I can’t stop procrastinating…Why do I procrastinate??? Sounds familiar? Of course it does. This article is just what you need because I’m going to tell you how to stop procrastinating in 3 steps. It’s that simple.
Crossing the Chasm
You’ve set these aspiring and ambitious goals. Now all that’s standing between you and your achievement is a massive chasm of ACTION.
There’s no shortcut – you have to do the work. You have to take action upon the small intermediary milestones that would get you the results you want.
But despite how glittering your goal is or how motivated you feel about it, you still feel overwhelming resistance towards doing what you know you’re supposed to be doing.
- You’re putting things off…
- Doing them tomorrow – some day…
- And you don’t take action.
What’s worse, you can feel procrastination eating you alive.
That’s how you know you’re procrastinating in the first place – you have this urge that says: “I should be doing this but there’s something stopping me.”
The Killer of Dreams
Steven Pressfield calls this invisible force Resistance with a capital R. In this book The War of Art he talks about how many artists, creatives, athletes, and every other person alive experiences this turmoil. We all get moments where we hesitate, where we doubt, where we procrastinate, where we lose our focus.
The difference between those who get things done and those who simply keep on dreaming is taking action in spite of the presence of Resistance.
Procrastination is subliminal to Resistance. Resistance can come to us in any area of life and prevent us from taking action mercilessly.
You get scared, make false judgments, push things off, get stuck in paralysis by analysis, deliberately lose your focus and do whatever it takes to avoid doing the thing you’re supposed to do.
How do you stop this procrastination trainwreck before it drags you down to the depths?
Feeling motivated and inspired is not enough. Motivation is a privilege but not a necessity.
1. What You Need is Discipline
If you procrastinate in the jungle, you’re gonna die…
So, procrastination is also a huge privilege of modern society. You should feel extremely fortunate that you even have the possibility to procrastinate – to hit the snooze and to watch Netflix without detrimental consequences.
Now, instead of taking this for granted, you should leverage that as a source of action. Appreciate it and act as if procrastination determined your actual survival. Because in a sense it does…
If you can’t deal with your own inner feeling of resistance and not procrastinate, then you’re developing the habit of always procrastinating on everything.
Your habits will begin to spread and the deeper they delve, the harder it becomes to deal with them. So, the sooner you get over with your Resistance, the quicker you can move from inaction to action. And that’s a critical step.
2. Get in Motion
You have to plunge into action and just do it ASAP. The longer you ruminate over your feelings of procrastination, the longer you’re going to do it.
Think about it – the amount of time you waste on negative self-talk or making excuses is more than enough to get it done with. You could’ve finished the task probably within a few hours but because you pushed it off, it stays in the back of your head and keeps haunting you. This feeling of apathy follows you everywhere and it’s eating you alive.
It’s Newton’s First Law of Motion: “An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion unless acted upon by an opposing force.” Which means that if you stay motionless, you’re going to stay motionless unless something pushes you into motion.
But if you plunge into action right away without even letting a second thought rise, you’d get it over with right away and you also avoid the massive amount of useless talk and excuses.
Here are some tricks to get yourself moving:
- Ask: What’s the easiest thing you can do to go from inaction into action? Is it opening the book and reading the first paragraph? Is it putting on your gym clothes and going to the gym? Is it walking out your front door and going outside?
- Start off with the most enjoyable task. You can use the carrot on a stick to bait yourself into taking the first step. Do something that’s going to give you some quick positive feedback.
- Put some accountability on yourself. We’re more likely to do the things we know we need to do if someone else is watching.
- Make your word matter. You want to be able to do what’s needed even when nobody is watching because that’s the mark of true integrity – aligning your intentions with your actions. The biggest danger with this is that if you lie to yourself or don’t keep yourself accountable, then you’re developing a dishonest relationship with yourself. Your subconscious mind begins to think that it’s okay to procrastinate and that you’re the kind of person who doesn’t stick to your word anyway so why bother. That’s why you have to make your own word the most congruent and honest thing in the world so that you could be sure that you can trust yourself.
What’s funny is that once you start taking action, the feeling of Resistance disappears. If you get yourself into motion, momentum will come to your side and you gain a ton of sheer focused willpower.
Once you hit the flow, you’ll start loving it.
3. Enter the Zone
That’s what happened to me while writing this piece here. At first, I wrote down the headline – How to Stop Procrastinating. I wrote a few sentences that immediately came into my mind – without analyzing what I wrote or thinking whether or not it’s any good. I just did it.
After a while, I hit a writer’s block – just a small bump on the road. I felt like I should stop but I just went meh…, shrugged it off and I kept going.
It would’ve been ironic to fall victim to procrastination while writing a piece on procrastination.
As I kept writing, I entered the zone and it felt good. So good…I was grooving, baby! I could’ve written about anything, anywhere, about anyone in any way.
My action slew the biggest dragon we all have to face – ourselves. There was no motivation, no feel-good emotions or someone else who could’ve rescued me – it was just sheer disciplined action powered by my will.
And that’s how you should approach procrastination – become smothered by inaction or slay it with action.
How to Stop Procrastinating, Finally…
One of the biggest reasons for procrastination is fear and self-sabotage – being afraid of taking action and gaining the positive results.
Your subconscious mind makes you procrastinate because if you did get your shit done, if you succeeded, then you’d have to keep taking more action in the future and progress further with your goals. However, those are good problems to have.
It feels comfortable and secure to stay in one position – to not grow and be safe – but being stagnant also means you’re slowly dying.
Staying in motion and evolving is the essence of life and it’s what’s going to drive your personal evolution. It’s scary to improve because you have to leave behind your previous ego but on the other side of fear, you’ll get access to the truly empowered version of yourself.
To not experience the feeling of regret and not think what if I did take action, you have to do something that moves you closer to your goals every day.
Overcome Procrastination on Autopilot
If you’re struggling with procrastination and you can’t seem to trick yourself into motion, then you need some solid routines and habits that would put you on autopilot as soon as you open your eyes. After a while, your routines will become a part of you and you’ll do them by default.
To know how to overcome procrastination for good, check out my Morning Routine course that changes your mindset about identifying your goals and purpose, teaches how to optimize your energy and productivity, and allows you to produce your greatest work.