How do I stop procrastinating? Hi, I’m Eben Pagan, creator of the Wake Up Productive time management and productivity training program. If you’d like to watch my 47-minute video on how to manage yourself and your time and become dramatically more productive, just go to WakeUpProductive.com, and enter your name and email address. You can watch this video worth $100.00 for free.
All right, so let’s talk about how to stop procrastinating. I have a confession to make to you. I am a natural born procrastinator. I can make up the most beautiful and complex and real sounding excuses for why I don’t do things right now that you’ve ever seen. In fact, when I sit back and I just watch my mind come up with excuses for, “Oh, that can wait. I can do that later,” it’s really amazing to me. I’ve actually created a couple of tools that I use for myself to make sure that I get things done. I’d like to teach them to you right now. One of them is an inner game thing, and one of them is an outer game thing.
The inner game thing that I do to eliminate procrastination is I come up with the reason why I’m doing something, and I really turn it up, and I make it into a big deal. In other words, I really get in touch with the payoff for doing something. What this means is let’s say I want to work on a business project. I want to create a new product, or I want to build a relationship with another person. Instead of just saying, “Oh, yeah, if I create a new product, it’ll probably sell, and we’ll make some money,” or, “I’d like to have a relationship person, and if I have a relationship with them, it’ll be really cool,” I really challenge myself to think through and brainstorm all of the great things that will come as a result of taking action.
Now, I’ve also noticed that great procrastinators are usually also great brainstormers because procrastination is about coming up with excuses for why you’re not doing something and actually being very creative. If you focus that creativity just for a few minutes, even, on the big payoff or the outcome that you’ll get if you take action, and you make that into this huge win or this jackpot in your life, at some point, it’ll tip the scales, and you won’t be able to stop yourself from taking action.
Let’s say that I’m thinking about creating a relationship with a particular person. I say, “Yeah, I’d really like to know that person and maybe do some work with him someday. Nah, that’s not that interesting. I know a lot of people already, and I’ve got a lot of things on my list to do.”
But if I say, “I’d like to meet that person and get to know them. What are all the benefits that could flow from that? They have a network of people. Who in their network would I like to meet? Oh, this person and that person. Wow, it would be amazing if they introduced me to this person. You know what else? That person and I, we could work on something together. We could collaborate on a book, on a project together, and if I collaborated with them on something, I’d learn so much, and I’d be able to build a relationship with them. Wow, that sounds really interesting. You know what? I could work with them and some of the people in their network, and maybe we could get a networking group together on this topic.”
At some point, after thinking about it, I go, “Okay, I’ve got to do it right now,” because the procrastination mechanism is almost turned around and used against itself. The same creativity that you use to come up with reasons why you’re not going to do something now or why you should wait for later are used to come up with all the great things that are going to happen if you do take action now. So use that creativity of yours to think of all the great outcomes, to really think big about what could happen if you take action. Eventually, it’ll just pull you into action. That’s the inner game technique.
The outer game technique that I use – and this is probably the most powerful technique that I use on myself and that I’ve ever used on myself to get big things done. It’s a simple technique, and it goes like this. I make a big promise to a lot of people, and I put a deadline on it. I make a big promise to a lot of people, and I put a deadline on it. If you’ve seen any of my video training programs or any of my audio training programs, chances are that these programs were made from a live training of some kind either at a seminar or on a webinar or a teleclass, etc.
What I know is that if I want to create a new product, and I want to make sure it gets done, I can write an outline of what the product is going to look like, and then I can tell a whole bunch of people about it, invite a bunch of people. I even market these things and sell tickets to them, so that people can attend the live filming or the creation of it. Once I get the commitments and ten people sign up, and then 20 people or 50 people or 100 or hundreds or even thousands, then that clicks something in my brain. It’s that part of me that knows that social pressure is good, and it just gets me into action. And you know what? I always perform. When there are people counting on me, and when I know that they’re waiting for me – like I’m going to show up, and there are going to be 50 people that are going to be waiting for me, and they’re going to have high expectations, that knocks over all the dominos that make sure that I get things done.
Basically, every product that I’ve ever created and launched was created using this one technique. I’ll tell you, it is very powerful. I would probably have accomplished 20 percent or 40 percent as much if I hadn’t used this technique of committing big things. Actually, you know what? I would probably have accomplished 1 percent of what I’ve accomplished if I didn’t set expectations for other people.
Here’s what to do right now. Make some big pictures. Use your imagination to create a big why – the outcome that you would get if you will take action on your high priority. Then, the next thing to do immediately is make a big commitment to a lot of people. I don’t care if it’s sending an e-mail to 10 of your friends and saying, “I’m going to do this thing by this date. You know what? If I don’t do it, I’m going to give each of you $100.00 in cash.” Use accountability that way. If you’re in business like me, and you like to create products or like to create video trainings, invite a bunch of people to the training. Do a free teleclass and invite a bunch of people to it, so that you have to be prepared, and then just record the teleclass. Or create a live business training and charge for it and make money from it.
Either way, take these two tools that I’ve given you, and put them into action now, so that you can stop procrastinating, and you can start getting things done.
Finally, if you’d like to learn how to really master time management and productivity, learn how to keep yourself focused, learn how to eliminate procrastination for good and learn how to create positive habits and eliminate negative ones, just go to WakeUpProductive.com right now to watch my 47-minute video on how to manage yourself and your time and how to make yourself dramatically more productive. The video is worth $100.00, but you can watch it for free by just visiting WakeUpProductive.com, entering your name and e-mail address and opting in. Of course, I’ll also send you many more valuable free video trainings, and I’ll also send you private invitations to listen to me interviewing some of the top experts in the world on business, marketing, success and productivity all for free. Just go to WakeUpProductive.com, enter your name and e-mail address to get it all right now.