There are five procrastination triggers, says author Stephen Guise:
- Fun: We enjoy TV, video games, and anything else that’s easy.
- Fear: We’re afraid of failure, and therefore we avoid trying.
- Overwhelm: When the task ahead is daunting, we escape into distraction and avoidance.
- Brain Overheating: When our mental energy wanes, we’ll ‘zombie’ out with YouTube or social media.
- Responsibility: When we’re overloaded with responsibilities, we neglect them.
Procrastination creates temporary comfort and escape. But it’s also a barrier between what’s real and what’s possible.
How can we battle procrastination?
In today’s episode, Stephen Guise, the author of Mini Habits, talks about how tiny steps and micro-behavior-changes can lead to massive results.
Here’s an example:
Imagine that your goal is to build a flat stomach and stronger biceps. But deep down, subconsciously, you’re afraid you might fail. Or that everyone at the gym will laugh at you.
So you procrastinate. “I’ll work out tomorrow,” you tell yourself. “Or next week. Or next year.”
As a result, you don’t make progress.
But let’s flip the script. Instead of focusing on the result — your appearance — you focus on the smallest possible action.
You create a new goal: Everyday, you’ll do a single push-up. You’ve designed a goal that cannot fail.
The moment you commit to this goal, you drop to the ground and do a push-up.
Congratulations. You’ve succeeded today.
You repeat this everyday for a week. You build a new self-identity. You’re the type of person who does daily push-ups.
One day, while executing your single push-up, you figure, “Ah, what the heck,” and pump out a few more. One push-up grows into five, ten, fifteen, twenty.
You focus on tiny actions, rather than their potential long-term payoff.
Eventually, you get results.
Stephen’s book is about beating procrastination by focusing on actions, not results, and breaking down those actions into miniature steps.
He shares more ideas in today’s episode.
- Mini Habits
- Five Procrastination Triggers (and Two Solutions!) – StephenGuise.com
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