3 in 1 Strategy to Overcome Procrastination: Leap Year W25

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Welcome back to the Leap Year, where I share helpful tips on how you can finally take the “Leap” and pursue and discover what you are passionate about in the face of everyday challenges. I wanted to share a strategy I learned in W25 of my Leap Year process to knockout procrastination.

This strategy provides the steps to follow when you tell yourself “I CAN’T because I don’t want to…

The Enkrateia Strategy: The name of this strategy was actually coined by Aristotle and I learned this from James Clear.

Why is it we make plans, but often times do not follow through? This is caused between the tension the brain has in making decisions for the future and present self. It is easy for the brain to make plans to benefit the future self, but will most likely chooses the path of less resistance, or the choice which provides instant gratification when it comes time to actually make a decision in the present moment.

For example, you plan to benefit the future self by planning to only eat vegetables and a small portion of lean protein before you go out to eat, but you order an appetizer, a mixed drink, and fried food once you get to the restaurant, as this offers instant gratification for you present self.

The problem of making plans to benefit your future self, but not being able to follow through in the present moment is called Akrasia, or simply put PROCRASTINATION.

Enkrateia is the antonym of Akrasia and means “in control of oneself.” It involves three strategies in one to combat Akrasia.

#1: Create a Commitment Device, which increases the consequences of a bad behavior and decreases the effort to carry out a good one. For example, to eat less sugar, you can clear out all candies in your house, which reduces the effort to not eat sugar at home.

#2: Incorporate the 2-minute rule to initiate tasks, as the hardest part of following through is getting started.

#3: Utilize Implementation Intentions, or identify a [date], a time], and a specific [place] to complete a task.

You will be able to follow through 2X to 3X more likely than you normally do by doing this.

I have mentioned the 2-minute rule and Implementation Intentions in previous posts, but the Enkrateia strategy combines them with Commitment Devices to make a powerful strategy to combat Procrastination.

You can read more insights from W25 at my Leap Year blog.