Do you struggle with motivating yourself?
Do you put things off, consistently procrastinating the critical stuff? Maybe it’s an application, a difficult meeting or phone call, or a trip — I’m sure something is nagging you.
If there is, don’t worry, you’re not alone.
Procrastination — The Struggle of Many
I recently started answering questions on Quora. You probably already know — it’s a fantastic user-generated content playground where anyone can ask a question and get a response.
I was surprised by how many people ask the same question over and over again. How can I stop procrastinating and get things done?
It seems I could spend a lifetime answering questions that come like this. There are many out there who struggle to motivate themselves. And that’s the problem…
Procrastination is a problem of epic proportions. That’s why it’s my mission to help you eliminate it from your life in my upcoming book Get Anything Done.
My goal is to get you cranking at what you do best.
Here are two steps that you can use to change your life forever. They are simple, practical, and I promise that they will help way more than some feel-good quote.
Ready to eliminate procrastination? Let’s do it now and be done with it.
Step 1 — Throw Motivation in The Trash
When we think that motivation will be the thing that will whip our ass into shape, think again.
I hate to break the truth to you — motivation is overrated.
No matter how excited you might be when you have a new idea, the motivation will eventually trickle away.
It’s a pervasive problem, so don’t feel so bad. Strava, the exercise application, surveyed millions of people and the labeled the day that users gave up on their exercise goals “Quitter’s Day.”
Stop thinking that you need to get motivated. When you’re using a lack of motivation as the reason you’re not doing what’s important, it’s become your scapegoat.
Do you know what an excuse is? It’s anything that you use to get out of what you know you should be doing. Stop doing that. It’s highly unproductive.
You don’t have time to wait on heightened levels of motivation. There are no guarantees on this planet — this is life after all. We take it for granted that every day is life and death because we’re comfortable. We think that modern convenience keeps us safe. And they do most of the time but not all.
There is a risk in everything that you do. Waiting on your level of motivation to be jacked up to get you off the couch — you might as well wait for NASA to reinstate Pluto as a planet.
If you genuinely want to end procrastination, through motivation in the trash. It’s been holding you back for too long. This means that it no longer matters how motivated you feel. So no excuses, ok?
Great. Let’s move forward.
Step 2 — Make Time Your Axis
Time is the most important thing that we have. It’s not our feelings — it’s time and what we do with it. Basic enough, right? Wrong. You’ve been taking time for granted. You think that you have plenty of time, but how do you know? You can’t, so squeeze all that you can.
What you want to answer each day is, do you know the purpose of each moment? This practice might seem a little neurotic, but I promise it’s highly useful in your quest to become amazing.
I know that you want to become extraordinary. You’re reading right now, so I congratulate you. Most people have stopped reading altogether. Now, respect time. Honor the process by using the finite nature of time.
Do you know why I asked you to throw away motivation in step one? Because your groovy feelings about your ideas won’t last long.
The goals that we have can be so massive and scary that our thoughts about achieving them (or how impossible they seem) can be the very thing that keeps us from acting.
You know this already — time and action go hand and hand. Let’s not complicate the process.
Let’s keep it easy.
Plan every hour of your day. You have limited time, so only spend it on three to five game-changing activities — the things that will create the most significant impact.
Answer these two questions each day:
- What’s the purpose of each moment
- What’s the most important thing that you can do today
If you answer these questions and complete the actions that you set consistently, motivation will take care of itself.
Channel the Power of Timed Intervals
Your goal is to become a perpetual generator of action — motion is what creates success.
Emotions are always up and done, good day and bad days, but what is a constant (for as long as you are alive) is that 60 minutes is 60 minutes.
Here we go — the best tool that I can give you in your productivity arsenal is timed intervals.
Anytime you have a project or goal, work on it in small increments of time. Set a timer, decide an action that will move you closer to that goal, then do it. When the time is over, you get to move on to the next important objective.
Keep in mind that this process takes intense focus. Even the elite can only focus and get into the flow state for about 3.5 hours a day.
Set your mark to this time and give yourself credit for honoring the process. This is the first step to becoming intentional with your day in a process that I teach called Day Design.
If you got this far, my wish for you is to become a Day Design machine.
When you start this journey, emotions will no longer control your actions. You’ll become the master of your time. It won’t always be fun, but your feelings and motivation will catch up eventually.
By following these steps, I promise you will become even more awesome than you are now.
No more excuses. Only time.
Want to be more productive? Download the most popular chapter from my book, Get Anything Done for FREE.