I used to be a chronic procrastinator.
From lower school all the way through college graduation, I fell victim to a terrible habit for procrastinating—waiting until the night before the deadline to get started—on school projects and personal goals.
I waited until the last minute to get everything done.
And even though I did well in school, procrastination held me back from functioning at 100%. I was sabotaging myself from using my full potential.
For years and years and years, I gave in to believing that procrastination was just a part of who I was—that I was doomed to a life of constantly sabotaging myself from success. Until one day, I read a self-help book called The Now Habit by Neil Fiore that changed my mindset—and my life.
Fiore kicks off The Now Habit by enlightening readers to the true cause behind any and all procrastination: “Procrastination is a habit you develop to cope with anxiety about starting or completing a task. It’s your attempted solution to cope with tasks that are boring or overwhelming.”
Fiore’s insightful wisdom finally made sense of a lifelong procrastination habit that had always held me back from my potential. My anxiety about getting started on important, boring, or overwhelming projects had always been the true source of my procrastination.
After over twenty years of waiting until the last minute to get started on my work, The Now Habit taught me that procrastination is not part of my character; waiting to get things done is not who I am.
In reality, procrastination was a coping habit for dealing with anxiety about getting started on important projects.
So after I read his book, I used Fiore’s advice to wipe out my anxiety about getting started on important, boring, or overwhelming projects. I liberated myself from procrastination! And I came up with some anti-procrastination techniques of my own.
So if you—like I did—have a habit for sabotaging your own potential by procrastinating on important projects or personal goals until the last minute, try to keep in mind you’re your procrastination is not who you are. Procrastination is not your identity.
It’s a coping habit you use to cope with your anxiety about getting started. Once that anxiety is gone, you can kiss your procrastination days goodbye and say hello to high energy, strong work ethic, diligence, and superior motivation.
The following are 3 techniques to help you quit procrastinating by erasing your coping anxiety:
3 Ways To Stop Procrastinating And Get Your Goals Accomplished!
#1: Schedule Some Guilt-Free Play Into Your Life
Before reading The Now Habit, I—like lots of people—had always viewed work as an unpleasant chore that I needed to force myself to do. Then Fiore’s guidance introduced me to a concept I had never considered before: work can be fun.
Not only can work be fun, but work should be fun. Because when work is fun, you don’t feel anxious about getting started, you look forward to it, you procrastinate less, you perform better, and you feel happier.
Making your work feel fun, likable, or enjoyable sounds impossible. But it’s actually quite simple.
According to Fiore, procrastinators and workaholics typically have feelings of guilt about taking time off work to reward themselves with play-time. Top performers on the other hand—the most productive people—get the most out of their play-time by rewarding themselves with “Guilt-Free Play”—periods of leisure time that they fully enjoy without feeling guilty about it.
So the trick to making work fun is incorporating more Guilt-Free Play into your life: short, scheduled periods for recreational activities that you enjoy.
That’s right. The trick to feeling less anxious about getting started on studying for that final exam that you been stressing about, working on writing your first book, studying for your Bar exam, getting your business off the ground, or losing twenty pounds is to schedule in short periods of fun in between and after your work.
Guilt-Free Play works. It can transform you from a chronic procrastinator into a diligent, motivated, and dedicated hard-worker. Because when work is fun, there’s no reason to feel anxious about it. And there’s no reason to procrastinate.
When work is fun, you perform better, you procrastinate less, and you even start to look forward to your daily grind. There is no reason or excuse for procrastination because working away at your goals becomes a likable, lovable, desirable, exciting, enjoyable, and fun part of your life.
So as crazy as it sounds, one of the best Ways To Stop Procrastinating And Get Your Goals Accomplished is to schedule in some short periods of fun-time in between and after your work.
Your can use your play periods for anything that you consider fun. Guilt-Free Play can be anything you enjoy including watching television shows, watching movies, going for a walk, hitting the gym, listening to music, socializing, and so on and so forth.
When your work becomes fun, you’ll find yourself working harder, working longer, achieving more than you ever thought possible. And you’ll feel happy the whole way through.
#2: Use Doing Nothing (Meditation) To Help You Do More!
When people think of meditation, they tend to envision a stereotypical image of a monk sitting in the cross-legged lotus position repeating “ommmm” over and over. We’ve got this tendency of thinking of meditation as a mental technique that helps you chill out, relax, or find peace.
And as great as meditation is for helping you chill out, it’s also one of the most powerful ways to give yourself the positive mental and physical energy-boost you need to Stop Procrastinating And Get Your Goals Accomplished. Sitting with your eyes closed—you don’t have to sit cross-legged to enjoy it—in meditation once or twice a day can instill you with a powerful sharpness, focus, high energy, and upbeat attitude that pushes you through procrastination to getting more accomplished.
I know this from experience.
I picked up my meditation practice almost three years ago on January 1st of 2013. And the first thing I did after my first-ever meditation session was write out a to-do list. From that day forward, I began each day by sitting down for a morning meditation session and then writing out a daily to-do list right after.
I had always thought of meditation as a mental technique that could offer me more peace or anxiety-release—a technique that could help me chill out. But to my surprise, daily meditation was taking my productivity to levels I didn’t think were possible.
As Neil Fiore explained in The Now Habit, anxiety about getting started on boring, important, or overwhelming projects is the underlying cause behind all procrastination. So it makes perfect sense that meditation can motivate you to get more done because it cleans out the anxiety that holds you back from getting started.
That’s right. Doing nothing—sitting in the stillness of meditation with your eyes closed everyday—can actually motivate you to do more!
So if you want to get more of your goals accomplished—and I think we all do—try giving meditation a shot.
There are plenty of books such as Success Through Stillness or Super Rich by Russell Simmons that can help you get started. There are also plenty of mobile applications available for android and apple devices that are designed to show beginners the ins and outs of meditation.
#3: Use Motivational Audio And Video To Inspire Yourself To Action
The human mind has a tendency for becoming whatever it surrounds itself with.
If you surround yourself with negativity—negative vibes, negative energy, negative habits, negative thoughts, and negative people—you will become a negative person. If you surround yourself with happiness and positivity, positive and happy changes will most certainly unfold in your life.
So in order to become Stop Procrastinating And Get Your Goals Accomplished, you need to surround yourself and fill your mind with as much positivity, motivation, and inspiration as possible.
I know how hard it is to work up the courage, motivation, positivity, or inspiration that you need to get started on working on your dream. If the mind doesn’t believe that greatness is possible yet—if you don’t have any proof in your immediate environment that greatness is in your future—it’s really easy to give up on your purpose or your dream and get comfortable with your current situation.
One of the best ways to end your procrastination and give 100% to working on accomplishing your vision is by fooling your mind into thinking that your dream is already yours.
And the best way to trick your mind into thinking that you deserve greatness in your life is by soaking in motivational, inspirational, and positive audio or video on a daily basis to get yourself pumped for working on your dream.
Haven’t started your work for the day? Not feeling up to it? Losing hope, confidence, and optimism?
Don’t give up.
Flip on a quick motivational audio track. Or log on to YouTube for a quick five-minute motivational video. You’ll be shocked at how much five minutes of motivational content can turn you around from feeling down and out to jumping into your work with full energy, optimism, enthusiasm, and excitement!
There is plenty of great motivational content out there that can do the trick.
Some of my favorite motivational YouTube channels are FearlessMotivation (a company that also produces awesome motivational audio), Mateusz, MotivationGrid, ChispaMotivation, PolishedOfficial by Ashley Zahabian, and many more.
Make sure to take a look at those YouTube channels and check out FearlessMotivation on iTunes for some great motivational audio.
And don’t forget to subscribe to my own motivational YouTube Channel and sign up to my mailing list for weekly updates!