3 Simple Tricks to Beat Procrastination Today!

In the first part of my life, I spent years perfecting the art of procrastination. Black belt in procrastination, I became very skillful at dodging responsibilities thrown my way. I mean:

  • Why go clean your bedroom or mow the lawn when Super Mario needs your help to rescue the princess?
  • Why rack your brains over a math problem when you can spend quality time with your friends playing street hockey?
  • Who has time to strain hard to finish assigned readings when you can get the “same” information sitting, popcorn in hand, watching a Hollywood masterpiece?

With my calendar full of leisure activities, needless to say, I wasn’t very productive.

Fortunately for me, this wasn’t the end of my journey. Somewhere along the way, I became aware that the road of procrastination leads to unrealized dreams, unfulfilled potential, disappointing results, and missed opportunities. Not at a place I wanted to end up in.

In the second part of my life, determined to beat procrastination, I had to find ways to get myself to do what I know I must do—and not repeatedly postpone until the last minute.

There are 3 simple tricks I have use very successfully to beat procrastination, and I hope they can help you as well.

Trick 1: Take A Baby Step

Newton’s law of inertia says, “a body at rest tends to stay at rest and a body in motion tends to stay in motion.” The purpose of taking a baby step towards your goal is to break inertia and set you in motion—even if only in slow motion. Once you are in motion, you’ll tend to stay in motion.

It’s important that you focus on taking a baby step forward, not a big step because a big step will likely dissuade you from taking action and send you right in the arms of procrastination. Make this step so small that you can’t say, no, to taking it. In fact, make it the smallest step forward possible.

For example, instead of trying to convince yourself to clean your whole house, it might be easier to convince yourself to clean your bedroom, or even better, simply organize your night table. It’s not yet the whole house, but you’re in motion.

Trick 2: Find A Carrot

This second trick also aims to set you motion. It consists of finding something that you really want to do—e.g. play Super Mario Bros—and put it as a recompense for what you must do—e.g. clean your bedroom. In other words, your desire to play Super Mario Bros will help you get the motivation to clean your bedroom.

The goal is to get you to put “pay” before “play”. More specifically, the desire to “play” urges you to “pay” first.

Parents use this trick on their kids all the time. Little Johnny says to Mom, “I want dessert”, and she replies, “You must eat all your dinner first, including your vegetable.” The dessert acts as an incentive that urges Little Johnny to clean his plate—expeditiously.

It turns out that this trick works well on adults as well, and it can help you beat procrastination.

Trick 3: Stay Away From Kryptonite

As you may recall, kryptonite is the rock that saps Superman’s strength. In the presence of kryptonite, Superman loses his superpowers. Likewise, your kryptonite is something that makes you lose your focus and causes you to procrastinate. It sidetracks and distracts you.

For example, when you are in the presence of a TV set, you lose all your strength and waste countless hours surfing from channel to channel, i.e. procrastinating. The TV set is your kryptonite, and you need to stay away from it: unplug it and don’t go close to it.

If the web is your kryptonite—as it is for many these days—you may want to consider using apps and computer programs that prevent you from surfing the web and accessing your social media accounts while working. This protective measure will prevent you from getting lost in the meanders of the web.

Once you are in motion, you'll tend to stay in motion. Click To Tweet

Procrastination is not your friend. It’s is robbing you from all the great things you could do in the world. It’s stealing your time and wasting your potential. You must beat it, and these tricks can help you do just that!

Question: What tricks have helped you in your fight against procrastination?