3 proven techniques to stop procrastinating -

It’s always the same. You find yourself at the end of the day having again postponed that super important work that you wanted to do today. Rather than doing it, you procrastinated on Facebook. And you contented yourself with small unimportant tasks to ease your conscience…

In the end, your project does not progress and you feel guilty for procrastinating each time. Deep down, you would like to do the right thing, but you feel blocked!

Every time, your brain finds good excuses to justify procrastinating. “You will have more time tomorrow, more energy, more motivation… but today is not the right time! »

Maybe you’re even starting to think that procrastination is in your genes:

Do you have procrastination in your blood?

But no. You don’t have procrastination in your blood. You have a habit of procrastination. (and like any habit, you can kick it.)

Why didn’t what you’ve already tried work? Because you rely solely on your will and your motivation (which are fallible):

  • The motivation depends on the days. One day you are over-motivated… the next, you no longer feel capable of anything and just want to scroll on Facebook slumped on your couch. In short, you are human.
  • And the will is a bit like muscle. When you start the day, you can force yourself to work on difficult tasks and resist distractions. Because your will is rested. But the further the day goes, the more your muscle gets tired, the harder it is to resist distractions.

To stop procrastinating, a better way is to use systems. In the following lines, I share with you 3 habits to adopt to take action more easily. (rather than fighting procrastination by feeling)

Proven techniques to stop procrastinating

Decide on your tasks in advance

One of the reasons you procrastinate is because you don’t have a system for deciding your tasks. You have many things to do. And the more options you have when you start working, the harder it is to make a decision, the more likely you are to procrastinate. (This is the phenomenon of decision paralysis.)

If you find yourself faced with a to-do list of 15 tasks, you will quickly feel completely overwhelmed and end up doing nothing at all.

A good way to avoid this problem is to decide on your tasks in advance. At that point, you will have no more decisions to make when it comes time to start. You can attack without questioning yourself.

The Ivy Lee Method

The simplest system for this is the Ivy Lee method:

  1. At the end of the day, write down the 6 things (max) you want to have done the next evening.
  2. Then rank these tasks in order of importance.
  3. The next morning, go back to your list and start with the first task.
  4. Then continue the day by performing all your tasks in order.
  5. At the end of the day, repeat the process for the next day.

Deciding on your tasks in advance is a guarantee that you can attack your day and be more productive without having those moments of “get to work but, hmm, what can I start with today?” “. (because these are the times when you are most likely to procrastinate.)

But you still have to do the right tasks:

Turn your goals into processes

The problem with our goals is that they are sometimes too vague. If your objective is to make X€ in turnover, or to launch a training course… these are good objectives, but what do you have to do right now? The more vague your goals or tasks, the harder it is to know what to do. (and the easier it is to procrastinate.)

A good solution is to break down your objectives until you know the precise actions to be taken to achieve them.

We can separate our objectives into 3 categories: results, performance and process objectives.

  • The results objectives, centered on a gross result to be achieved (make X€ of turnover).
  • Performance objectives, centered on a task or a project to be completed (publish X articles or launch a training course).
  • And process goals, focused on day-to-day execution, regardless of production (write X hours per day).

Break down your objectives until you extract the concrete actions (performance objectives and then process objectives) that you must do every day to achieve it.

For example, if your goal is to gain 1,000 subscribers (the result goal), you can break this goal down into “publish 10 articles” (the performance goal), which you can break down into “write 2 hours a day” (the process objective).

In addition to making you see things more clearly, breaking down your goals has another advantage:

Minimize your commitment

A final big reason you procrastinate is because the cost of taking action now is too high. Because your tasks seem too daunting.

A good way to take action more easily is to reduce the commitment you make to make the start easier.. (because the hardest part is just getting started.)

Breaking down your complex goals into concrete actions is a good way to reduce the commitment you make. If you can start with the task of “finding the topic of the next article and brainstorming the big ideas,” you’re more likely to get on with it than if you just had to “write an article.”

The 15 minute rule

One rule that can be used to make getting started easier is the 15 minute rule. If you’re about to procrastinate, force yourself to work only 15 minutes on any aspect of your task before you stop.

A big task like writing an article is difficult and it would intimidate us all. On the other hand, working for 15 minutes is within everyone’s reach. It’s less engaging and it makes getting started easier.

The idea at the end of the day is to make the task you’re signing up for less daunting, whether that’s by breaking it down or by only committing to 15 minutes. Once you have successfully started, you have a good chance of continuing to work. (because the hardest thing is to take action.)

to summarize

To overcome procrastination, seek to lower the cost of taking action by making your tasks clearer, easier, and less engaging:

  1. Decide on your tasks in advance.
  2. Break down your big goals into concrete actions.
  3. Decrease the commitment you make by committing to smaller tasks or only committing to 15 minutes when you’re about to procrastinate.

Finally, if you want to stop procrastinating for good, click here to discover a technique to have a 91% chance of overcoming procrastination (according to English researchers).