By Leo Babauta
My friends, we’ve started another month, and the challenge I’m issuing this time is Daily Unprocrastination!
What the heck is that? It’s a challenge to have at least one session each day where you are focused, don’t switch, and work on something you’ve been procrastinating on.
- I decide to start my work day with a focused Unprocrastination Session before I check email, messages, or anything online or on my phone.
- I get in to work, clear my desk and computer, get a drink of water, put on the headphones and music, and start a timer for 20 minutes.
- The rule is: start immediately on a task on my list that I’ve been procrastinating on, and don’t switch until the timer goes off.
- I might get the urge to switch, but I can’t. When the timer goes off, I can keep going if I feel moved to do so, but I can also take a break.
- Feel free to repeat this for more than one session. Maybe multiple sessions.
I believe if we do this, similar to the reading challenge, we’ll clear away a lot of things on our list that we’ve been putting off.
Don’t do the most urgent thing. Do the one you’ve been putting off the longest on your list. Clear away the old stuff. Especially if they’re important but maybe hard or overwhelming.
If we do just 20 minutes, it feels doable. Maybe I’ve been putting off my taxes or writing a certain report, and those will take at least an hour. Too hard! But I can do 20 minutes of it. After 20 minutes, I’m feeling a lot of momentum, and I can do another 20 minutes (perhaps after a 5-minute break). And another if I see the finish line within sight. Or maybe I just do one per day and I’m done with the taxes in three days.
I suggest making a separate list of things you’ve been putting off â€” call it your Unprocrastination list. Put the most important things at the top, the least important at the bottom. Work from the top to bottom, without skipping any.
Do at least one session every day. If that’s too easy for you (maybe you’ve taken the Unprocratination course in the past and are pretty good), challenge yourself with a higher number per day.
I would do it on weekends too, but on weekends, make it personal or household tasks that you’ve been putting off.
See what magic results.
Ready to do it? Let’s start today.