for success.
Clean out the cupboards of your mind.
Don’t click it and you won’t read it.
Take control of what comes in and you’ll have a control of what comes out.
Do it for a week, see what happens.
3) Stay Motivated Part 2
Read books that inspire you. Watch videos that motivate you. Listen to music that moves you to create.
To do this, make lists of each.
Here’s a walkthrough on how to use Evernote to make lists.
Create a list of 5 each right now.
Really, do it.
Add to these lists as things come up. Take stuff off if it isn’t interesting to you any more. Put a checkmark to stuff you’ve checked out.
Listen, watch, or read something positive right when you wake up for the next 10 days and see how your life starts to change.
4) Reward Yourself
Like all animals, we humans seek pleasure and avoid pain.
Think about it. It’s difficult to sit down and work because there’s a touch of discomfort involved. We have to put in effort.
That discomfort – that pain – is what keeps us from doing the work.
On the other hand, Facebook gives you instant gratification – it gives you pleasure. So does shopping, drugs, porn, complaining, high-fructose corn-syrup and deep fried chicken.
This is good. We can use this.
Instead of letting these dopamine triggers distract us, we can use them to motivate us. We can reward ourselves for a job well done.
Now ideally we want our rewards to be healthy. Rewarding ourselves with things we know we shouldn’t be messing with puts it on a pedestal.
So if you’re working to lose weight, don’t reward yourself with a cupcake.
Some healthy rewards I like are fruity protein shakes and opening packages or using new things I’ve bought.
Right now a package is sitting on my coffee table, waiting for this article to be published.
I also keep a list of stuff I want on my whiteboard.
Books… whenever I see a book I like I add it to my amazon cart. Doesn’t mean I’m going to buy it, but at least I’ve taken note of it.
The options are endless.
Okay, so here’s another do it now…
1) Create a list of 15 things you can reward yourself with.
2) Allow yourself these things immediately after you’ve taken action. Note, I didn’t say after you’re productive, I said after you’ve taken action. Reward yourself for sitting down to work, no matter the outcome. But do work when you sit down.
3) In the beginning, reward yourself every time you take action. As time goes on, work to dial the rewards back to every other time, every third time, and so on.
4) Reward yourself every time you put one of these tips to use.
5) Read The War of Art
If you’re serious about overcoming procrastination, this is the book for you.
The War of Art was written by Steven Pressfield, a usually-fiction-writer who knows our struggle.
For years he avoided his work, traveling from one side of the country and back again before he’d finally had enough.
With as much dread as one could imagine, he pulled out his typewriter and reluctantly worked the keys, “torturing out some trash that [he] chucked immediately into the shitcan.”
This was a turning point for him.
For years he waged war against the invisible force that holds us back. That repelling energy that tells us to start tomorrow, that we’re not good enough, that it’d be better for us to just fall in line.
He’s dubbed this force Resistance.
In the War of Art Pressfield examines the different characteristics of Resistance, proving to the reader that it can be defeated, teaching him how.
In all honesty, if It wasn’t for the War of Art I might not be writing this article. This site might not exist.
Again, if you’re serious about overcoming procrastination, this book is for you.
6) Discover your Passions
Knowing what you’re passionate about makes doing the work a whole lot easier.
Doing things you don’t like to do is boring.
Doing things you do like to do is fun.
If you can see how doing task A will put you in a position to do more of what you’re passionate about it becomes much easier to do.
What are your passions?
7) Set Exciting Goals
It’s one of the best ways to overcome procrastination.
Most of us only set one or two goals at a time.
We write them down.
We read them to ourselves for a day or two.
Then we lose our notecard and forget we set them.
Don’t be that person!
Instead, watch this awesome goal setting workshop by Jim Rohn and set so many goals you’re entire perspective on where you’re heading shifts.
It takes about an hour. Set aside the time, it’s one of those life changing things you don’t want to miss out on. I promise.
8) Just 15 Minutes!
Sometimes our workload can seem too daunting.
Instead of focusing on everything at once, I’ve learned to just focus on small portions at a time. This is especially helpful when you’re beginning a new discipline or trying to get in the habit of working consistently.
Here’s what you do:
1) Choose a consistent time to work every day.
For me, it’s right when I get up.
2) Set the timer on your watch or phone for 15 minutes.
3) Work until it beeps.
4) Reward yourself
This helps because you know when you get to take a break and you know whether or not you’ve put in the work.
After 15 minutes you may find that you’re well into what you’re doing and decide to go for another 15.
And you may not. No big deal, but at least get your 15.
9) Create a Powerful Why
Knowing what you want is cool (goal setting). Knowing why you want it is even better.
If you haven’t done this already, write a few paragraphs about why you want to accomplish whatever it is you’re working towards.
How will it change your life financially?
How will it change the life of your friends and family in these ways?
Write it down.
Reference this list when procrastination comes creeping in.
Do it now.
10) Make Lists
Lists make getting things done easier. They’re an irreplaceable ally when it comes to beating procrastination.
They help you organize and prioritize your tasks.
Trying to remember everything will not work.
The best part about making lists is crossing off what you’ve got done. There’s nothing more satisfying than running a blade of lead through a task labeled ‘homework’.
Make a list of the 5 things you have to get done today. Big or small, doesn’t matter. Just write it down.
Do it now.
11) Get an Acountabilibuddy
Accountabilibuddies are great for making sure you get your shit done.
Schedule daily check-ins with a friend that will hold you accountable for getting done what you say you’ll get done.
If you don’t know of anyone, create a post requesting some help on the Transcendence Effect group page (coming soon).
12) Create Leverage
Take your relationship with your accountabilibuddy to the next level!
Not like that.
What I mean is, create leverage by agreeing on a punishment for not doing what you’ve planned.
A common one is donating money to a charity of your choosing. Or better yet, a charity you aren’t cool with.
Imagine having to donate $20 to NAMBLA because you ‘didn’t feel like’ doing what you had planned.
That enough to get your ass in the chair?
Set clear guidelines with your buddy and make sure you hold each other accountable.
13) Plan Your week
A very common reason for procrastination is lack of planning. Having no clue what you need to do or when you’re going to do it makes it difficult to take action.
Learn how to plan your week with this article by Live Your Legend.
I’ve used this very method for the last 4 years.
14) Create a Morning Routine
A lot of times we don’t get things done because ‘something comes up’ during the day.
Sorry, but I’m ruining that excuse for you… You’re welcome!
In order to avoid the ‘something came up’ line, start doing your most important tasks first thing in the morning.
Brett McKay from The Art of Manliness will explain more in this video.
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