Connect with us

Motivation

7 Surprising Tips For Breaking Out Of Procrastination Prison

Published

on

procrastinationprisonfeatureimage

Okay, let’s be honest here. There’s probably something else you should be doing right now.

You should fix that leaky tap, or kick off your Spanish learning project, or start on that university assignment. You know, the one that’s due tomorrow.  At 9:00 am.

Heck, I’ve even been procrastinating on writing this blog post.  Pretty ironic, I know.

You’ve probably already tried things like “starting simple,” “breaking it down,” and “keeping yourself accountable” to take down procrastination.

But what you probably don’t know is that many counterintuitive tricks are out there that are even more effective at fighting the problem. So stay with me and procrastinate just a little while longer.

Let’s review seven surprising ways you can break out of procrastination prison.

1. Keep your goals top secret

So you’ve decided to start an exciting new project, something that will truly make your life better, and maybe make other people’s lives better too. Maybe you’re taking on Arabic, learning how to code in Java, or setting up a charity.

What’s the very next thing you want to do after making that decision? You want to tell someone about it.

It seems to make perfect sense.  You get to share your excitement with somebody else, and having others in on your plan is sure to keep you accountable, right?

Actually, research has shown that you are less likely to reach your goals if you first broadcast your intentions to other people.

Talking about your goals tricks your brain into thinking that you’ve already accomplished them and reduces the motivation required to actually execute. You get left in a state of procrastination limbo where you feel great about your goals but aren’t actually doing anything about them.  The same thing happens when you try visualizing success in your head too.

So keep your goals to yourself, put your head down, and get to it!

 

2. Don’t make a plan

You’ve probably heard the phrase “fail to plan, plan to fail.”

It sounds very logical.  Draw up a nice big roadmap, and it’ll help you navigate your way to success more easily, right? Not quite.  Because planning isn’t progress.  It’s all too easy to get stuck in the planning stage of a project and never actually get anywhere.

What you want to do instead is simply break into your project.  Start somewhere, anywhere.

Pick an entry point and decide on the first task for your project.  Break that task down until you have an action you can do right now in under two minutes. Then do it.

When I started learning Mandarin Chinese at the end of last year, I spent ages reading various blog posts, trying to discover the perfect way to learn a language.  I’ve actually done this two or three times over the last few years as I’ve started and stopped different language projects.

Even though it might seem like I was making progress and moving toward my goal, I was really just procrastinating by avoiding the important work — actually learning Chinese.

Once I realized this, I stopped and picked whatever method I happened to have on my screen at the time and ran with it.

There is no such thing as a perfect plan.  Luckily, you don’t need one.  Just find a way in, commit to it, and the rest will follow.

 

3. Begin your day with something unimportant

A common piece of productivity advice is to start your day with your most important, most urgent, or most difficult task. The rationale is that the rest of your day will feel like a breeze once you get the tough stuff out of the way first. But if you’re anything like me, seeing that big hairy task first up on your to-do list is a little, well, frightening.

So I like to take a different approach.

First, pick off some of the low-hanging fruit from your to-do list. Maybe start by doing some light fiction reading, vacuuming the house, dashing to the bank, and then taking a break by jumping onto Twitter for ten minutes.

At this stage, you’ll feel much more energized and accomplished, and you’ll be able to attack that big scary task with more confidence.

Get some easy wins under your belt first thing.  It’ll make the difficult stuff much easier to handle.

 

4. Focus on having fun first

It’s important to strike a balance in your life where you’re getting stuff done but still having fun.  After all:

“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  All play and no work makes Jack a mere toy.”

Here’s an unconventional way to accomplish this.

First, stick all your leisure and social activities into your to-do list and spread those out throughout your day.  Then take a break from the fun stuff by doing some work in the middle. For example, I check in with my favorite YouTube channels as a daily leisure checkpoint that I work around during my day.

This is an exciting way of rethinking productivity.  You’re less likely to procrastinate because you know your day contains things you enjoy. In addition, you don’t have to feel guilty about having fun because you’ve carefully structured your day to include both work and play.

You can even take this a little further and try something you might not have done before: start your day off with a quick leisure activity to get you going (maybe a 15-minute walk at sunrise or 15 minutes of video gaming) prior to jumping into something unimportant.

 

Dream-Motivation-Picture-Quote
 

5. Make a weekly escape

One of the most common productivity tips you hear is that you should work a little bit on your goals every day. Now, this is certainly not bad advice.  Small, consistent action toward your goals is the best path to success.

But you also want to avoid burnout, something not particularly ideal to have if you’re trying to beat procrastination. Luckily, there’s an easy way to do this that I’m sure you’ll love. Take a day off each week.

Choose one day where you’re allowed to do absolutely nothing (mine is Sunday).

Keep those days as clear as possible, and cut yourself away from your projects.  It’ll give you time to recharge your batteries and mentally refresh yourself.

This is the perfect day to sleep in, catch up on that novel you’ve been meaning to read, go on a date with your partner, and watch romantic comedies together after dinner.

You’ll start looking forward to your escape day every week, pushing you to perform better, be more efficient, and procrastinate less during the other six days.

 

6. Be ruthless with your time and energy

A common cause of procrastination is sheer overwhelm.

Many of us are simply trying to juggle too many balls at once.  And the inevitable result is that we’ll drop them all. If you have a lot to do, and you simply can’t motivate yourself to do any of it, that’s a sure-fire sign you’re doing too much.

Set boundaries for your time and energy.  Re-evaluate all your commitments, and find out which ones you can eliminate. Then pull the trigger and cancel them.  It’s scary, and it’s difficult, but it’s oh so liberating.

Nowadays, it’s almost socially unacceptable to say no.  I find this really bizarre.

The result is that we say yes to everything to make everyone else happy, and make ourselves miserable in the process. Stop trying to please everyone.  It’s an impossible task.  You must make yourself happy too.

Be ruthless and start saying no to time-sucking, energy-sapping commitments, and free yourself for more important things.

 

7. Forgive yourself

Everyone procrastinates.  It’s unavoidable. You’ll have times when you just don’t feel like doing anything. And that’s okay. The worst thing you can do is beat yourself up about it.

Research has shown that people who are kind to themselves after a bout of procrastination are less likely to procrastinate again the next time. I used to be extremely hard on myself when it came to procrastinating.

I’d start the day knowing I needed to do my workout, but I’d keep pushing it off as the day progressed by doing crossword puzzles or watching cat videos instead. I’d get to the end of the day and only start working out at 11:00 pm, or not do it at all.  And I’d hate myself for it.

The next day, I’d still feel guilty about it and wouldn’t feel good at all about anything else I was doing.  It was a vicious cycle. Take a breath.  Let it go.  The past is in the past.

Forgive yourself and trust that you’ll do better next time.

 

Darren-Hardy-Picture-Quote
 

 

It’s time to break free

Procrastination is a difficult problem that everyone faces in their lives.  And busting out of procrastination prison isn’t easy.

But think about what happens if you don’t.  Think about what happens if you stayed stuck in there forever without making that daring prison escape.

Think about how you’d be feeling a month, a year, five years from now. You’d wish that you’d done the hard yards today so you could be that much closer to your goals tomorrow.

Get out there, get things done, and achieve the things you want to achieve. The world is waiting for you to do amazing things.

Don’t let everyone down.  And most importantly, don’t let yourself down.

 

Advertisement
14 Comments

14 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Change Your Mindset

5 Ways To Achieve Your Goals (With Examples)

Published

on

Accomplishing mountians

Setting goals is a crucial first step, whether you’re striving to reach personal or professional milestones. However, achieving those goals requires planning, determination, and focus. In this post, we’ll discuss five actionable strategies that can help you achieve your goals in 2023, and we’ll provide real-life examples to inspire and motivate you. By implementing these tips, you can train your brain to achieve your goals and make meaningful progress toward your aspirations.

1. Write Down Your Goals

The first thing needed to achieve a goal is to have one. A goal becomes very clear and precise once you have written it down most simply and easily to remember.

Here are some examples:

  • I am the world’s best dancer!
  • I am the greatest athlete!
  • I have created the world’s most innovative tech company!

They are all written with the belief that these things have already happened. Once you start believing it has already happened, other people too can sense your confidence and things start happening.

“If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy and inspires your hopes.” — Andrew Carnegie

2. The One Page Plan

A simple one-page plan to accompany your goal is much more powerful than a detailed 30-page plan. After you have written your clear goal – write down all the things you will have to do to achieve it. Make it as simple and direct as possible so that you can refer to it every day and take action. A simple plan is easier to follow and keep up with.

3. Get The Right Skills

Once you have a clear goal that has been inked into your mind, and a clear plan in place, it is very important to invest in the skills you need to achieve your goal.

So for example, if you want to become a movie star, you should immediately start developing your acting skills. Observe how other actors perform, join an acting class, read about acting, and most importantly, start honing your craft by joining a local theatre group and going for as many auditions as you can. Practice is very important for mastering any skill.

Struggling To Achieve Your Goals? Here Are 9 Possible Reasons Why! 

4. Surround Yourself With The Best People

The best way to achieve our goals is to make sure we have the best people supporting us. People who succeed are always those who understand the power of people.

So let’s say your goal is to be an entrepreneur and you have developed your entrepreneurial skills, the next step would be to get the best people to join your team to help you achieve your goal. These would be people who you consider to be the best marketers capable of getting you the best customers and investors.

Once you have the best people supporting you, it becomes much easier and faster to achieve your goals.

“It takes tremendous discipline to control the influence, the power you have over other people’s lives.” – Clint Eastwood

5. Power of Faith

Nothing beats the power of faith and belief. Sometimes you might face challenges, sometimes things might not be going your way, and you might feel like giving up – these are the times when faith and belief will keep you going.

So many people give up, just a few inches away from victory. I am sure you are not one of them since you are investing time into self-development which gives the highest returns! Now go out there and start achieving your goals!

Need more motivation? Read our blogs on motivation and become your best self now!

Continue Reading

Change Your Mindset

5 Easy Ways to Find Motivation When You’re Feeling Stuck

One of the easiest and most beneficial ways to get motivated is to get up and get active

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash

We’ve all had those days when we feel like we just can’t get motivated to do anything. Whether it’s an important task that needs to be done or something we just don’t feel like doing, it can be hard to get going. (more…)

Continue Reading

Change Your Mindset

7 of The Best Motivational Speeches of All Time

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash

What could we possibly achieve by listening to motivational speeches? Isn’t that a waste of time? It’s not. A great motivational speech can be a trigger to action. It inspires you to do something. Powerful speeches make you realize you’re not just a useless individual in this world. Everyone matters. You matter, too. (more…)

Continue Reading

Change Your Mindset

Motivational Advice You Never Hear From Elon Musk

Published

on

elon musk

Elon Musk is the hottest entrepreneur on the planet right now. From launching an electric car into space, buying Twitter, and tunneling holes throughout the country, his unconventional ventures are inspiring millions. (more…)

Continue Reading

Trending