How to Overcome Procrastination
Thinking about tasks as intimidating and time-consuming is what slows you down. Try Get-It-Done Guy’s new approach and watch your resistance melt away.
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I just love cleaning. No, I’m lying. I hate cleaning. Just like I hate scrubbing the grout between the tiles in my shower. I managed to procrastinate cleaning my bathroom for an entire decade. It turns out if you wait long enough, the grout turns black, forming a pleasing checkerboard pattern. But when the grout started demanding that I feed it, I knew it was time to take measures.
Your personal nemesis may not be grout. For you, it may be preparing next year's budget, or doing the laundry, or reading the new procedures manual. These things are all so much fun, it makes you want to squeal with glee. And no, I'm not talking about the TV show.
The problem is that these tasks are large enough that your brain knows they might expand to fill the rest of your foreseeable life. It doesn't want to let you get started, because then you might never finish. If you're going to die in the middle of a project, your brain would rather it be writing your magnum opus, an operetta in 12-part harmony about a chicken farmer's quest for true love.
Dying in the middle of cleaning your grout would just be embarrassing. And yet, both the grout and the operetta must be done. Here are 6 tips on how to stop procrastinating onerous tasks. These are based on the "Stop Procrastinating" chapter of my book, Get-it-Done Guy's 9 Steps to Work Less and Do More.
We're taught that the secret to finishing a big task is to break it into baby steps. There's only one problem: this rarely works, at least for me. Don't divide the task into baby steps, instead, divide your time into baby chunks.