If you’re like most people, you don’t *always* procrastinate – just for the things you really don’t want to do. Here are three ways to “sweeten the deal” for yourself so you can get moving – and get done.
“It’ll make more sense to get to that when I have a bigger block of time.”
“I’ll wait until I’m feeling mentally 100% to tackle that job.”
“Too many little things are popping up today – it’s just not a good day to start on that.”
Isn’t it funny how we can rationalize putting off that one task we really, really need to get done but just don’t want to?
Whatever procrastination tricks your mind might be playing on you, rest assured that you’re not alone.
And while for a lucky few, the sheer act of “powering through” might suffice, for the rest of us, at times we’ll need something a bit more enticing to get moving.
The three ideas below will help to “sweeten the deal” for yourself so you can turn your procrastination into a productivity equation.
Idea #1: Make the work more fun
Sometimes a simple change in scenery can help motivate you to finish a task. If I’m having a hard time getting to work, I’ll often pack my laptop and head to my library branch, an outdoor coffee shop, or a local brewery to finish things up. There’s something about changing your surroundings that can spark motivation. It’s as though you’re telling your brain “We’ve come to this special place to finish this!” Plus, having a tasty iced coffee or local brew to sip on can makes things a little more enjoyable 😉
Idea #2: Do a (short) visualization
It might sound silly, but I often find the quickest way to get moving is simply to close my eyes and imagine how good it will feel when I am completely DONE with my work. Picturing this post-work relief, relaxation, and joy can be highly motivating. For example, if you have a party or event at the end of your work day, close your eyes and imagine yourself heading to that event knowing you got everything done and feeling awesome and on top of the world. Then – make it happen!
Idea #3: Bribe yourself.
When all else fails, there’s always a self-bribe (yes, really). If you’ve never bribed yourself before, here’s how it works. First, give yourself specific parameters including a task and a deadline (i.e. Finish all the slides for that presentation by 5 PM today). Second, choose a designated reward for IF you finish your task by your deadline (i.e. A trip to your favorite ice cream parlor, a 3-hour Netflix binge, or a $100 “gift certificate” to your favorite store). While you might at first think this method silly because ultimately you could give yourself those treats anytime, I encourage you to give it a try. When you’re in dire straits and need to pull out all the stops, it can work.
Unless you’re one of those rare freak-of-nature productivity machines, procrastination happens to all of us sometimes. Sometimes our sheer will alone can kick us into gear – but for the times when it can’t – try the tricks above (and don’t feel bad about it!).
After all, in this entrepreneurial life, whatever it takes to get the job done is what it takes to get the job done.
Looking for more?
Here are some of my readers’ favorite productivity posts from my blog over the past ten years!