Today we are talking procrastination. Specifically, one method to help you get over it and get stuff done!
I am a mixed bag when it comes to procrastination. Sometimes I don’t think twice about getting tasks done – if its on my mind or on my to do list, I’ll get it done no problem. Other times though (like this past Sunday), I am big into procrastination. I dread nothing more than the task at hand. I will sit or stand frozen, unable to even take the first step toward completion.
Let me share what happened to me this past weekend.
On Sunday I told myself I needed to spend some time researching the legal side of starting my own business. Sounds fun, huh? No wonder I was putting it off. Who doesn’t want to spend their Sundays in their p-jams, sipping coffee, knitting and napping? I even got to the point that I was just wandering around my (tiny) kitchen, looking for anything to do, but sit down in front of the computer.
Did changing out of my pajamas give me the push I needed? No way. (Let’s not kid ourselves here. I stayed in my pj pants all day). Instead, I applied Premack’s Principle.Premack It Up
Premack’s Principle is simple:
You start with two tasks: one which you want to avoid and one you are looking forward to doing. Then, you make an agreement with yourself: if you complete the task you are avoiding, you can then do the task you enjoy. E.g. Once you eat your vegetables, you can eat your ice cream.
In my case, I told myself that if I did my small business research online, afterwards I could finish picking out my outfit for an upcoming wedding. Both were things I needed to get done soon, but trying on dresses and shoes from my closet is a LOT more appealing to me than googling business registration rules and regulations.
And guess what, it worked! I got through the research I needed, made a list of questions to look into further and found a good contact for those questions.
What project or task are you avoiding at home or at work? What can you use as a rewarding task to help get the job done?