- Too lazy
- Fear of failure or “not doing it right”
- No deadline
- It pushes you out of your comfort zone
- No instant gratification
Once you’ve figured out why you’re procrastinating, you need to shift your mentality from “I have to” to “I want to.” But first of all, do you really, really want it? I find that almost every time I procrastinate, it’s because I feel like I have to do something, but deep inside me that’s not something I really want.
If after going through this step you realize that you don’t want it, just let go. If you really want it, move on to step 2.
Step 2. Make a Public Commitment
Tell a few people what you’re about to do. Tell them that you tend to procrastinate and ask them to hold you accountable. Sometimes you can even get a friend or a family member involved in the project to keep you on track.
Step 3. Break It Down into Smaller Pieces
“Painting the house” is too big of a task to tackle. But how about painting a wall for five minutes? Anybody can do that. When you’re done, try to commit for another five minutes.
Start with the easiest task first. Gaining momentum is always the hardest part, so just focus on get something going.
Trick yourself if you have to.
A Very Important Tip
Don’t think about the way things should be. Things like “I should’ve started sooner” or “this is not the way this should be done” will only delay you even more.
I’m learning how to play the guitar. I suck. It doesn’t sound the way it should and I should’ve started when I was younger. But the fact is that I didn’t start when I was younger and I sound the way I sound. Comparing what things are with what they should be is a waste of time. Instead, I compare the way I play now with the way I’ll be playing after practicing for half an hour. I will improve. Not as much as I’d like, but that’s not the point. I’ll be better and that’s the only thing that matters.
Have you noticed how sometimes you have great days in which everything seems to work out for you? Whatever you do those days, you’ll do it right. This is because of momentum. Everything is easier when you gain momentum. Rolling a rock on a flat surface becomes easier and easier every time. It feels good to hear this, doesn’t it? Work hard today; tomorrow will be a little easier.
Why don’t you write down some of your life goals and then choose a 5-minute task that will move you a little closer to your goals? Then do it. That’s it. That’s your assignment for today. When you’re done, if you feel like it, choose your next 5-minute task and get it done. Life is too short to waste it waiting!