6 Scientifically-Supported Tactics to Stop Procrastinating NOW

Written by on August 17, 2015 in Conscious Living with 0 Comments

do it now

By Gregory Ciotti | BidSketch.com

Procrastination is something that everyone deals with.


Since that’s the case, what are some proven ways to combat procrastination?

Let’s take a look!

1.) Learn to Pre-Commit

What’s the deal with ‘cramming’? Remember your college days, where everyone would practically brag about how they were able to pull off a miracle all-nighter?

The crazy thing is, although cramming is far from optimal in terms of the quality of work that is produced, it is quite useful in getting a fire lit under our asses, isn’t it?

According to a study on procrastination, this last minute hoorah is inspired by the fact that there is no way out. Better yet, this feeling can be controlled (without the worry and paranoia) by ‘pre-committing’ to a task before it’s begun.

There are a couple ways to go about this, depending on the severity of your lethargy.


One of the more extreme (and highly creative) alternatives is a web app called stickK, which allows you to pre-commit to a goal that you must complete by a certain deadline.

Big whoop, how is that going to stop me from procrastinating?

Well, before you can set a goal up, you have to lay down some cash, and if you miss your deadline the money becomes locked and is donated to a charity that you hate!

You can select other options and you don’t have to put in money, but c’mon, go big or go home!

Also, can you honestly think of a better way to get yourself to take action than an impending deadline that will send your hard-earned cash to an organization you despise?

What if you knew that $50 was headed to a place like the Westboro Baptist Church if you don’t get that new wireframe/article/logo finished?

I rest my case!

Two other less dramatic ways to achieve a similar effect are to do the following:

  1. Write down when and where you will complete a task (students who did this were far more likely to complete assignments)
  2. Make a public commitment by sharing your plan with a friend or simply emailing someone (“I will have that for you tomorrow by 5pm”). Leave a healthy amount of time for emergencies, but don’t give yourself a week when you really need a day or two.

Related Article: Six Causes of Procrastination and How To Overcome Them NOW

2.) Set Macro Goals and Micro Quotas

Plans are worthless, but planning is everything.

— President Dwight D. Eisenhower

Motivation is inter-woven with what goals you make as well as the plans you construct to achieve them.

In a surprising study on motivation, researchers found that abstract thinking about goals can actually help with discipline. In the most basic sense, “dreaming big” isn’t all that bad advice (though dreaming too much can be harmful, more on that later).

But there’s also the problem of setting up grandiose plans and becoming intimidated by your own lofty expectations.

Since you don’t want to stop dreaming big, the best way to find a balance is to simply set “macro goals” and “micro quotas.”

Your goals should be the large scale things that you hope to accomplish, that much is obvious. But your quotas are what you must get done everyday to make it happen.

For instance, writer/designer Nathan Barry forced himself to write 1000 words per day come hell or high-water to get his 3 self-published eBooks done.

The quota made each day approachable, and the goal was achieve because of it.

Basically, quotas help you take one day (or even hour) at a time, so setting the bar low can actually be beneficial, as it’s what gets you started. At the same time, these quotas shouldn’t impede on your long term goals, which help fuel the fire that keeps your motivation alive.

Related Article: How to Set and Reach SMART Goals

3.) Always Hit the Ground Running

I’ve covered a plethora of research that shows ‘analysis paralysis‘ is one of the #1 causes of procrastination.

Not knowing what to do is often worse than the work itself.

That’s why you should always strive to hit the ground running for new commitments, especially in terms of how you start each and every day.

The night before, create a simple to-do list (forget apps, pen and paper!) that consists of 3 big things that you want to get done, and what work it will entail.

Keep it at your desk for when you sit down, or in your bag if you commute to work, and get it out right away when it’s time to get down to business.

With a clear list of what to work on right now, you won’t have to stare at a long list of obligations that should get done “someday.”

Related Article: Procrastination is Your Friend

CONTINUE READING THIS ARTICLE…

About the Author

Gregory Ciotti loves small businesses & startups and gets nerdy about behavioral psychology on his blog Sparring Mind.

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