5 ways to stop procrastinating (2023)

by Dean Bokari(from an email dated April 20, 2021)

5 ways to stop procrastinating (1)

Most of us hesitate.

Correction: We ALL hesitate. Heck, I even put off writing this article. Then I postponed the recording of the podcast version.

We've all been there before.

Here are 5 tips for avoiding procrastination that can help you break out of paralysis and do your best.

Tap below to start listening, scroll down to continue reading, or open5 tips to avoid procrastinationin your browser.

1. Reduce the number of decisions you have to make throughout the day.

Every decision we make has an energetic consequence. When you wake up in the morning and have to ask yourself, "What should I do today?" - Well, you're about to postpone today's shit. If you approach each new day without thinking about how you want it to go, you waste a lot of energy thinking about what to do and what not to do.

  • Should I go to the gym today or tomorrow?
  • Should I say yes to lunch with Barry Boombatz from accounting, or should I have a quick lunch just so I can go back to the office and finish this presentation?
  • Should I use this or that? Eat this or eat that? Answer now or later?

We ask ourselves these kinds of questions all day.

The problem is that the questions force us to provide answers, which forces us to make decisions... This deprives you of self-control and tires you out, causing you to postpone the most important thing in your life.

The #1 tip to avoid procrastination isreduce the number of decisionshave to make on a given day by making those decisions in advance and/orcreate habitsin certain areas of your life to increase your effectiveness and prevent you from wasting your energy pondering whether or not to do them. Some examples:

  • Decide in advance exactly which days of the week you will be training rather than deciding the day;
  • Choose your clothes the night before instead of the morning;
  • choose the most important thing that needs to be done tomorrow and schedule time for it;

These are just a few simple examples, but usually it's the simple things that matter the most. What examples can you think of to reduce the number of decisions you make in your own life? This frees up the energy you need to focus on the big and meaningful things instead of taking your mind off the small and meaningless things.

2. End your day before it starts.

This tip picks up where tip #1 left off. The best decision you can make to avoid procrastination is to plan your days ahead.

Instead of frantically figuring out what you're going to do on any given day, it would be better to take a few minutes at the end of each day to quickly plan out the day ahead.

For example, every night before bed, I write/review my plans for the next day, which include:

  • my big thing (TBO) that needs to be done that day. This could be a big task, goal or project I need to move on to.
  • My no matter what it is (NMW) – these are my non-negotiable daily habits: exercise, my daily nature walk/meditation, reading (at least 30 minutes), area work and time spent with people I love.
  • Anything else that needs to be done the next day. That way, my most important goals and projects have ample time to be squeezed, not procrastinated.

3. The alternative of nothing.

"The Nothing Alternative" is a tip for avoiding procrastination coined by an influential crime writer named Raymond Chandler. He used it to avoid putting off his daily writing. Chandler had a hard time sitting at a keyboard and typing a set number of words each day like some successful writers. So he devised another method to overcome procrastination and get to work: he set aside 4 hours every morning and gave himself an ultimatum: “WRITE OR DO NOTHING”.

And Chandler advises writers (and presumably people of all walks of life) who suffer from procrastination to do the same: "He [the writer] doesn't have to write," says Chandler, "and if he doesn't feel like it, he shouldn't." You can look out the window or stand on your head or roll over on the floor, but you can't do anything else positive, don't read, don't write letters, don't look at magazines, don't write checks...write or nothing.” That was it Chandler's philosophy, and it worked for him.The rules are pretty simple:

  • A) You don't have to write or work on what you have to work on.
  • B) But you can't help it.

With these two options in mind, you'll eventually start working, if only to avoid boredom! And while your own work may not be as simple and well-defined as Chandler's, you can certainly benefit from the clarity that comes from taking the time to:Do nothing or focus on yourselfANOTHER important thing.

To test this for yourself, set your top goal for tomorrow morning and give yourself 90 minutes of completely uninterrupted time to focus on that goal.

No email. No smart phone. No Facebook. Without stupidity. If necessary, switch off your WLAN. This is your time to crank it up and focus.

4. The Next Action Habit: Focus on something doable.

In his booksolve things, David Allen talks about the power of intelligently "dumbing down" your brain by figuring out your NEXT ACTION for what you're working on. It's one of the strongest insights in the book: just figure out the next specific action you need to take to get closer to completion, and then DO IT...

Well, it's no secret that procrastination causes a lot of stress and pressure...but the way you do itrelieve that pressureThat's where the secret comes in.

The key to this tip for avoiding procrastination is finding the next physical action, no matter how small, that you need to take to move something forward, be it a task, project, phone call, or anything else.

Would you like to learn how to stop procrastinating? Learn to change your focus. Putting the focus on something that your mind perceives as doable makes all the difference. Let me explain:

Think about something you've put off, like finishing a presentation for work. Now focus on how you FEEL each time you think about how to give this presentation. Think of all the work that went into it. it sucks right? What feeling does that evoke in you? Overwhelmed?

Now shift your FOCUS to ONE SIMPLE thing you can do now to bring this presentation a little closer to 'done'. You might need to google some images to include in the presentation. It's doable, isn't it?

Take the NEXT ACTION. Do it.

The reason for this next method of action is simple: when you do something that your mind perceives as feasible, your energy will increase, your sense of direction and drive will increase dramatically, and you will be able to motivate yourself to do it get what you need. to finish - DONE!

Actionable Insights: Anytime you feel like procrastination kicks in again, use it as a trigger to break down anything you're trying to procrastinate into something simple and doable... Even if it's as small as opening KeyNote and naming your presentation...

One small step leads to the next... and another... and another... and before you know it, you'll have momentum.

5. Customize your environment.

If you are an alcoholic, keep no alcohol at home and stay away from bars and people who may not respect your decision to give up whiskey.

Similarly, my final tip for avoiding procrastination is to eliminate the cues that trigger your procrastination habits in the first place.

If you can't work in public places due to constant movement and noise, find a quiet place to sit and focus.

To avoid delays and focus on what I've decided to do, I need to remove all possible distractions from my work environment, both physical and digital...

I used to put my iPhone on Do Not Disturb and leave it on my desk while I worked, but the temptation to take a look and double-check led me down the procrastination route more often than the productivity route. Now I take my iPhone, put it on Do Not Disturb, and then put it in a drawer where I have to physically get up to check it...

It iskeeps me focused.

My notifications and alerts are also turned off on all my computers. I've also stopped using my Apple Watch except when I'm working out.

basically i needunplugbefore i canPlugand concentrate


  • Sometimes procrastination can be a good thing: leaking an important idea or work for a period of time can lead to new and creative ideas. Give it a try: start something, walk away, and repeat later... While you're away, you might notice an idea popping up for something you've been working on before. There is a term for this; it's called theZeigarnik effect.

About the author

5 ways to stop procrastinating (2)

Hello, I'm Dean Bokhari. I am a speaker, author and entrepreneur.

As an entrepreneur, my main focus right now is fulfilling my role as the founder ofFlashBooks, one of the world's largest nonfiction abstract publications.

As a speaker + author, my main focus is currently on my website,MeaningHQ, this is my playground for all things personal development. I post hereScientifically based articles on personality developmentjView meaningful podcast episodesto help you live the most meaningful, fulfilling and inspiring life you can.

If you're looking for a starting point, I suggest the following:

If you'd like to contact me about anything I'd love to hear from you, so just send me oneemail here.

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