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4 Quick and Dirty Ways to Beat Procrastination

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4 Quick and Dirty Ways to Beat Procrastination


We all hate it – yet we all do it.

There is a deep psychology behind what goes on in our heads when we procrastinate. And while it’s interesting, it doesn’t really help us *right now* when we just want to get something done.

So let’s skip over that and go straight to some solutions – here are 4 quick and dirty ways to beat procrastination that you can use right now.

1. Take a Break

Green Tea Break

Take a quick step away from your desk and the task at hand and do a quick reset. Breathe, get some water, get up and walk around for a bit. Then go back to your desk, sit down, and do what it is you were procrastinating one.

This seems deceptively simple, but trust me, it works.

2. Creative Procrastination

Creative Procrastination

When you get a mosquito bite, you don’t want to scratch it. A common strategy is to scratch all around the bite to alleviate the itch, but not actually scratch the itch itself.

If we carry this analogy over to procrastination, we get what is known as Creative Procrastination or Strategic Procrastination. This is where you do tasks either around or related to the task that you’re procrastinating on.

Don’t want to finish a certain report? Go pull up your backlog list and have a go at that instead. Don’t want to make a difficult phone call? Go make 5 easy phone calls instead.

The brilliant thing about this technique is that you’re doing things that you would eventually have to do anyway… while getting to procrastinate on the thing you don’t really want to do.

3. Add a Reward

Reward Yourself

This is simple – pick a reward for yourself for when you’re done with the task.

It could be:

  • Watching an episode of your favorite TV show.
  • Taking the rest of the day off.
  • A nice meal somewhere.
  • Or even just a break.

Whatever it is, go ahead, pick, it, visualize it, look forward to it… then go ahead and do the task. And enjoy the reward.

4. Watch an Inspirational YouTube Video

Motivational YouTube

Sometimes, we just need a little bit of inspiration to get us to take action.

YouTube and Reddit are great for this.

Check out:

Going Deeper and Getting Better

I mentioned earlier that there is a deep-rooted psychology behind why we procrastinate and that there is a way to overcome it at a deeper level. Part of it has to do with how society is set up and what our education systems teach us. Part of it is behavioral habituation. Part of it is simply messed up mindsets and confusion.

And the great thing is, it can all be cleared up and resolved.

But in the mean time, use the quick and dirty techniques I’ve outlined above – they’re super-effective, and more importantly, they work. If you want to learn more about the psychology of procrastination (or if you just want more techniques), sign up for our VIP email updates for when we release the Productivity Blueprint:

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Posted by Shaun Hoobler  | January 26, 2014 at 12:26AM | Reply

Taking a break is what I do. A couple hours or a whole day off. So when I get back, I’m ready to work again.

Posted by Kosio Angelov  | January 13, 2014 at 3:32PM | Reply

Great ways to beat procrastination!

I would also add brainstorming as means to get yourself motivated to take action.

Think of one possible benefit if you accomplishing what you are putting off. Now think of a second one that stems from the first one. Now a third one that comes from the 2nd one…your creativity is going to get sparked and you’ll start brainstorming ideas with no additional effort. Eventually, one of them will tip the scales in your favor and get you excited about doing the thing you didn’t feel like doing.

Basically, you just need to give your brainstorming a little push and it will take care of the rest.

Works for me every time.

Posted by Aaron Lynn  | January 15, 2014 at 12:52AM

Great idea Kosio!

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