Today, I want to share with you the secret to beating procrastination and supercharging your productivity. ‘There’s a secret?’ I hear you ask…
What is procrastination?
The number one barrier to productivity is procrastination. Procrastination has always been viewed as a form of laziness, lack of discipline or poor time management, but procrastination has nothing to do with how hard working you are or how disciplined you are. It’s not a character flaw. It’s not a lack of talent, skill or ability. It has nothing to do with tools, tips, tricks, hacks.
Dr Tim, Professor of Psychology and member of the procrastination research group at the University in Ottawa says, ‘procrastination is an emotion regulation problem, not a time management’. Because procrastination is emotional – what is blocking you from being productive are feelings of fear, self-doubt, uncertainty, boredom or stress.
Procrastination can be understood as ‘the priority of short-term mood repair over the long-term pursuit of intended actions. It means procrastination is not merely avoiding tasks. It is a tactic to avoid ourselves and the deeper underlying emotions that we have related to the task, such as self-doubt, fear, anxiety and stress. The more we will prioritise satiating our mood rather than attacking the work depending on how much emotion we have around like this.
People engage in irrational cycles of chronic procrastination because of an inability to manage negative moods and emotions associated with a task. So, procrastination isn’t so much about our ability to manage time, it’s actually a form of escapism. It’s a way of coping with negative emotions rather than facing them head-on.
How can you beat procrastination?
Here, I am going to give you some methods you can use to beat procrastination and supercharge your productivity:
- Love what you do: Firstly, you need to love what you do. Every single super-productive person I know would do what they do for free. They do it without any expectation of people seeing the work, and without any expectation of making money from it. They do it purely because they love it. When you show up to your work with love and enthusiasm, and have fun doing it, it makes sense that you will get more work done. Not only will you get more work done and be more productive, your work will also be of a much better standard. Gabby Bernstein says ‘The way you can get into that action is by taking away the expectation. It’s so simple. It’s so fun and effortless and joyful to do without expectation.’
- Do without thinking: The second simple thing that every super-productive person has in common is that they DO without thinking. They don’t sit there and think about what they are going to do, they just do it! I heard Erin May Henry answer a question on one of her Instagram Lives, which summed this up perfectly. Erin May Henry is one of the most productive entrepreneurs I have ever seen. She pumps out content like a machine! One of her followers asked her how she creates so much content, and her answer blew me away. She said, ‘I don’t think about it, I just do it.’
- Small steps: All you need to do is take one little baby step on the vital project that you’re supposed to be working on.
You’re not committing to working on it for an hour or half the day. Three minutes is all you’re going to commit to. Here’s the key here. Don’t get ready. Don’t get yourself prepared. Don’t wait until you’re in the right mood. Just start, wherever you are. It could be as simple as opening up that word doc, giving it a title and starting the first sentence or two. You see, the hardest part of accomplishing any project is starting. But once you’re in motion, motion tends to continue motivation and momentum.
If you want to beat procrastination and become more productive in your life and your business, remember – LOVE what you do. Show up with joy and enthusiasm and do it without any expectations, and don’t sit there thinking about it – Just Do It!