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Make getting started ridiculously easy

Make getting started ridiculously easy

Often starting a task is the biggest hurdle. Research shows that progress—no matter how small—can be a huge motivator to help us keep going.

Set the timer for just 5 or 10 minutes. While the timer’s running, you don’t have to work, but you can’t do anything else. You have to sit with your work, even if you don’t get started.

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MORE IDEAS FROM THE SAME ARTICLE

Encouraging people to imagine the future can help them make better decisions now.

Set a timer for 30 minutes. During that time stay focused on your work. When the timer goes off, set it again for 10 minutes, and rewards yourself with a fun activity like YouTube videos, chatting with friends, or reading a book. After 10 minutes, reset the 30-minute timer and get back to ...

Forgiving yourself for procrastinating can help you overcome negative feelings about the work you’ve put off in the past, so you can more easily approach future tasks.

“Structured procrastination” is a clever way to stay productive even while you procrastinate. Procrastinating doesn't mean you are doing absolutely nothing.

  • Reframe your task into a challenge.  What if you got this work done before lunchtime? 
  • Challenge yourself to stay focused on a single task for as long as possible: … try a count-up timer. See how long you can remain on task. See if you can beat your last reco...

When my work directly affects others, I find it much harder to accept the consequences of procrastinating.

Since negative emotions are the cause of our procrastination, what if we could manage our negative emotions while working?

We have two ways of dealing with our procrastination:

Procrastination is more about our emotions than our tendencies for laziness or just being “bad at deadlines”. At its core, we procrastinate to keep ourselves happy in the moment.

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