By Leo Babauta
We all do it: our best intentions are to go to the gym, get started on writing something, do practice learning a language ‚Ä¶ but then we procrastinate.
There isn‚Äôt a person on this planet who‚Äôs immune to the procrastination habit.
How do we defeat this habit? Just as an athlete would, or a world-class chess player: daily training sessions.
The problem, of course, is that we‚Äôre likely to put off the sessions!
The only way around that is to 1. find your motivation, and 2. start as easy as possible.
Make it so easy you can‚Äôt say no, and find a way to not let yourself say no.
- Commit to doing daily 5-10 minute unprocrastination training sessions. Tell someone you‚Äôll give them $100 (or do something embarrassing, maybe) if you miss a day.
- Set a reminder for first thing in the morning, when you usually start work or study. Whenever you open your computer, basically. A big note near your computer is a good idea.
- When you open your computer, before you do anything else, do your unprocrastination training session.
- Here‚Äôs what you do: pick a task you‚Äôve been procrastinating on, clear aside everything else, and do that task for 5-10 minutes. That‚Äôs it. You can stop after that.
- Notice when you have the urge to switch tasks, to do something easier or more comfortable. Pause, watch the urge, let it go. Then return to the task. Don‚Äôt let yourself switch.
That‚Äôs it! Do this daily for a week, then increase to 10-15 minutes. Do that for two weeks, and on your fourth week, increase to 20 minutes. You‚Äôll be a rock star after a month of training.