Procrastination is opportunity’s assassin. ~ Victor Kiam

Today I want to tackle a common problem we all have, probably regularly. It’s the habit of putting things off that we should do: procrastination. And I think I have a simple and sweet solution to stop procrastination at the end of this post. And all that without any time-management stuff …

Why do we procrastinate in the first place?

There are basically 2 simple reasons why it happens: The first is fear and the second is inertia, which is more commonly known as laziness. Both often work hand in hand very nicely to keep us from making reasonable progress.

The fear is probably about something potentially unpleasant, like going to the dentist when you know you should, or preparing for a public speaking. The classic for “Feel the fear and do it anyway”.

This fear can also come as fear of not being good enough or the idea that the result will not be good enough. This desease is generally known as perfectionism. This is especially true if we see what we want to do clearly but it just gets too overwhelming in our head. Where should we start?

Inertia aka Laziness sets in whenever we feel there is something much more pleasant to do. And the next best thing is always just around the corner, right? It is not so easy to get something in motion. But once it is in motion, it is much easier to keep it going …

How to Stop Procrastination in 5 Minutes

Ok, here goes … I’d like to solve your procrastination problem with a simple thinking pattern. Answer those 3 questions:

1. Is what you procrastinate really important, will you do it eventually?

If you answer no, then just drop it (or continue procrastinating) and move on to something more important. It’s often right to say “Yes” to only a few things and to say “No” to all the rest. Problem solved.

If you answer yes, then answer…

2. What is nice and rewarding after you did it? Why do you want it?

Think about it. Make it really big in your head. See it visually. Feel how good it feels. Write it down.

Also if you like: think about how awful things could turn out if you don’t get it done. This can help as well, although it creates negative emotions of course. But now you can use them in your own favor.

Then turn to your nice feelings when you have it. And answer…

3. What is the one thing that you could do now?

Confucius says “The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.” And right he is. What is the one single thing you could do right now? It can be anything really tiny. Because that is the first step to get you into the flow. That’s not hard to figure out, isn’t it? If you have it, then do it now.

And then … you have successfully stopped procrastination. Voilà!