By Leo Babauta
In this webinar, I shared ways in how we can learn the art of failing to procrastinate. I also answered some awesome questions!
Here are the notes from my talk:
The Art of Failing to Procrastinate:
Douglas Adams: There is an art, it says, or rather, a knack to flying. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.
Weâ€™re going to take that approach today with Unprocrastination — all we have to do is fail to procrastinate.
The problem with failing to procrastinate is that we have been doing it for so long that it has become rather an ingrained habit. So we have a bit of inertia and grooves to undo.
Why we procrastinate:
- Weâ€™re feeling uncertainty or overwhelm from a task
- Or weâ€™re feeling tired
- Either way, itâ€™s uncomfortable â€¦ so our minds habitually seek a more comfortable way
How to fail:
- Don â€™t give yourself comfortable ways to procrastinate — create moats.
- Change your environment.
- Reverse the groove — make it very easy to start.
- Give yourself a low bar — you donâ€™t have to do it all day long. Lower your shoulds.
- Make it an imperative — turn your remaining shoulds into musts.
- Find the joy in it, to reinforce the new habit.
- Let yourself procrastinate on the less important stuff — the key is to prioritize, choose the most important things, and procrastinate on the rest
Questions and Answers
Questions answered in this video:
- How can I help my kids/husband with decluttering? I don’t want to buy fancy systems or anything but my youngest’s room is a wreck. We gave them autonomy around their rooms and they’ve been totally messy ever since! How can I help without leaning on them to do it
- I have two questions: I’m a night owl. Things that need to be done seem easy to do in the evening, but not easy the next morning. These are things that have to be done during the day–calling people, etc. Second question: My husband died a couple of months ago and there are a ton of things to do after someone dies. They have to be done, but I don’t want to do any of them.
- I must be attached to my to do list. Some of the things have been there for many years and they have become a part of what I am. Do I need to be able to â€œseeâ€ another kind of me before I am willing to let go of this â€œluggageâ€ that I am carrying around?
- Although getting somewhat better, I still struggle with the habit of “too much to do!” which I’m sure many others do as well. This also comes into play with procrastination, as a lot of things are procrastinated on, due to doing other also important things! Do you have a magic wand?! or any suggestions.
- What’s the best way you’ve found to choose between many different tasks that have the same importance. It’s easy to knock off most-important tasks, but there’s still other things to get done. DO you just leave it to chance or do you have strategies for making better choices?