Kwik Brain 010: How to Stop Procrastinating

Have you ever put off something urgent but unpleasant in favor of more pleasurable tasks? We’ve all been victims of the supervillain of procrastination…but we don’t have to be. In this episode, I share my tips on booting procrastination from your life.

Show Notes

When we procrastinate, we put off urgent or unpleasant tasks in favor of less urgent but more pleasurable ones.

But procrastination has a ripple effect. It causes guilty, inadequacy, depression, and self-doubt, robbing you of the life you desire and deserve.

Procrastination is a super-villain we all face. So how can we overcome it?

5 Kwik Tips to Overcoming Procrastination

1. Procrastinate Procrastination.

The best way to overcome procrastination is to delay procrastinating itself.

If you’re good at putting things off, put off putting things off.

2. Start Somewhere.

When I was 8 years old, I attended a family reunion. Our waiter perfectly remembered the orders of 25+ people…without writing it down.

That waiter was using the Zeignarnik Effect:

When you start something, your brain retains the information until it closes the loop you opened.

If you start your task, you’re more likely to complete it

3. Break It Down.

We often see projects as huge, intimidating monsters and don’t know where to start.

 Break your project or goal into manageable, bite-sized pieces. Remember: a journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step.

Try using the “tiny habits” concept from habit creation expert BJ Fogg:

If you can’t floss your teeth, floss just one tooth. If you’re dreading your workout, just put on your sneakers and get to the gym.

This concept works because once you floss one tooth, you’ll floss more…but flossing just one tooth is a tiny step so it’s less intimidating.

When I teach people speed-reading, I don’t ask them to practice with a book. I ask them to practice with just one sentence – because I know they won’t stop after a sentence.

4. Be Kind to Yourself.

Most of us beat ourselves up for not fulfilling tasks.

We think if we guilt ourselves, we’re more likely to change our behavior.

Research shows the opposite is true: if you are kind to yourself, you are more likely to be able to commit and follow through.

Next time you mess up, tell yourself: I’m human. This happens to the best of us. But I’ll do it tomorrow.

5. Schedule It.

When we talk about something, it’s a dream. When we put it in a calendar, we’re far more likely to complete the task.

Schedule it and treat it like you would a meeting with your boss.

Make a plan so you get it done.

BONUS: 6. Find Your Why.

One of my favorite books is Simon Sinek’s Start with Why.

Your purpose is what drives you and gives you energy.

If you are struggling to complete a task, tap into the reasons for action.

Success Formula: H cubed = Head + Heart + Hands

You can visualize and affirm goals in your head all day, but if you’re not acting with your hands, you’re missing your heart or your emotion.

Emotion = Energy of Motion

My martial arts teacher used to say, “You can’t steer a parked car. You need fuel and energy.”

Your fuel is your why. Why do you want to do this task you’ve been putting off? When you tap into that why, you’re far more likely to complete whatever you’ve been putting off.

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