Ideas 037: 5 Ways to Stop Procrastination

If you type “Procrastination” in Youtube, you will definitely see a LOT of videos talking about how to stop procrastination. It is obvious that most of the people are suffering from the procrastination.

Sometimes I also suffer from procrastination when updating this blog.

If I want to attract more readers to this blog, I should try to write new blog post per day or at least per two days. However, sometimes I told myself I am busy with other tasks and decided to put aside this blog writing responsibility.

Of course I could argue that I actually don’t have so much topic to write, and I prefer to have high quality articles. After all, these might be my excuses for my procrastination.

True. And to overcome this, I have thought of an action plan of how to overcome procrastination. Before I share that to you, I would like to share two videos to you from real experts.

The first one was created by one of my favourite entrepreneurs, Evan Carmichael:

And the second one was created by best-selling author Brendon Burchard:

Both of them has come up with some useful solutions of tackling this problem. However, instead of copying 100% of others’ solution, I always think that it is better to create our own solution based on others’ recommendation because there is no 100% identical problem in the world.

Therefore, based on what they said, I tailor-made a 5 ways action plan to deal with MY procrastination problem. I hope this article can also give you some insight to deal with YOUR procrastination problem.

1. Seek For Help

“We are NOT alone. We are NOT alone. WE ARE NOT ALONE!” There is a saying in my city that we need to say something for 3 times if it is of utmost important.

Most of the time we think we are alone. We might live alone, eat alone, work alone, watch movies alone, play mobile games alone, or eventually die alone. Even though we are surrounded by a lot of people, we always feel we are alone.

However, the truth is we are not alone. In other words, we can seek for others help whenever we need to.

Before I joined a membership of gym room downstairs, I never thought of finding a personal trainer. I thought if I could learn how to use the machines and train the right muscles from the Youtube videos, why on earth would I need a personal trainer to train me? Unless they could train me for free.

Eventually I found one to train me. After a few months training, I realized that, not only could I learn how to use the right technique to train different type of muscles, but I was also monitored by him.

Every time when I wanted to stop, he always made me to do one more time. Every time when I wanted to skip the training, he always forced me to stick to the schedule. Every time when I wanted to take rest, he always trained me even harder.

And now I can see a better body shape in front of the mirror.

This is the benefit of seeking for help from others. Once they promise to help you (for free or being paid for), most of them will try their best to make sure they can deliver their promises.

Let’s say what should we do if we want to lose weight when we can easily get a lot of snack? Even if we throw away all the snacks from our home, we can manage to buy some from the convenience stores! What if we find our friends (whom we cannot control) to monitor us, preventing us from getting any snack?

Frankly, unless we are very disciplined people, it is very hard to force ourselves to do something we might not want to to but yet we have to do. At that time we need external forces.

2. Look for Benefit

When I was young I didn’t like to study. My parent didn’t expect me to get the highest grades, so I always procrastinate my study until the last minute. Luckily, most of the exams were not too hard, so I could get acceptable grades on average.

Until the 1st public examination had come, I need to get high grade to continue my study. I tired my very best to study and got pretty good grades.

I managed to continue my study and realized that as long as I tried, I could also get good grades. Since then, I stop procrastinating my study and got the First in the whole form. (In HK, we had Form 1-7 in college by that time, and there were 2 classes when I was in Form 7. I got the 1st place in two classes)

The key of stop procrastination in my youth was that I SAW THE BENEFIT of stop procrastination. Actually, most of the time, the main reason of procrastination is that we thought we could gain benefit if we procrastinate.

For example, if I procrastinate my study, what am I beneficial to? Maybe I can use the time to play video games? to chat and play with friends? to take a nap? or just enjoy the moment not to use my brain?

The thing is, are these my real benefit?

What if I stop procrastinate, what can I enjoy? I could learn new things, or probably get high grades in the exams. I might use the good exam result to get into a top 3 University in the city? I might have better lives in the future?

If we can visualize these future benefit, we will know for sure that these are real benefit to my life. As a result, we will know what we should do back then – to procrastinate the study or stop procrastination?

Our lives are full of choices. Every time we put different choices on a level and see which is heavier. If we are able to know the actual weight of choices (ie, total weight of cost and benefit), we will pick the better one and minimize the chance of procrastination.

3. Trouble others

This is similar to, but a bit different from the first way. The first way focus on seeking for others’ help, while this way focus on giving trouble to others.

When I am at work, I am responsible for a lot of tasks, and some of the tasks are actually the first few steps of the whole process. As long as I finish my tasks, others will make use of my results to start their tasks accordingly.

In other words, if I cannot finish my tasks on time, I will provide nothing to my colleges to start their tasks, and the whole process will delay and we probably need to work overtime to catch up the progress.

Because of this, I am used to put those tasks at top priority and make sure I can complete them before the deadlines.

This is exactly what I mean about “trouble others”. To stop procrastination, we should design the process so that we need to take action immediately.

Imagine if we wanted to build our own businesses, the first step we needed to do was to decide the type of business we want to try. However, for most of us we also had full time jobs, meaning we still got paid even if we forgot about entrepreneurship.

In other words, we could still earn sufficient money to feed ourselves and our families. In other words, as long as we were working at full time, we would have less chance to bring trouble to our families.

Therefore, most of the successful entrepreneurs are people who lost their jobs at the time of building their business. It is because if they cannot build up their businesses they will have no money to feed themselves and their families (trouble others).

They cannot procrastinate anymore.

When we are working on something, try to link that with other people. By doing so, we can remove our way of retreat and no longer feel comfortable to procrastinate. We have to keep moving to get things done.

4. Make it One Way Out

This is related to the 3rd way but a bit different from it.

I started this English blog since Oct 2019. Over the months, while I am updating my Chinese blog, I am writing some posts related to learning and achieving successful lives here.

Because of luck, I have attracted quite a lot of readers’ comments in some of my blog posts. Their comments are the main driver of my writing. In order to attract more readers to read my blog, I have to writing more blog posts with good contents and meaningful insights.

THIS is ONLY WAY OUT for me to attract readers to my blog.

Therefore, procrastination on writing is never my option. If I slow down my writing, I will probably lose some audiences who may expect some good blog posts regularly from me. If I take too much time to post new blog posts, I will lose everything I have built so far (although it’s not big enough).

My cost of procrastination is relatively high. Therefore, I have to stop procrastination.

For some people it is relatively easy to find this ONE WAY OUT. If they are concerned about money, all they need to do is to pay some money for doing something. As long as they procrastinate, they will lose the money they have already paid.

Although in economics this is called sunk cost, ie, the cost we have already paid and cannot recover, some people are still concerned about it.

In other words, this is to limit our way of choices so that limiting the possibility of procrastination. If we turn out only have one way to go, we will try to avoid procrastination.

5. Ensure Healthy Comparison

I always think that it is not a smart move to compare oneself to others. It is because we are different individuals with different talents and personalities. If we compare out weaknesses to others strengths, we will definitely feel uncomfortable and hence lose our confidence.

NOT if it is a healthy comparison.

Same example as the 1st way, when I go to the gym, I see a lot of people with good body shapes. Almost 80% of them have body shapes somehow looks like Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans or Daniel Craig. (Of course their body shapes are far better than those gym guys). Being a newbie here, I don’t know how to persuade myself to continue the workout.

UNLESS I really want to have similar body shape.

I compared by fat body with others’ muscular bodies, and told myself that I can only “earn” those body shapes if I can do the workout as frequently as they are. Actually, we are either thin or fat at the starting point, they just start the change themselves earlier than me. Most of them did it and get the body shapes they want.

If there is no one in the gym room, I can compare myself with no one, I will have less intention to go to gym room regularly.

In other words, healthy comparison is important because it brings us the opportunity to see our weaknesses which we might choose to skip or forget before. However, in order to be successful, not only should we use our strengths as weapons in our fights, but we also have to face our weaknesses and change them into our weapons as well.

If we can see what we are lack of in healthy comparison, we will have no excuse to procrastinate.

These are my five ways action plan to stop procrastination. Feel free to comment!

  1. Seek For Help
  2. Look for Benefit
  3. Trouble others
  4. Make it One Way Out
  5. Ensure Healthy Comparison

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If you have any questions or have anything things to share, you can reach out to me via email learning@iamdelusionman.com.

Besides, if you want to know more about what I have learnt from other successful people, you can click the below link. This could the one of the life-changing articles for you:

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