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6 Ways Top CEOs Beat Procrastination

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https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/327755

entrepreneur.com

6 Ways Top CEOs Beat Procrastination
8 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Humans have a tendency to procrastinate because our minds naturally like to be in a relaxed state. Sometimes it's hard to get going, or we have trouble focusing and find ourselves putting off an unpleasant or difficult task for as long as possible.

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Tailor your to-do lists

Use the 1-3-5 rule when putting together her daily to-do list.

On any give...

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Build good habits in two minutes

The “two-minute rule”  has two parts.

First, if something takes less than two minutes, do it now. Next, start building new habits for two minutes at a time. The ...

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Complete tasks in batches

It takes time to get into a rhythm to work on a task. Instead of constantly starting and stopping that process, it’s better to keep your rhythm going by bundling similar tasks together.

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Set a short timeframe

“If you don’t want to do something, make a deal with yourself to do at least five minutes of it,” says Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom. “Afte...

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End with the beginning in mind

Instead of just randomly quitting a task, make sure you leave off at a place that will inspire you to get going next time you’re ready to pick it up. 

  • Before ...

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Embrace procrastination

It creates artificial pressure that trains you to deal with real pressure during your career. Procrastinators have to learn to prioritize. 

Because you’re doing everything at the last...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Keep yourself accountable

Making a commitment to yourself helps keep you accountable. 

Write your goals down, keep a to-do list with you, and create reminders on your phone and on your calendar.

Make yourself accountable to others

  • Tell everyone what you plan to do and talk about your goals. Tell friends, employees, and employers your intentions and you won’t want to let them down. 
  • Start documenting and sharing your journey. A blog or vlog where you share the projects you’re working on and your progress will encourage you to get things done. 

Cut out temptations

If you’re a chronic procrastinator and simply can’t resist the temptations of things like Facebook and Youtube, it might be time to cut out temptations.

There are tools such as Rescue Time, SelfControl and Focus that will temporarily block access to distracting websites like Facebook. Less aggressive tools such as Facebook Newsfeed Eradicator and Distraction Free Youtube will allow you to have access to Facebook and Youtube but block the distracting parts of these websites (such as the newsfeed).

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Why you procrastinate

Procrastination is fundamentally an emotional reaction to what you have to do. The more aversive a task is to you, the more you’ll resist it, and the more likely you are to procrastinate.

Make a task less aversive

When you notice yourself procrastinating, use your procrastination as a trigger to examine a task’s characteristics and think about what you should change.

By breaking down exactly which attributes an aversive task has (boring, frustrating, difficult, meaningless, ambiguous, unstructured), you can take those qualities and turn them around to make the task more appealing to you.

Unproductive responses

... people have when they procrastinate:

  • Distracting yourself, and thinking about other things
  • Forgetting what you have to do, either actively or passively
  • Downplaying the importance of what you have to do
  • Focusing on your other values and qualities that will solidify your sense of self
  • Denying responsibility to distance yourself from what you have to do
  • Seeking out new information that supports your procrastination.

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Procrastination as a coping mechanism

People tend to procrastinate to avoid emotionally unpleasant tasks - so they choose to focus on something that provides a temporary mood boost.

This creates a vicious cycl...

The science behind getting started

Progress on our goals feeds our well-being. So the most important thing to do is bootstrap a little progress: get a little progress, and that’s going to fuel your well-being and your motivation.

Implementation intentions for better focus

This is a self-regulatory strategy in the form of an "if-then plan": "If the phone rings, then I’m not going to answer it." "If my friends call me to say we’re going out, I’m going to say no." So you’ve already made these pre-commitments.