Tryptic: The Cure for Procrastination, Part 1

This week, let’s tackle one of the most insidious and destructive habits there are:

And I’m not talking about nailbiting.

This week we’re going to deal with procrastination.

I rarely meet a person who doesn’t procrastinate, and, yes, I do it too.

But I’ve learned a few things that really help, so I’ll be sharing my tips this week.

So let’s kick off this trilogy with a very simple, very powerful, science-backed tool.

What I want you to try, is to procrastinate on your procrastination.

Yes, I’m being serious.

Here’s the deal.

There may be all kinds of reasons why we put off doing things we want to do or know we ought to do.

Of course you can try discipline, but if you don’t have enough of it, it’ll take a long time and a drill sergeant to build it.

Another way would be to dive deep into psychology and personal history, but that’s a long and arduous process.

I prefer to tackle things in, and from, the right here and right now.

And when you procrastinate, for whatever reason, what happens is that your brain instantly feels a reward.

Whether it’s a boring task, or an unpleasant one, or even one that’s fun but somehow associated with fear of failure or other insecurities, putting off that job gives instant relief.

Your brain likes it, and the pleasure centers in your brain light up like fireworks.

Of course the rational mind knows that it’s all sham-pleasure, but the rational mind has little influence over the subconscious.

Quite the opposite in fact.

So here’s where deliberately procrastinating on your procrastination comes in.

When researchers put people into fMRI scanners, they discovered something very interesting:

When a test subject thought about skipping exercise tomorrow, exactly the same reaction took place in the brain, as when they thought about skipping it today.

To the brain, there’s not difference between procrastinating now, and deciding you’ll procrastinate tomorrow.

It gives the exact same psychological relief, the same reward.

So next time you feel tempted to put off a task, tell yourself:

“I’ll skip it tomorrow”.

Try this, really try this, because it works.

Maybe not instantly or every time, but it works.

Try it.

Meanwhile, registration for The Cabal will open today, and there’s still seats available.

I’m not going to do the marketer-thingy, and say ‘hurry, only a few left’, because I’m not like that, and besides: we’re still only a small group.

And that’s exactly how I want it, because I’m very picky about who can or can’t join.

A small team of highly motivated and ambitious action takers is what we’re building here.

So if you want to be part of that, hit reply and we’ll set up a time to talk, and see if it is something that would benefit you.

Cheers,

Martin


Originally published at MartinStellar.com.