4 Tactics I Use to Push Through Procrastination

There are very few good things about having the weakness of procrastination.

OK, there are basically two good things. 

First, I suppose some of your ideas come out better-formed in the end if you’re willing to sit on them. Maybe. That’s what Nassim Taleb says, and just about the best thing you can say for procrastination is that Nassim Taleb defends it.

Second, suffering from procrastination makes you really knowledgeable about how to deal with procrastination when it comes knocking.

All of the rest of the things about procrastination are s$%# you don’t want to live with. In keeping with point two, here are some tactics I use to push through the procrastination when it’s hitting me hardest:

1) ACT YOURSELF OUT OF IT

I start doing literally anything to make progress. It doesn’t matter what it is. The feeling of progress and challenge gives me the courage and momentum I need to break through the deadness of procrastination.

2) SCARE YOURSELF WITLESS 

I try to consider the worst-case scenario of what will happen if I continue to procrastinate – losing trust, losing reputation, losing work. I scare myself into responsibility by facing those consequences frequently. It helps keep the work in front of me so I’ll constantly be reminded about what I have left undone.

3) GIVE AN ACCOUNT

I hold myself accountable to other people if I can’t be accountable to myself. This helps with the daily blogging. Just knowing that people are expecting me to post is a good motivator. I’m not going to drop my writing commitment just because writing a post today feels inconvenient.

4) MAKE YOUR WORK  SUCK A LITTLE BIT MORE

I purposefully cut scope and quality. I realize I’m probably procrastinating because of perfectionism, in which case I need to force myself to lower my standards. Getting the thing done is more important than getting it done perfectly. I’m still willing to claim the work and stand by it, but I drop the nice-to-haves, the things that will gratify my ego, and the things that slow the project down

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James Walpole is a writer, startup marketer, intellectual explorer, and perpetual apprentice. He opted out of college to join the Praxis startup apprenticeship program and currently manages marketing and communications at bitcoin payment technology company BitPay. He writes daily at jameswalpole.com.

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