Conquer Procrastination

I can be the queen of procrastination.

Sometimes I need to take a day off and regroup, but other times?

Yeah … spending a day binge-watching the latest craze (Squid Games, anyone?) is sometimes a thing.

So, how do you get off your ass and get shit done?

(1) Eat your frogs first

“If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”

Mark Twain

That’s it. Take the task you want to do the least and do it first. Get that shit off your plate and done.

(2) Have an accountability partner

Find someone you can work with on accountability, or use your social media to announce what your goals are.

Share your key goals for the day. (I do this in the morning.)

At the end of the day, share your progress. Include wins and things you would do differently.

Nothing worse than having to tell your personal trainer that you didn’t do shit today because you “just didn’t feel like it” …

(3) Carrot + stick

Know which works best for you, reward or consequence. You may even need both!

Set a SMART goal with a clear deadline.

Then set a reward … a new writing book? An extra coaching session?

Or set a consequence … something that will make you wince a bit. Triple your usual donation or volunteer hours at your favourite charity?

(4) Limit key tasks per day

Identify the 3-5 most important tasks for the day.

(Not the most urgent … read Get Sh*t Done for more on this.)

Then work on knocking those tasks out, one by one.

(5) Spend 3 minutes doing the thing

That’s it … just get started.

Do 3 minutes of the thing you don’t want to do.

Then do another 3.

Generally, you’re going to keep going once you’ve gotten your ass in gear.

(6) Add music

Use music (or a podcast) as a motivator.

Create a playlist for when you need motivation.

Or, use a preset playlist from Spotify or Focus@Will.

Or, listen to a favourite podcast.

The key is to listen to this only when you have to eat your frogs.

(7) Break the task into small chunks

“There is only one way to eat an elephant: a bite at a time.”

Desmond Tutu

Writing a book or training for a marathon seem like monumental tasks.

But every giant task is composed of smaller tasks.

Break your task into chunks—outlining your book, running 1 km.

Then complete those chunks, one at a time.

Procrastination is natural. We all do it from time to time. Recognizing it when it hits and doing something about it is the way to a win.