overcome procrastination

3 Unconventional Methods to Overcome Procrastination

“Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt” — William Shakespeare

We’ve all got our little reasons for procrastinating.

There’s this Dutch survey that says 95{54c12dad2cc2b53ae830e39915b1a3e70288dbcbbeb8bbf8395437c5dc3c512c} of people are chronic procrastinators. I think the other 5{54c12dad2cc2b53ae830e39915b1a3e70288dbcbbeb8bbf8395437c5dc3c512c} are liars. EVERYONE procrastinates sometimes. Some people are just better at containing it than others.

“How do I get over my bad habit of procrastination?”

That question–or some variation of it–is one of the most common queries about the topic of productivity. And, it’ll probably stay that way for another thousand years–or until we all become super productive trans-humanist robo-peeps–whichever comes first.


We’ve all got our little reasons for procrastinating:

  • “I’ve got this make-it-or-break-it project to work on right now. BUT FIRST, I’ve got to manually create an index in my Moleskine for all my blog post ideas.”
  • “My taxes are due tomorrow. BUT FIRST, I should probably clean up the kitchen; it’s a total mess in here.”
  • “I’ve gotta write and publish this article. BUT FIRST, let me catch up on some ‘House of Cards’ real quick.”

And it goes on and on. Until you find yourself and consciously decide to stop the train and get off in favor of what needs to get done RIGHT NOW.

Some of us can jump off the procrastination train and get to work immediately. The vast majority, however, end up flying into a shiny but non-essential task like a moth in a bright room. Next thing they know, they’ve totally lost track of what was supposed to have gotten done that day.

Any of the above sound familiar?

If yes, then stay with me because you, my friend, are about to learn some very unconventional (and super powerful) methods for getting over procrastination. Including a particularly interesting method that involves the power of — get ready for it — “positive procrastination.”

But we’ll talk more about that in tip #2. For now, let’s dive into the first method (before you decide to procrastinate on reading this article.)

*Side note: Prefer audio? Click here to listen to the podcast version of this article on iTunes > 


1. Never Be Prepared

Here’s an example of a reason I always used to come up with to rationalize my procrastination problem: “I’m a perfectionist” or, “it’s gotta be perfect.”

This, of course, was just a pretty way for me to avoid admitting my fear of failure. You and I know it’s never ever the perfect time or place to do something. Want to know how I overcame this problem?

  • First, I realized that the biggest thing holding me back from accomplishing the things I wanted most out of life was my obsessive attachment to perfection.
  • Next, I realized that the reason I called myself a “perfectionist” was because I was afraid of what might happen if I failed at something (what would they say?)
  • Finally, I came to the realization that I can never be fully prepared for anything in life. But I can always be ready.

And that became my motto: “I’m never prepared, but I’m always ready.” Never prepared. Always ready. Same goes for you.

  • METHOD #1: NEVER BE PREPARED (Be ready instead.)

The next two tips and “hacks” come from the habits of unintentional efficiency experts of the past.

*QUICK NOTE: Don’t procrastinate on reading this! No, you won’t “read this later.” All of us overestimate our capabilities. We commit to dinners and events three months from now, thinking that we’ll have more free time in March than we did in January. Does that ever happen? Not for me. At least not often enough. If you convince your brain that you’ll read this later, what will happen is this: it’ll just get buried along with that other pile of shit you tell yourself you’ll do later. But this is not shit. This is your life. You’re beautiful, totally awesome and meaningful life. Do not let your dependence on future time derail you from experiencing your life to the max. If nothing else has worked for you so far, this little list of tips will… Believe that and you’ve already won half the battle.

2. The Power of Positive Procrastination

Robert Benchley, a humorist and writer for The New Yorker, once wrote an essay in which he explained how he was able to develop the self-discipline to everything below in one sitting:

According to Benchley, all he had to do was write up a to-do list for the week and put the aforementioned tasks *below* his *top* priority, which was to write an article.

In his words, Benchley wrote:

“The secret of my incredible energy and efficiency in getting work done is a simple one … The psychological principle is this: anyone can do any amount of work, provided it isn’t the work he is supposed to be doing at that moment.”

Translation: procrastinators tend to avoid doing one task by doing another, and very rarely do they ever sit still.

  • METHOD #2: USE THE POWER OF POSITIVE PROCRASTINATION. (Shoot for the moon, land amongst the stars.)

3. The Nothing Alternative

A novelist named Raymond Chandler pioneered “The Nothing Alternative” as a method of defense against procrastinating on his daily prose. Chandler couldn’t commit himself to cranking out 250 words every 15 minutes like writer Anthony Trollope. So he decided to literally wait around for inspiration to strike.

Personally, I find that inspiration never strikes while waiting around. Instead, I’ve found that inspiration strikes when I’ve cultivated a habit of consistency — to work, to write, to record — every single day. In the beginning, the work sucks a lot and often. But the more you do it, the better you become at it.

But this isn’t the kind of “waiting around” Raymond Chandler used to do. His method of “waiting around for inspiration” was to set aside four hours every morning and give himself an ultimatum: Write, or do nothing at all.

In his own words, Chandler said this about writers who suffer from procrastination:

“He [the writer] doesn’t have to write, and if he doesn’t feel like it, he shouldn’t try. He can look out of the window or stand on his head or writhe on the floor, but he is not to do any other positive thing, not read, write letters, glance at magazine, or write checks.”

[…]

“Write or nothing. It’s the same principle as keeping order in a school. If you make the pupils behave, they will learn something just to keep from being bored. I find it works. Two very simple rules, a. you don’t have to write.  b. you can’t do anything else. The rest comes of itself.” 

That’s The Nothing Alternative, right there, and you can use it for almost any task to make procrastination a problem of the past.

Your work might not be as simple and clearly defined as Chandler’s, but you can certainly benefit from the clarity that comes from setting aside the time to focus on your ONE most important thing.

This is your time to turn it up to high gear and focus.

To try this out for yourself, figure out your most important goal for tomorrow morning and set aside 90 minutes of totally uninterrupted time to focus on that goal. No email. No smartphone. No nonsense. No Facebook, either. Shut-down your wifi if you need to. This is your time to turn it up to high gear and focus.

  • METHOD #3: USE THE NOTHING ALTERNATIVE. (Do or die.)

Recap: 3 Unconventional Methods For Overcoming Procrastination

#1.  Never Be Prepared. 
(Be ready instead.)

#2.  Use The Power of Positive Procrastination. 
(Shoot for the moon, land amongst the stars.)

#3.  Use The Nothing Alternative. 
(Do or die.)

Dean Bokhari is best-selling author and host of Meaningful*FM (MeaningfulHQ.com),one of the web’s most popular personal development podcasts.

——-

SOURCES FOR THIS ARTICLE:

  • Willpower: Rediscovering The Greatest Human Strength by Roy F. Baumeister & John Tierney
  • Dutch Study: de Ridder, D. T., Lensvelt-Mulders, G., Finkenauer, C., Stok, F. M., & Baumeister, R. F. (2012). Taking stock of self-control A meta-analysis of how trait self-control relates to a wide range of behaviors. Personality and Social Psychology Review16(1), 76-9

GET THE BOOK BY
ERIN FALCONER!

Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

66 Responses to 3 Unconventional Methods to Overcome Procrastination

  1. Yoսr ѡay of telling everything in this article iѕ ɑctually pleasant,
    еvery one be capable оf easily қnow it, Thankѕ а lot.

    My homepаge :: Air Quality monitor

  2. Іt’s trulү veгy complex in this busy life to listen news ⲟn TV, therefore
    Ι just use the web for that purpose, аnd take thе most up-to-date news.

    Feel free tо surf to myy web site … why mix vinegar and Baking soda

  3. Thank you for sharing үour thoughtѕ. I truly aрpreciate yoᥙr efforts
    and I am waitng fоr yur fᥙrther post tһank yoᥙ ߋnce agаin.

    My blog :: australia’s air quality

  4. Hi tto еᴠery one, becauѕe I am in fаct keen of reading tһis webpage’ѕ post tⲟ be updzted on а
    regular basis. It carries fastidious material.

    Ꮋere is mү web page: Cbd Delta 8 Gummies 25Mg

  5. purifier says:

    Hey! I’m at ᴡork surfing aroᥙnd your blog from my neew iphone!
    Justt wanted to ѕay I love reading tһrough yoսr blog and loօk forwsard to aⅼl
    your posts! Kеep up the grеat work!

    Also visit mу pаgе: purifier

  6. Hello to all, hօw is ɑll, I think evеry one іs gеtting mߋre fгom thіs website, and your
    views ɑгe pleasant designeed foor neѡ people.

    Нere is my webpage :: Air purifier Room

  7. You mаde some good points thеre. I checked
    ᧐n the internet for additional infߋrmation аbout
    the issue aand fߋund most people will gⲟ along wіth yоur views
    oon this website.

    Visit mү paցе; odour absorber

  8. What i dօn’t realize iѕ in reality hoow you’rе noԝ not aсtually a lot m᧐гe well-appreciated tһan you mayy Ьe right now.
    You’rе ѕo intelligent. You realize tһuѕ considerably on the subject ߋf this matter, made mee individually Ƅelieve іt fгom numerous varieed angles.
    Іts ⅼike women аnd men don’t seem to bee іnterested
    unlesѕ іt іs one thing to do witgh Lady gaga!

    Yoᥙr оwn stuffs outstanding. Αll the time deal ᴡith it uρ!

    Alѕ᧐ visit my web page: strongest CBG ORGANIC VEGAN gummies

  9. Stephenpep says:

    buying viagra online cheap generic viagra online viagra

  10. I useed to be aƅle to fihd ցood advice frⲟm your blog articles.

    Аlso visit mʏ paցe; Delta 8 Organic Gummies

  11. This post will hеlp tһe internet visitors fօr setting up new webpage or even a weblog from start
    to еnd.

    My webpage … infection Control

  12. whoah thnis weblog is excellent i love reading your articles.
    Stay սρ thе gooⅾ work! Уoս understand, lоts ᧐f individuals аre
    looking around for this info, yоu ϲan aid them greatly.

    Hегe iѕ my web site 10mg Cbd gummies organic vegan

  13. It’s reallʏ a cool and helpful piece оf info. I am glad that yoս simply shared this սseful іnformation ѡith us.

    Please kerep us uр to date like tһіѕ.
    Thank you for sharing.

    Feel free too visit my page Air Silent Purifier

  14. Jamesgreat says:

    cialis coupons buy tadalafil cialis at a discount price

  15. Travisshoob says:

    viagra walmart buy viagra viagra price

  16. Eddievor says:

    cheap online pharmacy prescription drugs online without doctor ed products

  17. Jamesspura says:

    buy viagra online canada buy viagra generic how to get viagra

  18. Jamesspura says:

    viagra 100mg generic viagra online viagra prescription

  19. Jamesspura says:

    when will viagra be generic viagra canada buy viagra online canada

  20. Jamesspura says:

    discount viagra buy ed pills online best over the counter viagra

  21. Jamesspura says:

    viagra from canada buy ed pills online generic name for viagra

  22. Ernestjiz says:

    ed in men generic ed pills shots for ed

  23. I love it wһen folks come tоgether and share views.

    Ꮐreat website, continue tһe good wоrk!

    Μy web-site: eliminate offensive odours

  24. Ernestjiz says:

    online ed drugs Cheap Erection Pills buying ed pills online

  25. Ernestjiz says:

    comparison of ed drugs cheap ed pills medication drugs

  26. Ernestjiz says:

    ed causes and cures generic viagra erectile dysfunction natural remedies

  27. Dannymug says:

    coffee with cialis cheap cialis samples of cialis

  28. Dannymug says:

    fastest delivery of cialis buying online cialis for sale cialis reps

  29. I simply want to say I am just very new to blogging and site-building and certainly savored your page. Most likely I’m likely to bookmark your site . You surely come with amazing stories. Kudos for sharing your website.

  30. BruceBep says:

    errectile disfunction ed drugs online from canada natural ed
    ed pharmacy

  31. BruceBep says:

    website ed drugs online from canada best canadian online pharmacy
    ed natural remedies

  32. BruceBep says:

    natural ed treatment ed meds online without doctor prescription medications for
    vitamins for ed

  33. BruceBep says:

    what type of medicine is prescribed for allergies ed pills online pharmacy drugs to treat ed
    natural cure for ed

  34. MichealRot says:

    https://zithromaxgeneric500.com/ zithromax z-pak price without insurance

  35. MichealRot says:

    https://valtrexgeneric500.com/ generic valtrex 1000mg for sale

  36. MichealRot says:

    https://amoxicillingeneric500.com/ order amoxicillin online

  37. WilliamMedlY says:

    buy sildenafil online sildenafil without doctor prescription

  38. WilliamMedlY says:

    tadalafil online tadalafil for sale

  39. WilliamMedlY says:

    generic drugs from india buy generic drugs cheap tablets

  40. Additionally, any resulting provided patents may have insurance claims narrower than those in our patent applications.

  41. StephenNup says:

    viagra price buy viagra viagra 100mg price

  42. RobinSeike says:

    how much will generic viagra cost buy viagra online generic viagra

  43. RobinSeike says:

    where can i buy viagra over the counter buy viagra amazon viagra

  44. RobinSeike says:

    best ed pills at gnc Amoxil google viagra dosage recommendations

  45. RobinSeike says:

    real cialis without a doctor’s prescription buy cialis canadien cialis

  46. RobinSeike says:

    cialis vs viagra cialis when will cialis go generic

  47. RobinSeike says:

    pet meds without vet prescription canada generic Nolvadex pumps for ed

  48. RobinSeike says:

    male ed drugs canada drugs online fast ed meds online

  49. RobinSeike says:

    generic cialis available cialis online cialis 20 mg

  50. RobinSeike says:

    canadian pharmacy generic viagra viagra online pharmacy viagra

  51. RobinSeike says:

    the best ed pills canada online pharmacy ed supplements

  52. RobinSeike says:

    erectial disfunction canada pharmacy online buy canadian drugs

  53. RobinSeike says:

    free cialis medication for providers cialis tadalafil 30 mg cialis what happens

  54. RobinSeike says:

    cialis vidalista cialis online cialis dosage 40 mg dangerous

  55. Traviserony says:

    best natural cure for ed: canadian pharmacy what type of medicine is prescribed for allergies

  56. Traviserony says:

    treatments for ed: online drug store medicine erectile dysfunction

  57. LarryCague says:

    erectile dysfunction buy cialis in canada online male dysfunction pills

  58. LarryCague says:

    ed meds canadian drugs without prescription erectile dysfunction cure

  59. LarryCague says:

    cialis without doctor prescription buy viagra online canada pharmacy ed tablets

  60. LarryCague says:

    online viagra prescription viagra without a doctor prescription canada viagra coupons

  61. LarryCague says:

    discount prescription drugs canadian pharmacy online ed prescription drugs

  62. LarryCague says:

    does cialis lower your blood pressure cialis generic best liquid cialis

  63. LarryCague says:

    cialis 30 day trial coupon cialis prices warnings for cialis

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.