The best way to fight procrastination is to figure out the very next action you need to take in order to meet a goal.
For example let’s say you need to buy shoes and you’ve been putting it off. The next action is not “buy shoes.” That’s the outcome/goal/result you want to achieve. You can’t just buy shoes. There are several steps you need to take in order to buy shoes.
The next action might be to schedule a trip to the mall on your calendar. Or:
Look up shoes on Zappos.com. (Notice how both actions start with verbs)
This is the best trick in the book to fight procrastination that I learned from David Allen. Figure out the very next action and you will be on your way to completing your goal.
Okay, so now you know what the next action is to meet your result (buying shoes). It’s all spelled out and you will bang out the task right? Well maybe. In most instances yes you will, but in some cases the procrastination gods are too strong. Why is that? Why can’t you do a simple task like go to the mall or browse a website?
CARING, PRIORITIES AND MOTIVATION
The answer is that you simply don’t care enough. This is profound, let it sink in. You are procrastinating because the result of getting new shoes really isn’t that important. You just don’t care enough. This is what Merlin Mann taught me.
Maybe you will care someday, but today you don’t, so try not to feel bad about it. Right now you have other more important or urgent priorities and that’s okay. You can’t care about everything, otherwise you would care about nothing.
The thing to remember with tasks and projects that aren’t work-related (meaning you don’t HAVE to do them), is to go with your gut and what you feel motivated to do. When you are motivated and passionate about doing something it will get done faster with less or no pain.