Two easy steps to stop procrastination and get going

By johannatime On May 7, 2013 Under Productivity vs Procrastination

It took me a while to get this post done, so this one is for all procrastinators out there: All who believe that work cannot be delivered until it’s perfect. Those who cannot resist the ease of Facebook and Twitter. And everyone who feels an urge to clean, make coffee or snack when a complicated task is to be done.

Many task lists have a dynamic of easy small tasks being added to them and ticked off within 24 hours or so, on top of a great deal of huge things to do that just sit there for weeks, months even, without taken on, without being done, without progress being made on them. The one and only reason for that is: These tasks are too big.

You may have commitments sitting on there like:

  • Fix the website
  • Get insurance
  • Strategic plan
  • Budget
  • Grandma

So what about them? Surely to big, but even more important and they need to get sorted at some stage. No need to despair, because there are two magic questions to get you going when you are procrastinating on a task:

  1. What does ‘done’ look like.? When is this task done? What is my desired result? Decide on your ambition with this task. If you want it perfect, it will never be done. If you’re not sure, you can never be sure if it’s done, either. So decide.
  2. What is the very first thing you need to do, to get you moving towards your desired outcome? As if there was nothing else in the world, because that would still be the next thing to do if there were a milion other things to do. It needs to be something you can see yourself doing and finishing. Now do it.

Usually, this excersise gets you unstuck, and if it doesn’t, if you do this next action and start making yourself another coffee, just repeat step 2. You will get to a point where you gain momentum for the task, your commitment grows and glows, and off you go again, even if only for the thrill of getting it done. In one of my earlier posts I explain this process in a bit more detail, so if it works for you, have a read!

Good luck, and please share your thoughts in the comments below

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