“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as if nothing is a miracle, and the other is as if everything is a miracle.”
“Getting ready to get ready.” That’s how my friend and mentor Rob Gilbert describes procrastination. That pretty much sums it up, doesn’t it? This malady is on my mind because I’ve got a project that’s been sitting on my desk for quite a while that, well, has been sitting on my desk for quite a while. There’s been little on no movement. Now Webster’s defines procrastination as “to put off intentionally the doing of something that should be done.” But here’s my question to myself: Am I putting of this project intentionally — or is it just plain old inertia and lack of energy that’s holding me back?
Whether it’s intentional or simply by default, my failure to complete this relatively simple undertaking is really beginning to really, really bug me. It’s almost become a self-fulfilling prophesy — and that’s not good. Just in case you’re facing something similar and finding it equally hard to get your motor going, here are a few ways I’ve found to get over the procrastination blues:
Use the “15-minute rule”: Using this approach, you promise yourself that you’ll invest just 15 minutes in getting started on the project and you can stop when the 15 minutes is up. Generally, once you get your motor going, you’ll find that you’ll actually want to keep going instead of stopping.
Visualize the end result: Another technique that can help push you past procrastination is simply taking a few minutes to imagine how great you’ll feel once the project that you’ve been avoiding is actually completed and behind you instead of in front of you. So try seeing a nice, neat report or story instead of a messy pile.
Find a carrot: Come up with a reward that you can give yourself if you finally get that pesky project finished. Is there a movie you want to see — or a book you want to get?
Why not use some kind of reward to motivate you past the hurdles you face?
Any techniques you’ve used successfully to beat the procrastination game?