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Stop Procrastinating: A Simple 3 Step Formula

"Whatever you want to do, do it now. There are only so many tomorrows."

- Michael Landon

Have you ever had those days where you just don't want to do anything?

Those types of days where you show up to your desk and you just can't bring yourself to want to do anything productive?

Distracting yourself with endless minutiae..

Procrastinating by cleaning the house, refreshing your inbox, or running errands..

We've all been there.

The trick is to not get stuck there.

During those times, use this 3 step formula to get back on track.

1. State Switch

The moment you notice you're staring at your screen blankly or typing in URLs into the browser unconsciously is the precise moment when you need to state switch!

The art of productivity lies in realizing you're being unproductive quicker and quicker over time.

Jump up from the desk.

  • Go on a quick walk outside.

  • Do 10 jumping jacks.

  • Do 10 pushups.

The body has usually gone along with the mind into a state of lethargy. You need to wake the body back up to get the neurons in the brain firing again.

Do whatever it takes to step away from the screen for a moment and wake up the body and mind again.

As soon as you feel like the blood is flowing again, proceed to step 2.

2. Recalibrate to your WHY

Often times when we lose motivation or inspiration, it's because we've lost sight of the larger picture. We've substituted the forest for the trees.

We're too focused on the specific tasks we need to knock out and can't remember the bigger picture of what it all adds up to.

We've lost sight of the dream.

In that moment of wanting to give up, you must return to you WHY.

Returning to your WHY will give you a fresh jolt of motivation and inspiration to make some more progress.

It helps to have a physical item you can look at to reference your WHY.

  • A Few sentences written down on your whiteboard

  • A vision board

  • A mind movie

Whatever it needs to be, just get yourself focused on the bigger picture again so you can get back on track and continue making forward progress.

Once you're properly recalibrated, it's time to create some urgency.

3. Set a timer

Set your phone's stopwatch for a 30 minute countdown and press start.

All of a sudden, the time starts ticking away.

Second by second, those 30 minutes are dwindling down.

The time is going to pass anyways. You'll either spend those 30 minutes making progress or not.

The choice is yours once the time is running.

30 minute intervals are just short enough to not feel overwhelming, and just long enough to actually make some tangible progress.

Even if it's not any good at the end of the 30 minutes, just allow yourself to take action.

Nobody's Perfect

Look, the reality is that some days you're just not going to have the drive.

But if you want to be successful, you still need to be able to perform.

Personally, when I encounter these days, I organize my entire day into 30 minute intervals.

30 minutes of action. 30 minutes of walking around the block. Repeat. All day long.

Some of my 30 minute action intervals are filled with staring at the screen doing nothing.

No one's perfect. Humans are certainly not wired to live their lives sitting and looking at screens all day.

You're already fighting against millions of years of biological evolution living your life sitting behind the desk.

Of course you're going to have days where it doesn't feel like you can make progress.

But just remember the 3 step formula and you'll be able to get through it.

1. State Switch

2. Recalibrate to your WHY

3. Set a 30 minute timer and press START.

And then just get to work.

Then rest.

Then get to work.

Then rest.

At the end of the day, you'll have something to show for yourself.

It may not be much, but it will be something.

And that's better than nothing.

Progress beats perfection every day of the week.

Here's to you Actualizing Your Potential!


With gratitude,

Dennis McGinley

Founder and Performance Coach @ STRIVENT

"Actualize your Potential!"


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