It is already over a week into 2017.
You might be reading this halfway through the year or the end of the year… It doesn’t matter.
Procrastination is a Persistent Plague
Procrastination is something we all face and is ever-present. Even a prolific writer and content creator, such as Tim Ferriss, has battled procrastination throughout his career.
This video has some critical and creative steps to be able to produce more without getting side tracked.
1 – Break down goals into smallest action steps possible.
This includes having a timeline and specific tasks that are required to complete the project or goal. Write these down to make your life easier.
Give yourself tiny assignments with low standards.
I like the example he gives of having the goal of “writing two crappy pages per day. I do something similar with my daily vLog. Even though it isn’t linked to a bigger project, I find putting out one “unpolished” video a day makes me less nervous about sharing my art.
2 – Set-up tasks to make extremely easy to do.
This has also been described as removing the barriers.
For example, when I do video editing I often get sidetracked while waiting for my computer to start Adobe Premiere (it takes forever). By leaving the editing program open or requiring myself to launch the program before I can go make coffee helps me get through that period of boredom.
3 – Have constraints
Do 25-minute sprints (Pomodoro Technique) to force work done in restricted time.
It is interesting how our minds work.
For me, having a limited time (25-minutes) I can get work done because I think, “it is just 25-minutes” and this time is for this thing. If I give myself a full day to do something, I will often never get started.
These time limits also work well with the tasks created in step one. I try to make each of my action steps a task I can complete in 25-minutes or close to that.
Many have their version of this, so feel free to explore and test.
4 – Accountability
Another important technique to get things done is to find ways to include accountability. This means you are doing the tasks needed to get it done, but also to get a reward and avoid punishment.
Accountability can be as simple as telling someone what you’re going to do and by when. The social anxiety of having to admit defeat is often enough added incentive to get started and complete tasks.
You can also use “lose” or “shame” as Tim Ferriss mentions in the video. Making a small bet with friends on who is going to complete their actionable goal can mean the difference between “do or do not.”