7 strategies to help you get rid of procrastination

Original author: Zdravko Cvijetic
  • Transfer
I strongly suspect that you are delaying time in order not to undertake any important business even at this moment while reading this article. It turns out some kind of paradox, but it does not matter. This is even good. Here you will learn about simple strategies that you can use in the future to effectively combat procrastination.

Procrastination can occur for a variety of reasons:

  • Fear of success;
  • Fear of failure;
  • Fear of condemnation;
  • Fear of the unknown;
  • Perfectionism and excessive attention to detail;
  • Excessive planning;
  • Unrealistic expectations;
  • Low self-esteem;
  • Lack of goals and guidelines.

However, these seven strategies will help you solve the problem, no matter what lies at its root. They will push you to the goal, slightly changing your way of thinking and approach to business.

Read the details of each of the strategies below, select the one that seems best to you and try.

Here is the whole list:

  1. Think within 24 hours
  2. Imagine the perfect routine and working conditions.
  3. Break the task into small fragments (and gradually make them larger)
  4. Follow the two-minute rule (“The action you are trying to add to the habit should take no more than two minutes”)
  5. Use the Seinfeld Method
  6. Procrastinate procrastination (postpone unwanted action until tomorrow)
  7. Reward yourself as soon as possible (positive reinforcement)

Let's go in order.

1. Think within 24 hours

“Where is your focus - there is your energy” - Tony Robins

Over the past seven months, this approach has allowed me to dramatically increase my own productivity, get rid of many bad habits and acquire useful ones.

Keep in mind: it may take months to finish the project or to consolidate some habit, but do not look so far into the future. Of course, we need to plan, but we tend to overload ourselves with such thoughts and eventually lose motivation.

So if you set yourself the goal of losing weight in two months, think only about today. Your task is to do your best to eat right for the next 24 hours. And that’s it. No need to think about what will happen next week or even tomorrow. When the day comes to an end, then it will be possible to think about the priorities for the next day.

We pass to the second point.

2. Imagine the ideal routine and working conditions.

“To draw something into your life, imagine that it is already there” - Richard Bach

Visualization has an interesting property: it stimulates us to action and can give motivation to take a step towards a goal.

What would your ideal daily routine and work environment look like?

Answer the following questions:

  • When do you wake up? And then what do you do right after waking up?
  • What is your main goal and what should you do in a day to get closer to it? What does your workspace look like?
  • Do you end up in a stream state? How many hours a day would you like to spend at work?
  • What are your hobbies? Reading, dancing, fencing (I know, an unusual example)?
  • What do you do before you go to bed? Do you have any rituals?
  • And finally, how do you feel?

Just imagining yourself how your day should ideally take shape, you awaken the motivation in you - this is a very powerful tool.

3. Break the task into small fragments

“Greatness is made up of little things done well. Day after day, training after training, concession after concession, day after day ”- Ray Lewis

So, you have determined the time frame for yourself at 24 o’clock and painted a picture of an ideal day. The next step is to get started.

Determine which task is most important to achieve the goal, and take a small step to achieve it. Nothing substantial, no sudden leaps. Treat this as in the formation of a habit - it is not volume that matters, but constancy.

Start today: select one small task for 15 minutes and try to complete it as best as possible. The next day, add a few more minutes and refine what you have done. Keep up the good work until you reach the optimal number of working hours per day. Which was determined in its ideal routine, remember?

And then just learn, adapt and act.

4. Apply the two-minute rule

Often we lack motivation just to get started. Even if we are talking about some 15 minutes and the task is the simplest, we all the same as soon as we do not refine ourselves, so as not to undertake it.

At such moments, promise yourself that you will only work two minutes. And proceed immediately. Do not have time to come to your senses - and you are already in a state of flux, and thoughts about reviewing the whole season of “Friends” in one sitting, as it never happened.

Repeat the procedure until you learn how to deal with procrastination.

5. Use the Seinfeld Method

The famous comedian Jerry Seinfeld once said that he has a prominent place hanging a large wall calendar on which all days of the year are laid out on one sheet. And next to it is a red marker. “If one day I manage to write a given amount of text, I put a big red cross in the appropriate box,” he explained.

“After a few days, you get a chain. If you continue in the same vein, it will become longer every day. You will be pleased to look at this chain, especially when you hold out for several weeks. The only thing that is now required of you is not to interrupt this chain. Do not interrupt the chain! ”

According to estimates, his fortune now stands at $ 820 million. It says something about something.

This method really works, moreover, it is a rather entertaining process, which over time becomes only more interesting.

6. Procrastinate procrastination (postpone unwanted action until tomorrow)

There is a passage in George Orwell's 1984 novel: party members torture Winston (the main character) in an attempt to break him. While beaten, he constantly repeats the following to himself:

“I confess, but not right away. I will hold on until the pain becomes unbearable. Three more blows, two more blows, and I will say everything they need. ”

This passage made me think.

Usually, when we try to inculcate some useful habit, we tend to procrastinate. We put off the desired action.

But what if we apply this feature of ours to unwanted actions?

I decided to conduct an experiment. Choose one habit and focus on it for 24 hours. If there is a temptation to break it, I will postpone this impulse - until tomorrow.

As a habit, I chose a healthy diet. I went shopping and felt that I wanted something sweet. But when I saw ice cream, I said to myself (through leaking saliva):

“Buy it tomorrow. Now get the vegetables. ”

And he took it. It was difficult, but the thought that ice cream was waiting for me tomorrow was enough to come to terms at that moment.

Waking up the next morning, I continued the process of forming a habit according to the described scheme. Focused on a healthy diet within one day, and no more. When he remembered the ice cream, he said to himself the same thing as the first time: “Eat it tomorrow.”
After 3-4 days, this regimen became easier. My body gradually underwent detoxification from sugar, and I no longer had any desire or need for sweets.

Since then I have been using this method constantly - procrastinating bad habits. It works without a glitch.

7. Reward yourself as soon as possible (positive reinforcement)

“Real life will not always be perfect and it will not always turn out the way we want, but periodically paying attention to the positive aspects, we can not only survive, but also overcome difficulties” - Sarah Ban Brandy

You need to provide yourself with positive reinforcement as quickly as possible - this is a prerequisite for maintaining motivation. Consider it as confirmation that you are on the right track.

I will give my experience as an example.

My article “ A 5-step plan that helped me get a raise and plus 40% of my salary ” collected a total of 436 views. I went to my friends and asked everyone if it was well written or good for nothing. I spent more than a week on this article. And for more than two weeks I could not bring myself to write - my hands dropped so much.

But the following articles brought me more positive feedback. With its help, I managed to maintain motivation until the very day when the article “ 13 things that should be abandoned in order to succeed ” was published.

She received over 11 million views. I have never received such a response in my life and never in my life I had such a powerful incentive. Now I have only one goal - to maintain this level.

But it’s clear that you will see the results only after some time, this is natural. Nevertheless, this can create a false impression: after all, what you do not notice may be noticeably different.

That is why it is important to tell others - family, friends, colleagues, partners - that you have set this or that goal. This will not only inspire you with a sense of responsibility (because they will control you every time you meet), but it will also give them the opportunity to notice the changes caused by your efforts.

If you do not receive feedback, ask questions yourself to make sure that you are on the right track.


You will achieve results even if you try only one of the methods on the chosen target. However, you can also combine these strategies - each of them will give a result, and in the end you will get the total effect.

Always remember one main rule:
Attach more importance to the regular repetition of the action, rather than the amount of work done.

It is better to devote at least five minutes a day to achieving the goal than skip three days. Small tasks, small steps give great results.

Later, depending on the progress and circumstances, you can evaluate the success of the application of these methods and adjust something in them.

Also popular now: