How do I stop procrastinating and motivate myself to do things I don’t want to do but will make my life better once done?

I’m somewhat of a list-maker with things I actually want to do, but that’s rarely the thing I need to do. Trust me, I empathize with your problems self-motivating. In fact, I’m putting something off right this very moment! 😀

Okay in some seriousness, successful advice someone gave me was the following:

  • Take guilt-free breaks
  • Promise to do just 5 minutes and then stop (if you want)
  • Repeat

Guilt-free breaks are important because spending 2 hours watching Hulu and not really relaxing because you know you should be working on some report is going to be 2 hours completely wasted. You’re not getting anything done and you’re not enjoying your show. So just enjoy your break. How do you do that? Simple…

Promise to do 5 minutes of work and then stop. Just get yourself over that hump of “getting started” and work for 5 minutes. If after 5 minutes you want to stop, then actually stop. That’s fine. You got started on the work and little by little, you will finish eventually.
However, if you finish 5 minutes and you think “I’m already here… might as well keep going,” then go right ahead.

I’ll admit, that is a psychological trick. Most of the time (at least for me), once I’ve started working on something I tend to keep going until I’ve completed a significant chunk of the work (or all of it).

Repeat. It’s hard to sit down and really focus on a single task for a prolonged period of time. It’s psychologically fatiguing. Accept that. Resolve to work for a few minutes and to take a real break. Rinse and repeat.

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