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But that's ok. We all do. It's just a matter of how often you do it and how much it's holding you back.
Man, these days in particular, with the internet and social media, it’s actually easier than ever to procrastinate.
Congratulations and welcome to the golden age of procrastination!
But by the end of this short video, you’re going to walk away with a couple of subtle mindset shifts, not quite Jedi mind tricks but still really cool, and some easy to use tools that will have you laughing in procrastinations face the next time he pops up in your life.
And you’re going to be able to use all of this stuff right away.
The strategies are all very simple - deceptively simple, but they’re deadly effective.
Always remember - just because something is simple, doesn’t mean it’s not effective. A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that for something to work it has to be complicated, but I know that’s not you, right?
I also put together a special cheat sheet / workbook for you as well, It’s called THE PROCRASTINATION PUNISHER FORMULA, and you should absolutely download that as soon as you’re done watching this video.
It’s going summarize all of these strategies I’m talking about as well as give you a couple of anti-procrastination exercises and some cool FREE resources you can use to help you too….
What you’re not going to get here today, are a whole bunch of psychological reasons WHY you may be procrastinating.
I mean if you’re like me, sometimes you just don’t care why, right? You just want something fixed.
So I say let’s get it fixed, and let’s get it fixed quickly. Because let’s face it, if you’re sitting around online, watching 30 minute videos on procrastinating, guess what?
You’re probably procrastinating 😉
Ok….here we go
The key to any strategy I’ve ever successfully used (or taught my clients) about procrastination, is based on a simple change in perception and the manipulation of time.
And the single most effective thing I’ve learned about beating procrastination came to me by complete accident.
I was in a mastermind group with 5 friends of mine- all entrepreneurs. One of them, my buddy Michael, had this out of the blue crazy idea he wanted to run the NY marathon. Now, he’d never run more than a few miles before that. So he had this idea….spoke about it here and there, but never did anything with it.
To run a marathon you have to train right? And to train, you have to do what? Actually START training. But he wasn’t. He was procrastinating, and the procrastinating was really upsetting him.
So I came up with a kind of mantra for him. JUST START. Don’t pay any attention to the months of training you have to do. You don’t have to finish. The entire goal - is to just start. You don’t have to run a 26.2 mile marathon, you just have to find a coach to train with and book your first training session. That’s the entire goal. To JUST. START.
Running a marathon is incredibly daunting. Booking a training session isn’t. See? Can you feel the difference? Writing a book seems incredibly intimidating. Mapping out the table of contents? Not so much
So this simple mindset shift was everything for him. Not only did Michael start, he finished. In under 3.5 hours. And he’s gone on to run the London Marathon since then.
Watching his massive success, “just start” kind of became our groups rallying cry. We all used it. And it worked like crazy.
- Michael’s wife Toni, went from not exercising at all, to starting an exercise routine that led her to work out 364 out of 365 days last year.
- Carmel launched not one, but two online businesses.
- Adrian became an absolute cross fit maniac and is in the best shape of his life.
- Horia the entrepreneur is on his way to becoming a social media star in his home country of Romania - he even just shot a video with the one and only Gary Vaynerchuk.
- I personally launched my first group program titled SELF: Strategies for an Extraordinary Life, where I took people through an 8 week total transformation experience.
ALL of this...from just...starting.
So...why does something this simple work so damn well?
It’s because oftentimes, the hardest part of any project is just getting it started. So your biggest barrier to getting more done is simply starting. This is great news when you think about it, isn’t it? Because identifying your actual sticking point is half the battle.
Now let’s quickly go over three of the most popular anti procrastination / productivity techniques out there, and then I’m going to show you how I sort of combined them all into a 5 step process that you can use immediately, that I call S.P.O.R.T.
#1 The 5 Minute Rule
The five minute rule is brilliant in its simplicity.
Whatever it is you are putting off, you commit yourself to doing that task for five minutes. No less, and here’s the key - no more.
You start, and you MUST stop after five minutes.
Dreading writing that blog post? You don’t have to write the whole post. Just write for five minutes. Been putting off cleaning an area of your house? You don’t have to go nuts. Just clean it for five minutes.
Oh here’s a tip- if you’re saying something to yourself like - “what can I possibly do in five minutes?” - that’s not you, it’s the procrastination Gremlin talking. Ignore him.
The five minute rule works for the same reason “just start” does. Because STARTING a task a procrastinator’s biggest obstacle. Once something is STARTED, it becomes infinitely easier to complete. The reason why, is found in the next strategy:
#2 the Zeigarnik Effect
Sounds like something you don’t want your doctor telling you that you have right? I’m sorry, I’m afraid it’s the Zeigarnik effect…
Just Start, and the Five Minute Rule, both work because of what psychologists Kurt Lewin and Bluma Zeigarnik discovered in Berlin in the 1920’s. The theory was, that incomplete tasks create a sort of mental tension inside of us, which acts almost like a splinter in our minds, that drive us to finish the task. It’s human nature to want to finish what we start.
Ever be home, and you put on a really bad movie. But for some reason you keep watching it until the end? That’s the Zeigarnik Effect at work. So the secret sauce here is lack of closure.
See, if you never start something, it remains easier and easier to never start it at all. But if you can just start, that lack of closure makes it really hard to not complete the task.
So here’s an example- let's say you have this thing you have to do. We’ll call it “that thing”. And you know you have to get that thing started. But you don't. “That thing”... lingers somewhere in the back of your mind, always there.
Nagging at you and nagging at you in the background. I know you know what I’m talking about. But “that thing” seems hard. “That thing” is involved. Maybe you don't like doing “that thing”.
I’m saying - just start, and spend 5 minutes on that damn thing. Because it's worlds easier to complete once it's started.
#3: The Pomodoro Technique
This is probably the most famous of the anti-procrastination strategies you’ll come across.
It takes the five minute rule, and stretches it out a little. It goes like this:
You set a timer for 25 minutes. And for that 25 minutes, you eliminate ALL distractions and go about the task at hand.
When the timer goes off, you MUST step away from your task for 5 minutes. Use that 5 minutes to do whatever you want. Break dance. Play your guitar. Have a beer… Ok, actually the beer part is probably a bad idea here. But you get it...
Step away from your task and do whatever.
Scroll through Instagram for some reason and make yourself jealous of other people. Whatever - That’s called one “pomodoro”.
Do 4 of those cycles. At the end of the 4th cycle. You take a 25 minute break.
The concept here is all about breaking projects up into bite size time manageable pieces. You’re completely taking your focus off of the entire task, and changing your perception of the larger task by making starting - or working in small manageable chunks - the goal.
There’s a lot of really great Pomodoro timer apps out there, and I went ahead and listed the best ones I’ve found for Macs, PC’s, iPhones, and Androids in your free workbook download.
Ok, I hope you’re getting a ton out of this. I’m not done yet though. One more for you. I went ahead and kind of combined everything we just talked about, into one, easy to use strategy that I call S.P.O.R.T.
Start. You can attack your task for 5 minutes like the five minute rule, or do a 25 minute pomodoro. Doesn’t matter. Play around and figure out what number works best for you, because that’s all that counts. But make sure the time feels easily manageable to you.
If you pick a number and feel like UGH, then it’s too long. Let your feelings be your guide here.
Procrastinate. It's party time. That’s right. Built in procrastination time. Want to check Facebook? Go for it. Want to watch more of my videos? Yes please! And thank you. But only for a SET amount of time. That’s critical. I’ve found around 10 minutes is ideal for me.
Observe. How do you feel? The Zeigarnik Effect should have you wanting to get back to your task, because you already did the hardest part- starting. But really take notice of how you’re feeling.
Reload. You’re putting your focus back on getting to your task and finally:
Try again. You do another cycle for a set amount of time.
So that’s all I have for you today I hope you got a ton out of this.
Look, I believe in setting yourself up to win. Always. In making winning as easy as possible.
It’s all about understanding the way we as humans are kind of - hardwired, and then experimenting and finding strategies that work best for us.
So get to work and play around with a few of these strategies because bottom line is they work, and I know they’ll work for you.
And remember- what goes on in your head is a game, but it’s YOUR game. So if you change the rules, it makes it easier to win the game!
Despite what you may heard, knowledge isn't power. Execution is. Taking action is where the magic is going to happen for you. So with that being said:
I’ll talk to you soon