Ask any time management or productivity expert how to stop procrastinating and you’ll get a string of suggestions that you’ll probably never do. Mark Twain once said “never put off till tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.” Here’s a way to fight the war on procrastination and rewire your brain so you adopt a new habit of getting things done.
How to Stop Procrastinating
Try what I call The 4:30 Rule:
- At 4:30 pm every weekday, handwrite a list of things you would like to have completed the next business day.
- During the day, scratch off the tasks as you complete them.
- If something remains, don’t write it on tomorrow’s list. Instead, use one full sheet of paper to write it on and drop it next to your chair for the next day.
War on Procrastination
The simple 3 steps above, especially The 4:30 Rule, will help you fight your own war on procrastination. Here’s what will likely happen:
- The act of handwriting something helps keep it in your mind, which increases the chances that you’ll do it.
- Scratching off completed tasks gives you a sense of accomplishment, no matter how small the task is. It’s a reward, like winning a bonus point in a video game.
- Putting an overdue task on its own paper on the floor will remind you to do it. If you find yourself with a few sheets on the floor, just stop whatever you’re doing and work on those tasks so that you can get rid of those papers. Don’t cheat by delaying completion again.
When you start a small business, procrastinating on even the smallest of details can come back to bite you. Use The 4:30 Rule to get things done rather than letting them pile up or ignoring them.
Once you experiment with how to stop procrastinating, you will accomplish more. More importantly, you’ll be rewiring your brain to be able to function at a more productive level rather than procrastinate.