I’m as bad of a procrastinator as anyone else…
In college, I used to wait until the night before a big paper was due. I’d walk to the computer lab on campus. I’d sit down, and proceed to bang on they keyboard.
By the break of dawn, I’d cranked out the paper.
It was horrendous for things like healthy sleep. But I was young. And naive. I managed to get away with it.
Today, I try to be better about it. But I’m still subject to the same impulses. Which means I still find myself having procrastinated, and with a significant amount of work to crank out in too-short of a time.
Last week I mentioned I’d started The 5-Second Rule by Mel Robbins.
And I shared it as a way to help you do those things you’re not doing, where your inaction is holding you back.
But that’s not the only way she recommends using it.
In fact, in the book Robbins offered a simple 3-step formula to help you overcome procrastination.
So I thought I’d share here — with my own insights and perspective.
Step 1: Forgive yourself…
We are our own worst critics. And it holds us back, bad.
The more we criticize ourselves, the more of a negative attitude we bring to what we want to get done.
And with that negative attitude comes a negative story and a negative image of ourselves.
And as soon as we think of ourselves as “the person who can never get anything done,” we’re screwed.
You want to get things done?
You have to get over that. You have to drop that story. And you have to stop being so hard on yourself.
Forgive yourself for whatever past procrastination has brought you to this point.
Accept that it happened, and that’s all. It’s something that happened. In the past. It’s not representative of who you are, or who you can be.
So forgive yourself for it, and decide to move on.
Step 2: Ask what the Future you would do…
When we put things off, it’s because we’re convinced that who we are in the future will take care of it, and do it well.
So play a little imagination game.
Think about that future you. Think about how well they will handle it.
Think about the task being done — and how well it was completed.
Then ask yourself what the future you did to make it such a resounding success.
That becomes your action plan. That becomes what you are going to do.
Now that you know that…
Step 3: Do the Five-Second get-started ritual…
5, 4, 3, 2, 1… Blast off!
Count down from 5 to 1 and get started on the first physical action step.
Don’t let yourself think about it. Don’t suddenly start to ponder.
Just get started. Get moving.
You might do some things wrong. You might do some things that have to be fixed later — or at least that might require some minor course correction.
But you can’t get to that point unless you take action now.
Which is what The 5-Second Rule is all about…
Here it is — in 3 F-words…
Forgive, Future, Five…
Forgive yourself. Look to the Future You for guidance. And start moving within Five Seconds.
Take note of this.
Write it down.
Keep it somewhere you can find, the next time you’re procrastinating (as I did literally this morning).
Then, follow the three steps to get started.
And you’ll be getting done much quicker, too!
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,