Procrastination: The Next Action Habit

    This month on our Blog and Podcast we are featuring a deep dive into the world of Clarity.

    One of the struggles to having clarity, and probably its biggest hurdle, is often the practical realities of a tendency to procrastinate. Now, I know that it’s human nature to put off uncomfortable or undesirable tasks, or to make the easy choice in the moment, but the reality is something will have to get done eventually — and sooner is better than later. So how do we deal with the tendency to procrastinate?  

    First off, I invite you to listen to this week’s episode of our Podcast “You Can Make it So”. Episode 17 discusses 4 Ways to “Put Away Procrastination” – check it out here. If you are a Full Service Coaching Client then you also can access additional resources on this topic in our #Makeitso Platform. If you are not a Full Service Coaching Client then just know it is never too late to join.

    In this Blog post though, I want to do a deep dive into one of the 4 Ways to Put Away Procrastination that I mention in the Podcast …… The Next Action Habit—focus on something do-able.

    In his book, Getting Things Done, David Allen discusses the power of figuring out your very NEXT ACTION for any given thing you’re working on. It’s one of the most powerful ideas in the book — just figure out the next specific action you need to take in order to move yourself closer to completion, then DO IT…

    Now, it’s no secret that procrastination causes lots of stress and pressure… but the way in which we relieve this pressure is where the secret comes in.The key to this tip for avoiding procrastination is to figure out the very next physical action—no matter how small—you need to take to move something forward; be it a task, a project, a phone call, or whatever else.

    Want to learn how to stop procrastinating? Learn how to shift your focus. Shifting your focus to something your mind perceives as do-able makes the difference that makes a difference. Let me explain:

    Think about something you’ve been procrastinating on; like, finishing a presentation for work. Now FOCUS on how it makes you FEEL whenever you think about how you have to do that presentation. Think about all the work involved. Sucks right? How’s it make you feel? Overwhelmed?

    Now shift your FOCUS to ONE SIMPLE thing you can do right now to move this presentation even the tiniest bit closer to ‘done.’ Maybe you need to google some images to include in the presentation. That’s do-able, right?

    Make that you’re NEXT ACTION. Do it.

    The rationale behind this Next Action method is simple: when you do something your mind perceives as do-able, your energy will go up, your sense of direction and drive will increase dramatically; and you’ll be able to motivate yourself to get whatever you need to get done—DONE!

    Here is a practical tool: Anytime you feel the procrastination creeping back up again, you should take it as a trigger to CHUNK down whatever you feel like procrastinating on into something simple and do-able… Even if it’s something as small as naming your presentation…

    One small step leads to another… and another… and another… and before you know it, you’ve got momentum.

    It’s human nature to put off uncomfortable or undesirable tasks, or to make the easy choice in the moment. But if we want to Start Living in a Way Today that will Help You Thrive Tomorrow, then we have to accomplish the meaningful goals and tasks (even the ones we are not too keen on doing)  — and #Makeitso.

    BTW – You may also want to check out Episodes 1-3 of our Podcast “You Can Make it So” where we discuss Habits – an important foundation – these episodes also contain our Podcast Guide and discussion questions as a special bonus.


  • (no comments)