How to Get on With It: How to Say No to Procrastination

…inspired by Mike’s best-selling book, “The Yes/No Book: How to do less… an Achieve More”.

How do you get on with it? And say no to procrastination. Procrastination is a bad thing, isn’t it? It’s putting stuff off until later, and therefore potentially not getting it done at all. Well, in a later lecture, we will see that there are times where certain types of procrastination can serve you well, but for this one, we’re going to focus on purposeless procrastination. purposeless procrastination is putting something off for no good reason and with no incidental benefit, and therefore, purposeless procrastination is a bad thing. So why does it happen? Well, it happens because the task in front of you looms large and puts you off It’s kind of like, you’re standing in front of a big pile of rubbish. It’s a big pile, but not that huge. The thing is, because you’re so close to it, what you can’t see is the beautiful mountain scenery behind it. Because the big pile of rubbish is in your way. So what do you focus on? You focus on the big pile of rubbish, and not the mountain scenery that should be attracting you. And once that happens, you get into a state of comfortable as I am I, I really don’t want to start doing this now. Or what if I start tackling it? It all goes wrong? What if I fail? What if I don’t know how to tackle it? And then there’s everybody’s favorite isn’t there? I don’t worry. I’ve got loads of time. I’ll tackle it another time. And then another time and another time never comes. It doesn’t get tackled. So we need to figure out ways that you can circumvent your tendency to procrastinate and get on with it. Let’s look at 10 very good techniques, many of which you can combine. The first of my techniques for dealing with your tendency to procrastinate is to create a sense of discomfort. Focus on that gigantic pile of rubbish, but focus on how uncomfortable it makes you feel. This will give you a little sharp. The second technique is to pay over the gigantic pile of rubbish and make sure that you allow yourself to be aware of the benefits in the future, visualize what you’ll get when you’ve achieved the task. The third technique is to do the very worst part of the task. The very hardest, most unpleasant thing first. What this does is it gives you a sense that you’ve achieved something massive, and everything else seems easy afterwards. There’s even a book called Eat That Frog that uses this basic process as its theme. However, not everyone likes to start with the hardest, most difficult, most unpleasant, and perhaps biggest chunk of work first. An alternative approach is to take baby steps and do the smallest thing first. This is easy, and it creates a little bit of momentum and helps you get going. So identify the smallest component of what you need to do and get that started. The fifth technique is to timebox your activity into short sprints rather than long distance marathons with difficult, unpleasant tasks we fear having to lock ourselves away to do them for a long period of time. So set yourself 20 minutes. That leads us to the sixth technique, which is to slice up the elephant. Cut the whole problem down into multiple small slices. The first one becomes your first baby step, and then each one or a small number of slices fit neatly into your time boxed Sprint’s This is rather nice because by slicing up the elephant, you also get multiple senses of achievement. And we know that a sense of achievement is a massive motivator to most of us. Seventh technique is to get some exercise before you start fresh in your brain, get the blood pumping. It’s what I call walking to work, but of course, if the thing you’re gonna procrastinate about is not right at the start of the day, then You clearly need to take some exercise before you get started. But as an aside, it’s worth noting that our willpower is at its greatest at the start of the day while we’re still fresh, particularly if you had a good breakfast and you’ve got some exercise. So quite literally walk to work and then straight away, tackle that thing that you’ve been putting off is a good tactic. The next thing number eight is to choose your moments of fine just the right time when you’re feeling particularly good. My ninth tip is to really hone your focus on the thing that you’ve been putting off, to make it your major objective for a period of time and to remove all distractions when you do it. Turn it almost into a flow state activity, set yourself a demanding target to do it really well. To do it really quickly and efficiently effectively, and track your progress as you go. Another good reason to slice up the elephant into small slices, and number 10, tell someone about it, make a formal commitment to somebody else that you’re going to do it. Because one of the things we know about human psychology is we can kid ourselves but we feel very uncomfortable kidding other people. Therefore, if I tell my wife, my partner, my friend, my colleague, that I am going to do it, I’m going to do it by a certain deadline. Then I feel very motivated to do that. Because of the threat that I’ll feel uncomfortable if I let them down. 10 very useful tips. And here’s a bonus one as well. Celebrate your successes. If you have something difficult, demanding unpleasant to do, and you fear you’re going to put it off. Set yourself a target for when you can complete it and set yourself a reward or a celebration that you will Give yourself when you do it. reward yourself. Celebrate your successes, one of the top motivators known to humankind. So 10 techniques to help you say no to procrastination to help you get on with it. This means that you’ll be in control of your choices once more. And you’ll be saying no to something that’s been getting in your way, possibly for many, many years. So say no to procrastination, and just get on with it.