Friday, March 9, 2012

My Current Thoughts on How to Replace Procrastination with Willpower, Motivation, Focus, and Drive

Obviously you'll be more motivated if you're pursuing something you're passionate about. But even if you're passionate about something, you may not be sufficiently driven. That's especially likely if your passion is shared by lots of people and you're competing for limited opportunities: for example, in the arts, environment, fashion, journalism.

And often we need to do things we're not that passionate about. You may, for example have chosen to be an accountant even though you'd rather be a singer. But to be even a reasonable successful person, in any field, requires drive.

Some people are fortunate to be intrinsically driven. They do everything with vigor. But if you're not, often these can help:

1. Break it down to baby steps, perhaps giving yourself a reward after each baby step. That's old news but it works, perhaps more often than anything else.

2. Be accountable to someone else: Tell people your goal (e.g., lose 20 pounds, get a job within three months, whatever.) Perhaps have daily check-ins. Or try a dramatic solution: Hire someone for a day or two to monitor you and keep you on-task, for example, in job searching. That may get you into the rhythm. Yes, it may cost you $100 or $200, but you've spent that much on an evening out. This will yield you far more benefit and even pleasure.


Anonymous said...

I love these steps and need to do them. Then again this is coming from a procrastinator so hopefully something will get taken care of. I need to stop focusing on everyone else's success and do me for once.

Johannes said...

Braking tasks down into baby steps makes a big difference for me.

Also, I find thinking in goals rather than in tasks extremely useful. For example, I don't think of following up with a client, but instead of "A new client who is motivated and willing to pay what my services are worth." Once I picture that goal on my mind, I am extremely motivated to do what it takes, in this case following up with a client, to achieve it.

I connect everything I do to some high or low level goal. I connect doing the dishes to "A happy wife," and any task related to my coaching clients to "Peace and Joy possible for everyone." it works for me.

keith punches said...

Great post Mr. Nemko.

"Break it down to baby steps, perhaps giving yourself a reward after each baby step" is a great way to get things done.

Recently I've been practicing the Pomodoro Technique (time boxing). It is completely based on baby steps, reflection and positive affirmation.

That advice never gets old.

Thank you.

~Keith Punches


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