Overcoming Procrastination: 5 Mind Tricks for Success

Do you ever procrastinate? Are you human? We all do, from time to time.

The good news is that there are tools we can use to minimize distractions and get the important things done when they need to be done.

A friend and colleague of mine, Anne Bachrach, recently wrote a comprehensive book, The Guide to Stopping Procrastination. Anne’s ideas, concepts, and coaching have helped many financial professionals achieve and even surpass their goals.

This guidebook is F-R-E-E to our subscribers. Click Here.

5 Tips to Trick Your Mind into Overcoming Procrastination

by Anne Bachrach, The Accountability Coach™

When we’re faced with a laundry list of to-dos and not enough time in the day, it can be easy to distract ourselves and push things off to the next day. And when more items get added to our list, it becomes overwhelming, and we continue to procrastinate even more. A vicious cycle for sure.

The good news is that with the following 5 tips you can trick your mind to minimize procrastination and maximize your results.

1. Make It Super Easy to Get Started on Your Task

The hardest part of completing some tasks is getting started. Sometimes thinking about a task can snowball into feeling overwhelmed because of what the task entails. If you’re going into the task with a dreaded mindset, that will make it harder to get started. It’s much easier to get started if you don’t think about it as much.

Set things up ahead of time so it’s super easy to get started. If your goal is to work out in the morning, make sure your clothes are laid out the night before. Then, when you wake up, just get out of bed. Don’t spend time thinking about whether or not you want to work out, or you’ll fall into the same pattern as before. Just get up, get dressed, and get out.

If the task at hand is making prospecting calls to potential clients, start with making a list of people to call and the script you will use for what to say. Once you have that list and script, set it next to your computer (or open it in a notes document on your laptop) the day before you even start the task.

Now that your prospect list and script are ready and waiting, all you need to do is pick up the phone and start calling! You can also open up any CRM you use ahead of time, so you’re ready to take notes on your calls. The less you need to think about it in the moment, the easier it will be to get started.

2. Remove All Distractions

Yes, I’m talking about your mobile phone. That’s probably one of the biggest distractions from doing our work. Either flip your phone over, turn it off, or remove it completely from the room you are in. Now you can better focus on the task at hand.

Do you have a browser window open with dozens of tabs but need to get started on that blog post? Separate one browser window and just focus on getting your writing done, so you’re not tempted to see the other sites you were browsing on.The bottom line is, to simplify your environment and pare it down as much as possible to remove any distractions, as much as possible.

3. Think of a Reward for Completing the Task

If there’s no light at the end of the tunnel, of course, you’ll want to push it off! Establish a reward for when you complete the task.

Maybe it’s a drink at your favorite smoothie place, or tacos for dinner. It could be something larger, like that shirt you’ve been eyeing. Having a reward gives you not only something to look forward to but also something to work towards.

While the completion of the task might seem like reward enough, adding something fun to the mix can serve as a turbocharger to completing a project.

Set a Timer to Work on the Task

Not knowing how long a task is going to take can often deter you from getting started.

Set a timer so you know exactly how long you’ll be working on the task. Start with 25 minutes and see how you feel, and if you’re in a good flow, set the timer for another 25 minutes. That way, there is an end in sight. Per Tip #2 above, don’t use your mobile phone for this. Check out The Pomodoro Timer (any of the many other affordable options to keep you focused on the task at hand for 25 minutes at a time before reminding you to take a break.

You can even make a game out of it. Set a timer first for 10 minutes. If you “beat” that timer, try setting another timer for 15 minutes. Keep going for as long as you can, and before you know it, you’ll be done!

Give Yourself Permission to Try Again the Next Day

Some things are okay being put off, and it’s okay to give yourself permission to try again the next day. It’s easy to get into a cycle of feeling disappointed or discouraged because you didn’t get something done that you meant to get done. But if you forgive yourself and give yourself permission to try again, you’ll approach it with a better mindset the next day. You’ll have fewer negative feelings around what you’re putting off, and you’ll be less likely to procrastinate again with self-forgiveness.

Thank you, Anne

Your next action step – right now ,don’t procrastinate – should be to get Anne’s comprehensive guide. It’s F-R-E-E to you! Click Here

Related: Heating Up Cold Prospects: Strategies for Effective Outreach