October 22, 2015 Rodney Cowled

Procrastination? Don’t Wait, Read This Now.

I’ve been meaning to put this post up for a while, but…you know, procrastination. Okay, okay I’ll stop there – Is a joke that lame even forgivable? (my apologies).

Anyway, my good friend Ben Young wrote this post just for you, you big procrastinator you. He’s got a couple of questions to for you & then an excellent exercise to kill procrastination, dead.

Firstly, The Procrastination Questions

  • Do you have a project or idea on the horizon but are waiting for that spark of motivation to ignite?
  • Maybe you have a goal sitting in the pipeline and it seems monstrous, overwhelming or quite complex and from the outset you fidget, delay or ignore it…

Yes? We’ll read on…

Paper Beats Rock – What Trumps Procrastination? 

Procrastination, it stands between us and the motivation to achieve our goals, ideas and ambitions. It’s procrastination that costs us many waking hours, keeps us burning the midnight candle, and staying busy with the completely unimportant!

The revolutionary idea of conquering procrastination and avoiding the motivation trap is simply this:

Action proceeds motivation.

The secret to executing and not procrastinating is to take your gigantic vision or project and turn it into several bite size tasks.

“Chunking” the Enemy of Procrastination.

Let’s begin with a thought on ‘chunking’. We need to make our projects manageable by cutting them into bite size pieces. More importantly, we need to chunk them in terms of their perceived difficulty. Our minds work most effectively when we chunk and turn complexity into simplicity. Whenever our brains have too much information it becomes overloaded, it’s kind of like having too many things running on your computer – it freezes.

Remember Walt Disney?

Walt Disney is famous for bringing animation to life. He was successful with this difficult task because he understood this concept. Each film was created by chunking his ideas down into storyboards and tackling each specific aspect of the film separately. 

As we begin to break down our bigger goals into simple, small and manageable tasks, we kick start the wheel of motivation. As each small step is actioned and we see progress, we start feeling more confident and motivated toward each upcoming task.

This idea is likened to that of the ‘confidence-competence loop’; as we progress with each manageable chunk our confidence and motivation to take on the next chunk increases.

Your Turn – The Procrastination Exercise

Maybe you have a report you have been putting off. Whatever it is, we need to chunk it down. List the tasks that needs to be done in order of difficulty (1-10) – easiest to hardest, until the goal is completed.

0. This could be thinking about how we need to write the report
1. This could be beginning to map out the key points
2. And so on…

Once you have 10 bite size ideas, begin taking action at zero and keep building on your progress with each step. You will quickly begin to see the power of actioning small steps to stay motivated toward completing the bigger goal.

I would love to hear how well this works for you and the strange and wonderful tasks to which you’ve have you applied it.