One of the keys to getting passed procrastination is discipline. See “How to develop discipline” here.
The phrase, “procrastination is the thief of time” couldn’t be more true. Procrastination can be experienced when putting off starting something as well as not finishing the things that you need to finish. Procrastination is the act or habit of procrastinating, or putting off or delaying, especially something which requires your immediate attention.
So how do I overcome procrastination?
Key #1 Do not negotiate with your mind
The best sales person on the planet is YOU talking yourself out of why you don’t want to do something like get out of bed in the morning when your alarm clock has sounded and you know you need to get up, but you negotiate with yourself why you’ll lay in for just a little longer.
You cannot, absolutely not, negotiate with your mind. If you’re not a disciplined person the main reason why is because you have let your mind win most of your life. Now it’s time to not negotiate. How often have you been sitting on the couch doing nothing knowing that you need to get up and go do something but you’re really good at telling yourself why you can do it another time, later on today or tomorrow.
If you’re inactive at the point of thinking it will cause more inaction. If you’re sitting on the couch scrolling through social media, its really hard to get off the couch and do that thing that you need to get done. This leads us to the next key.
Key #2 Action creates more action
So what’s the key to getting off the couch when its comfortable or getting out of your bed when its cold outside or doing something that you need to do, the key is immediate action. Give yourself a countdown – like from three to one. When you hit one, you just force yourself to get up and moving.
Force yourself – don’t negotiate with your mind. Do jumping jacks or squats and see how much your state changes. Create action in your body and then you’ll feel like taking more action. The hardest way to take action is to start from nothing.
Inaction creates more inaction.
Motion and action creates more motion and action.
So it’s not about going from the couch to getting the thing done that you want done, its about getting from the couch to some form of movement, to get your heartrate going to get your body moving in the right direction so that now you can do that thing that you need to do. And this brings us to the last key.
Key #3 Finish what you start
I’m really good at starting, but I’m terrible at finishing something. That’s a normal human trait. Everybody is that way. You are not lazy, you are normal.
How do you brainwash yourself into finishing the things that need to be done?
So the first thing to do when you wake up is finish your sleeping. No, not dismissing the alarm, turning over and carrying on sleeping! Finishing your sleeping is making the bed. Most of my life I didn’t see the value in making the bed when I got up after sleeping.
Now that I know to recognize resistance I fight resistance by taking action and doing the very thing resistance doesn’t want me to do.
Make the bed immediately when you climb out of bed. Finish your meal by washing the dish and packing it away. Finish every single aspect of what you do. When you do this, you are training your mind to finish every single thing that you do.
It won’t change anything in the next week or so but in six months you’ll develop discipline to do the little tiny things. If you develop the discipline to do the dishes, pack away your clothes, to finish everything you started, you’re going to have the discipline to do the bigger things in life. If you’re not finishing on the little things, you’ll no doubt not be finishing the big things. If you finish on the little things you’ll easily be able to finish the big things.
You need to train yourself to be disciplined (link here). Discipline is a skill that you develop – you aren’t born with discipline.
So to recap, to overcome procrastination implement the three keys:
#1 Do not negotiate with your mind.
#2 Action creates more action. Three, two, one, GO. Get moving.
#3 Finish what you start.