👋🏼 Hello friend
After realizing how many posts I have already written on the subject of procrastination, I wonder if I have procrastinated when I was writing them.
🎊 I will introduce a few methods you probably haven't heard of yet to cross out
procrastination for good
You may be thinking: What is this guy telling me about how to stop procrastinating? He sends his Sunday newsletter on Tuesdays.
Well, you are right ... and touché. 💁🏼♀️
I spent hours ... no days researching how to beat procrastination, digging up the best articles, reading books, and trying out all kinds of methods.
In today's newsletter, I would like to give some practical tips which have helped me.
Simply said, one of two brain parts determines how we react when facing a difficult or unpleasant task.
- The Limbic system (one of the oldest and most dominant parts of the brain involved in emotional responses)
- The Prefrontal Cortex (newly evolved part that differentiates humans from animals; involved in decision-making)
The almost automatic processes of the limbic system wins most of the time, leading to delaying the task for later. This leads to the classic effects of procrastination, feeling good in the moment but worse later.
🧱 Principles you can't hear often enough:
Aim for slow, steady progress. Storylines are rewritten one page at a time. The key is to improve, not to be perfect.
It isn't about developing better time management skills or finding motivation to overcome procrastination.
The point is to change the story you tell yourself by taking small action steps towards your bigger goals. Action leads to results, and results will change your beliefs - your storyline.
🎯 Concrete Action-Steps
Ask yourself why you are resisting working on this particular task.
I always have my little notebook with me. I call it my Action Book.
Whenever I start procrastinating, I write my thoughts and don't stop till I have one page written. This provides clarity.
Uncertainty hinders progress. When we're uncertain about our approach, the desired outcome, or the true purpose of a task, our progress becomes challenging.
Use James Clear's 2-minute rule
One of my favorite ways to make habits easier is to use The 2-Minute Rule, which states, “When you start a new habit, it should take less than two minutes to do.” The idea is to make it as easy as possible to get started and then trust that momentum will carry you further into the task after you begin. Once you start doing something, it’s easier to continue doing it.
The task shouldn't be to build a house but to have actionable, boring subtasks. Lay one brick each day.
Procrastinators love to plan vaguely and unrealistically: "play the guitar, learn how to code, write a book, start a blog."
The only difference between a professional writer and a wannabe writer is that the professional writer writes a few pages each day. The wannabe writer writes zero. Otherwise, their day is identical. After a year, the professional writer has the first draft of a book. The wannabe writer has nothing.
To un-icky the item, you need to read, research, and ask questions to find out exactly how one learns how to code, the specific means necessary for each step along the way, and how long each one should take. Un-ickying a list item turns it from this... - How to Beat Procrastination, waitbutwhy
Meditation helps you notice urges to procrastinate.
By practicing mindfulness, you will catch a feeling or thought arising. Next time you have the urge to open another browser tab, try to pause for 5 seconds. Like everything, the urge will pass.
"Practicing self-compassion—which involves being kind (instead of judgmental) to yourself, realizing that everyone procrastinates, and avoiding identifying strongly with a negative self-image—can help you decrease your distress and increase your motivation to get the task done." - https://self-compassion.org/,
🎁 To sum up this week's newsletter
- seek improvement instead of perfection
- focus on the next step by thinking of A-B, not A-Z
- change your storyline by taking small actions, creating momentum
- journal on the task you are procrastinating on
- practice meditation and self-compassion
Have a great rest of the week! 🍂