When you have a lot of things in “I should do this pile”, you tend to procrastinate. Sometimes even those non urgent, but cool to do things can be so overwhelming, as there is far to many of them.
How often did you find yourself in a situation where those tasks that weren’t urgent, just explode in your face, because you’ve neglected them so long?
Clean up the garage. Yep, you could have done it in past 6 months in pieces, now you can’t even enter the damned place. It’s all there, exploding in your face, being an evidence to your bad prioritization habits.
The habit of making the first step
If you focus on the bad, you will never make it. The right way to do it is to focus on the positive habits instead. The course to beating procrastination is actually paved with small steps along the way. One step at the time. Now all you need to do is to get into a habit of making the first step.
This might be something you already know, but it never hurts repeating this advice. Why? Because I often find myself in overwhelm and tend to procrastinate on the common things. I perfectly know what I need to do on the rational level, but it just feels to damn hard. Making the first step sets me in motion, and after that point I am ready for amazing things.
Lie yourself into 5 minutes of doing it
If you have a problem with starting, perhaps this is the thing you should try. Getting yourself to do something for 5 minutes. This is often more than enough to get you going. It’s no commitment approach to work. Often I’ve found myself surprised that I’ve done a bunch of stuff in exactly 5 minutes. The only trick is getting started.
Objects in motion tend to stay in motion. It is like that with writing. When you start writing it seems as such a pain to get it going, but after a while, it is in your second nature again. Often the biggest problem is starting. Utilize this knowledge to your advantage.
This phenomena in writing is applicable more or less with everything in life.
This approach helped me countless time to get back into the habit of working out, without investing too much of willpower. All I would need to do, is follow through a couple of lazy days of easy workouts. I would usually start with just a couple of rounds of push ups, and I would gradually work up from there.
But my willpower is so weak, that I can’t focus even for 5 minutes?
If you have a very bad case of weak will power, you might get used to building your willpower muscle instead. If that is the case, you will need to set the bar even lower. Your mind might bend at 3 minutes, or even at 30 seconds. But you need to start from somewhere. And you need to get to do it daily. Ideally, you will couple this method with something that you are actually building as a habit.
If you face your life’s pain in small increments at the time, you will eventually succeed at beating the big pains, and liberate yourself from all the inconvenience.
This article came out as a product of this exercise
As a matter of fact, I’ve started this article completely relying on the 5 minute rule. And while I knew I was not as inspired, and I didn’t have much to offer to the world. This article also helped me getting me back on track with my workouts, and other 6 habits, I’ve been building through past months.
This is especially powerful if you’ve been nurturing good habits in the past. The more time you invested in creating healthy quality habits, the higher the chances you will maintain your investment after a longer break. All it takes a small step to create a moment.
A good metaphor for this is the small snowball that you push from the top of the hill, and as it goes down, it creates a huge avalanche. The small steps start massive actions.
Don’t underestimate the power of starting. Use this habit to slowly build will power and grow your influence over yourself. Use this power in a smart way, so it’s always maximizing the goal completing tasks.