Fundamental of Achievement

Avoiding
Procrastination

​Procrastination is one of the great banes of productivity.  Left unchecked, it can cripple your ability to reach your potential.  Unfortunately, there is no magic remedy for it.  Sure, there are tricks to fight it.  Ultimately though, you just have to find a way to do what needs to be done.

Tier

What Is Procrastination?

Procrastination is the act of postponing or delaying activity, especially in reference to work.  Occasionally, there may be good grounds to defer action until a later point in time.  However, procrastination generally refers to action “put off” for poor reasons or no reason at all.

Why Procrastination?

Procrastination is one of the best ways to ensure that you do not accomplish your goals.  Find a way to beat it or your chances of success all but evaporate.

I don’t claim to be an expert on anything I write about.

Hell, I hardly claim to be an expert on myself.  😂😂😂

These breakdowns are largely for me.  I use them to record and reference.  Unlike most others on this site though, this goal setting page might actually be useful to the outside observer.

No promises.  You can tell me.

Resisting Resistance

To reach your potential, you must find a way to fight off the hesitation to do what you know needs to be done.

Existential Dread

Avoiding the things you know you should do provokes a uniquely painful sort of anxiety.  It’s bad for your heart!

Wrench in the Gears

Procrastination is a great way to ruin even the best laid plans.  Avoid putting a spanner in your own work.

Self Sabotage

In certain ways, procrastination is the antithesis of self love.  If you care about yourself, prove it with deliberate action.

Conquering procrastination isn’t always an easy fight.  Here’s a quick look at what the battle against it has been like for me.

Learn with Me

No shame.  I’ll admit it:

I’ve struggled with procrastination all of my life.

It definitely started with homework.  In school, I was a great test taker.  But 99% of my homework was done either last minute or not at all—including essays and big projects.

I was able to get away with it for a long time.  As an adult, I do a much better job but I still have work to do.

I give Entrepreneurship most of the credit for my improvement.

Building a business has forced me to develop more Discipline and improve my Time Management skills.  Seriously!  I even show up early to most things now.  That is a phenomena previously thought impossible.

I’ll only continue to improve, using tools like This Site.

My Experience

This one is still a bit of a weakness for me.

To a degree, I have my formula figured out.

If I hit my Morning Routine and other Keystone Habits properly, I’m pretty good.

My main issue is long-term Consistency.

I go through unstoppable periods then fall off.  And when it gets bad, it can get really bad.

If I don’t stay on my game, I tend to spiral into all sorts of negative behaviors.  Procrastination is just one of those.  For me, lifestyle is the answer to many questions.

So I know what do to.  Now I just need to do it, everyday.

  • Importance – 92%
  • Passion – 25%
  • Mastery – 15%

Journey Started: ≈2004

Good Life Saboteur

Procrastination is deadly.  It is easily one of the most lethal dream killers in existence.  You must destroy it before it destroys your ideal future.

Where Beating the Urge to Procrastinate Fits in Life

Fighting procrastination is one of the most important pieces of the Achievement and Productivity puzzles.

For me, it’s a “Tier 4” concept, on the same level as Overstimulation and Beating Addiction.

However, it is probably tied most closely to Distraction.

 

1. Achievement
2. Habits
3. Routines
3. Goal Setting
3. Bad Habits
‣ 4. Procrastination
4. Distraction
4. Addiction

Success Habit Rank

Videos Watched

Mentions on My Site

Books Read

Pulling Threads: A Lion Chasing Rabbits

Pulling Threads: A Lion Chasing Rabbits

What the hell is This Site, exactly? A pointless stream of consciousness? A fanboy's ode to his Heroes? A psycho's Favorite topics? All three? Or maybe, it's just the result of a lion chasing rabbits. You might LOL... but this is how it works: I am destined to be the...

Making Yourself Procrastination-Proof

For those struggling with procrastination:

Let’s start with the best advice up front.

Just get started.

Oh wait.  We’re talking about procrastination.

Getting started is the issue, isn’t it?

Once you get over the hump, Momentum often takes over.  It’s usually the initial step that gives us so much trouble.

So how do you take that first step?

Then, how do you make a Habit of taking the first step?

We know that Motivation alone is not enough.  Even when you feel motivated, it can be difficult to summon the Willpower to do what you know needs to be done.  You can’t discount its value.  But you can’t depend on it either.  So let’s table the motivation discussion for now and return to it later.????

Instead, let’s talk about a few strategies that can help you beat procrastination in both the short and long term.

In the short term, there are a few things you can do to help you get started on that project you’ve been putting off.

First, eliminate Distractions.

If you make the task at hand your only real option, you increase your chances greatly.  Distraction and procrastination are like the dastardly duo of anti-productivity.  They work together to sabotage our best intentions and most well-laid plans.  Remove all alternatives to the work and the work will inevitably get done.

Second, manage your Commitments.

Don’t commit to too many things.  If you do, you’ll probably end up doing the easiest ones first—not the most important.  Furthermore, commit to the smallest piece of the first step.  For example: if you’re trying to write a book, commit to the first sentence instead of the first chapter.  Or, if you’re trying to do fifty push ups commit to doing one push up instead of the whole set.  This is a great way to make any task less intimidating.  You may not end up completing the chapter or doing all fifty push ups, but you’ll almost certainly write more than one sentence and do more than one push up.

Third, learn how to prime yourself for success.

Priming is one of Tony Robbins‘s best concepts.  It basically means prepping yourself for the day or a specific task.  The right priming routine can help you reach and sustain Peak State more easily and reliably.  Affirmations, Visualization, Meditation, and Journaling are all great practices that can help you get into “the zone.”  Find a combination of these (or other Tools of Overachievers) that work for you and add them to your Morning Routine for maximum effect.

Now when it comes to the long term, you’ll want to program yourself to resist procrastination altogether.

Of course, this is more easily said than done.  Self Brainwashing is not always straightforward.  But it is always rewarding (when done correctly).  Aside from turning the tools listed above into daily Habits, one of the most powerful things you can do to align your actions with your inner desires is to Set Goals.  After all, proper goals are essentially the compass for your Hero’s Journey.  Make sure that compass is calibrated correctly.

You need to know what you’re chasing if you ever want to catch it.

To take things a step further, give yourself something to run from.  Fear Setting is the “stick” to goal setting’s “carrot.”  When used together, they have the potential to make you unstoppable.  Jordan Peterson puts it nicely when he talks about slaying the dragon while it is still young [add to videos and anchor link it].  It’s easier and you’ll take fewer injuries.

You already know that letting your work build up is a losing strategy.  Playing catch up sucks.  You create your own Adversity when you procrastinate.  That makes you your own antagonist.  Don’t do that.  You’ll feel better if you just get it done (or just get started).  So not only will beating procrastination help you reach higher levels of Achievement, it is also good for your mental health.

“Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.”

Benjamin Franklin?

 

aka. making it a must/obligation… obligation can feel like a dirty word/can give you a case of the icks

 

momentum, execution

 

some malicious/pernicious force that works against what you truly want

could be the result of anxiety or fear… can almost feel painful

complete the hardest things early… when your will power is at its greatest

 

The only good thing to procrastinate on is taking breaks/time off… jocko willink

getting started… and following through… don’t necessarily need to think about the whole projects… lay the next brick/take the next step on a daily basis… don’t necessarily

habit of procrastination is the biggest issue/making a habit out of procrastination is even more deadly/

Precrastination – (also written as pre-crastination) is the act of completing tasks as soon as possible even if it costs extra effort or the quality of the outcome deteriorates. Some people may use this approach in order to avoid the anxiety and stress of last-minute work.

 

How to BEat Procrastination Step-By-Step

01

It Starts with "Why"

Like most aspects of High Performance, overcoming procrastination usually starts with Motivation.  Knowing what you want (and what you don’t) is one of the key ingredients of the remedy to the “I’ll do it later” bug.  Unfortunately though, it is rarely enough on its own.

02

Destroy Distraction

Distraction and procrastination go hand in hand.  When you get distracted, you’re more likely to procrastinate.  And when you procrastinate, you tend to distract yourself.  Environmental Control, finding your Flow State, and ____ can help you end the cycle.

03

Proper Priming

How you start your day can have a massive impact on your ability to get things done.  Keep a clear mind in the morning by avoiding sources of unwanted stimulation like your phone and social media.  Then, layer on healthy habits to make a positive Morning Routine.

04

Brainwash Yourself

Build an addiction to taking action early through Self-Brainwashing practices like Journaling and Affirmations.  Better yet, see yourself getting it done with Visualization.  This can greatly increase your chances of keeping your to-dos from rolling over to the next day.

05

Just Do It

Don’t think.  Just act.  Sure, that may be easier said than done.  But ultimately, it’s up to you to force yourself to do the things you know you need to do.  The more you exercise Self Control, the stronger your Willpower becomes.  Strengthen your resolve by using it.

may seem like a pernicious force, but ultimately it is mostly just in your head… only you can do it, regardless of other strategies you employ, ultimately you have to just do the damn thang

 

06

Master Your Time/Pack Your Calendar

A fair amount of procrastination is simply the result of poor Time Management.  There are various strategies you can try to combat it, such as block time, batching, or the pomodoro technique.  How, the most reliable answer may be to pack your schedule to the brim… don’t give yourself a chance to procrastinate by being busy (but over do it but…)

heavy scheduling may be one of the simplest answers… more specific strategies like block time, habit tracking, and gamification… and always have daily goals

To do lists arent the best but something is better than nothing

gamification/habit tracking/daily goals/scheduling/block time

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07

Develop Discipline

Ultimately, you want to become procrastination-proof.   Just don’t give yourself the option to put things off.  Make it a must.  Once you build a certain level of Self Discipline, few temptations hold power.  Ignored and unindulged, the cravings may subside altogether.

08

Make It Your Identity

Don’t just become the “type of person who” gets things done.  Become the “type of person who” gets things done when they need to be done.  Make timely execution a part of your Character and Self Identity.  

Remember: just start.  The first time you put your goals on paper, you’re closer to achieving your dreams than 90% of the population.

on your way to fulfilling your potential

 

My Favorite Procrastination Videos

Everything you need to learn about goals is online.

I’m no high performance titan.  I stand on the shoulders of giants.  I simply listen to what my Heroes say and apply it.  Not everything sticks.  But enough does to make a lasting impact.

Data
Dump

 

One of the main purposes of This Site is to catalog my learnings.  I’m not that learned.  But I’m working on becoming moreso.  If you see a “data dump” on this site, you’re looking at unsorted information.  It may be related or completely  unrelated, depending on the topic.

 

The ONLY Way to Stop Procrastinating

PNTV: How to Become a Straight-A Student by Cal Newport

1. Pseudo-Work – 2:07

  • The distinction between “kinda working but mostly hanging out” (psudo-work) and real work
  • The thing you need to pay attention to is Work = Time spent doing it x Intensity
  • Students who spend a lot of time grinding but don’t have a lot of intensity still end up doing mediocrely
  • If you dial up your intensity, you have to put in less work
  • Deep work time-blocks create masterpiece days

2. Procrastiation – 5:06

  • None of these straight-A students eliminated procrastination completely
  • You’re gonna have the urge to procrastinate, but you can develop effective strategies to combat it
  • It’s not about getting rid of the urge
  • Strategies include being well-rested and well-fed (research agrees). The fastest way to deplete your willpower is to be tired and hungry

3. When?  Where?  How Long? – 6:41

  • When should we study? Where should we study? And how long should we study?
  • When? Early. The earlier the better. You’re best between when you wake up and before dinner. You want to use your best energy wisely, then enjoy your evenings.
  • Where? In isolation. Go find somewhere where no one’s going to find you and turn everything off.
  • How long? Don’t work for longer than an hour in one stretch. We want to be focused and intense, which can be draining and lead to procrastination.

4. #1 Tip = Q – 8:42

  • If you want to study effectively, the worst way is to re-read your notes. This gives you the “fluency illusion.”
  • Shut your book, get out a blank sheet of paper, and quiz yourself. The science says the best way t study is to self-test. Shut your notes and see if you can say it out loud.

5. S.P.A.C.E.O.U.T. – 10:47

  • Space out your studying time, no matter what you’re doing
  • Your mind can only work so hard so long. For memorizing, never try and do more than an hour at a time.
  • You’re better off taking that time and splitting it up
  • Your mind works best with frequent check-ins (“distributed learning”)
  • Do intense real work over time instead of cramming

Learning This About Discipline Changed MY Life

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How I Curb Procrastination

If you haven’t noticed, I take this stuff seriously.

You don’t have to do it like me.  But maybe you wanna know.  So I guess I’ll tell you.  You might have picked some of it up by reading through this page or clicking on some of the links.

I’ll spell it all out here.

Masterpiece Mornings

Thanks to years of Habit Tracking and Bullet Journaling, I know that my Morning Routine impacts my Productivity more than anything else.  When I get it right, the rest of my day usually follows suit.  When I get it wrong, I struggle to hit my marks.  For me, my GAP Protocol + Moticuts + Avoiding Distraction = the highest probability of Masterpiece Days.

"My Hour First" Protocol

When I’m at my best, I follow up my Masterpiece Mornings with my “My Hour First” protocol.  I rarely (if ever) have procrastination problems with my own projects.  When working on My Brands, I get into Flow State quickly and easily.  From there, I leverage that Momentum into the rest of my day.  After I give an hour to myself, everything else is a cake walk.

Hard Stuff Second

In SEO, certain tasks are like pulling teeth.  I struggle most with certain tasks (ie. technical problem solving) where I can work for hours and have nothing to show for it (ie. without solving the problem).  I’ve found that the best way to limit my procrastination on such chores is to tackle them right after “My Hour First,” when my Willpower is at its highest.

Full Days, Weeks, & Months

In an ideal world, the only things I would procrastinate on are breaks and vacation time.  When I’m at my best, I go from task to task to task without hesitation.  That’s why I like a jam-packed schedule.  It enforces a “no options” mentality.  I don’t have time to think; I just have to do.  Well-planned Scheduling makes even Time Management obsolete.

Transcend the To-Do List

to do list less effective, might just end up on tomorrow’s to do list (again)

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Favorite Coaches

Favorite Teachers

Favorite Entrepreneurs

My Procrastination Posts

Becoming Legendary: My 2022 Goals

Becoming Legendary: My 2022 Goals

I'm fairly confident 2022 is going to be the most successful year of my life so far. I'm writing this post to help guarantee that. Obviously, I can't control the future.  But I can set intentions and create a plan of action. That's what Goal Setting is all about. So...

Setting the New 20s Off Right: My 2020 Goals

Setting the New 20s Off Right: My 2020 Goals

New Year's Resolutions get a bad wrap. It's not their fault though. It's yours. The truth is: The beginning of the year is a perfect time for a reset. You have to execute though. Do it right and this year could be the best year you've ever had. No guarantees. Because,...

How to Become a Morning Person [Life-Changing Habit #1]

How to Become a Morning Person [Life-Changing Habit #1]

Becoming a "morning person" has changed my life. Only time will tell, but it could go down as a top five factor to my future success. Learning how to wake up early wasn't easy. Until the second half of 2018, I've been a notoriously late sleeper. It started as a kid: I...

Becoming Legendary: My 2022 Goals

Becoming Legendary: My 2022 Goals

I'm fairly confident 2022 is going to be the most successful year of my life so far. I'm writing this post to help guarantee that. Obviously, I can't control the future.  But I can set intentions and create a plan of action. That's what Goal Setting is all about. So...

Setting the New 20s Off Right: My 2020 Goals

Setting the New 20s Off Right: My 2020 Goals

New Year's Resolutions get a bad wrap. It's not their fault though. It's yours. The truth is: The beginning of the year is a perfect time for a reset. You have to execute though. Do it right and this year could be the best year you've ever had. No guarantees. Because,...

How to Become a Morning Person [Life-Changing Habit #1]

How to Become a Morning Person [Life-Changing Habit #1]

Becoming a "morning person" has changed my life. Only time will tell, but it could go down as a top five factor to my future success. Learning how to wake up early wasn't easy. Until the second half of 2018, I've been a notoriously late sleeper. It started as a kid: I...

Setting Goals for 2019

Setting Goals for 2019

I have mixed feelings about New Year's Resolutions. I don't believe in waiting to make changes. I think it makes more sense to try to grow everyday. Create good new habits.  Erase the negative old ones.  Do it all the time. However, I find that measurement is...

My Top 3 High Performance Coaches

"YouTube University" has brought many a life-optimizer across my path.  These three are my favorite high performance coaches.

Brendon Burchard

operation Director, Elegant Themes

Robin Sharma

Tech Support, Elegant Themes

Tim Ferris

operation Director, Elegant Themes