As you work on your Unprocrastination Sessions, you might be wondering, “What if I need to do more than 5-10 minutes a day? How am I going to ever solve the real problem here?”
Well, it’s important to discuss two ideas:
- Practicing the unprocrastination skill.
- Long-term evolution of a habit.
If you understand these two ideas, then what we’re doing this month makes a lot more sense!
Let’s briefly discuss the first and then the second idea.
Practicing the skill
When we do our 5-10 minute Unprocrastionation Sessions this month, what’s important is not how much work we’re getting done or how much of a dent we’re putting into the mountain of studying (or book writing) we need to get done … it’s practicing the unprocrastination skill.
What we’re practicing is the skill of starting (instead of putting things off) and the skill of staying on task (rather than getting distracted and switching away from the task). These two skills go hand-in-hand, and they’re powerful, because once you get good at them, you can use them for much bigger projects, for more of your work or school life.
So for now, don’t worry about the mountain of work or studying you have to get done. Focus on the practice. Get good at 5-10 minutes of this, then expand your practice sessions as you get better. Trust me, you’ll climb the mountain eventually.
The Evolution of a Successful Habit
Too often, when we start a new habit we are very ambitious and optimistic, and so we take on as much as we think we can handle. This is a huge mistake, because when we take on as much as possible, we’re not leaving any room for error. When we get sick or busy or a crisis comes up or we travel … there’s no way we can do as much as possible with the new habit. So we fail, and we feel like failures.
Instead, start small. Do a little of the habit, something so easy you can’t say no (as opposed to so hard that it’s easy to say no). When you are a life-long procrastinator, if you tell yourself you need to write your novel for an hour a day, you’ll probably procrastinate on that. But if you tell yourself you just need to write it for 5-10 minutes, you’ll probably actually do it.
Once you get good at that, you can expand, do a little more, until you’re doing 30 minutes at a stretch.
Then, try doing two sessions a day. Then three. Pretty soon you’ll have multiple sessions of 20-30 minutes each, where you’re kicking butt instead of procrastinating. Amazing!
This is the evolution of a successful habit. It’s much more likely to work than taking on too much at first.