By Leo Babauta
In this webinar, I talked about what to do when you’re not motivated to take any action to beat procrastination. (See notes below.)
I’ve broken this webinar recording into two parts:
- Part I: My talk on techniques for external and internal motivation for overcoming procrastination — what has worked for me! (See notes)
- Part II: I answered questions on being tired, mental focus for writing, finding motivation for personal change, and more!
Part I: Leo’s Talk (with notes)
Here are the notes from my talk (video is below the notes):
- The first technique is external motivation, and it works in the short term: when you have good intentions and a little energy, make a commitment to someone else. Just takes a quick email or call, or post on social media, to make a commitment.
- Once you make the commitment, you’re likely to stick to it because you don’t want to look bad, you want to look good … and you might ask yourself, “What kind of person do I want to be? A person who keeps his/her word, or someone who doesn’t and can’t be trusted?”
- I’ve used this to run a marathon, ultramarathon, write books, start my blog, and do all kinds of projects and crazy self-improvement experiments.
- The second technique is internal motivation. I look at two factors: how is procrastinating hurting me, and what is my intention with the task I want to focus on?
- How is procrastinating hurting me? It might be making me feel guilty or lazy, it makes me trust myself less, it creates more stress and tighter deadlines, it can make the quality of my work suffer, it can make me less able to serve others and make me less trustworthy to others. It’s useful to notice how you’re hurting yourself by procrastinating.
- What is my intention with the task? The task I want to do might help others, it might help me, it might be done out of love for my family or friends, it might make the world a better place, it might help my team in some way. In general, I find it useful to think of doing the task out of love, or to serve someone.
- By looking at how you’re hurting yourself when you procrastinate, and how you’re serving others out of love by not procrastinating … you can tap into your emotions to get yourself motivated.
Part II: Questions and Answers
Questions answered in this video:
- Do you push through or rest if you’re tired from earlier in the day?
- How do you find the mental focus required for full-time writing?
- I’m focused at work but procrastinate on personal stuff
- What about procrastinating with productive/required tasks that aren’t MITs?
- And a couple more good ones!