You and the box. You have been meaning to tidy it up for about two weeks now, but haven’t taken that step yet.
You did have the best of intentions.
You even placed the box on top of your desk to push yourself to declutter it.
- Even though cleaning up wouldn’t take more than 5 minutes…you are still not doing it.
- Even though seeing that box every day on your desk bothers you…you are still not taking action.
Or maybe, the box is not the problem, but exercise is. You know you could fit in 5-10 minutes of exercise, you have been meaning to do so, but you don’t.
Or, it’s mostly about your relationships that you can’t make yourself take that extra step… You know you could be calling your parents more often, but you are not, and you feel guilty for not doing so.
The examples of us avoiding to do relatively easy things that we actually want to do are endless…and their results obvious: our room is full of clutter, our bodies flabby, and our relationships…could have been better.
Because those relatively easy and small things do add up. You now have to deal with one box, but if you don’t clear it up you will soon have two. Mess attracts mess.
Or, skipping your workout once or twice can disrupt your exercise momentum. You are now more likely to skip another workout.
We let those little things slip, postponing them for the next day, next week, or next month. But when we think about it, it doesn’t even make sense!
Surely devoting 5 minutes doing anything is not a big deal, so how come and it’s so difficult? Why can’t we just do it?
The procrastination hack to go from never-ending “I’ll do it tomorrow” to “I did it!”
I accidentally stumbled upon the solution of the procrastination problem. I don’t claim to be the first person who ever discovered this hack, as I am pretty sure others must have also figured it before me.
But I do wonder why they don’t teach it to us in school.
Here’s what happened.
It was time for me to clean my bathroom sink, yet even though doing so wouldn’t take more than 4 minutes, I kept postponing it.
Since time was not really the issue and I did want to clean the sink, there was something else blocking me from taking action.
But what was it?
Back to the sink.
The sink had extra stuff on it that it normally doesn’t – stuff like lipsticks, soaps, etc.
If I wanted to clean the sink I would need to clear it up first.
So one day, I did just that. I tidied it up! I didn’t actually clean the sink, but I did devote 30 full seconds to put the lipsticks and the soaps back to where they belonged.
Guess what happened next? The following day I just naturally went ahead and cleaned the sink.
Ta-dah! This is when I realized my roadblock: It was not cleaning up that was blocking me it was the clutter.
The clutter was the first step in the “cleaning the sink” process. And just starting this process…was enough to get me going. For good.
Similarly, if emptying that box seems SO difficult, then start by removing one thing. Just one. You may be surprised if you find yourself actually clearing up the box that you have been avoiding to clear for the last month!
Oh, you said exercise was the problem? Try wearing your athletic shoes. Even if you do just that, it’s a matter of days before you actually start exercising.
Calling your parents? It’s a breeze if you just pick up the telephone.
Every action begins with a mini-action. This mini-action usually doesn’t take longer than 30 seconds, and serves as a trigger that propels you forward and into doing the right thing.
That’s how easy cleaning your house, exercising, or calling your parents can be. That’s how procrastination gets kicked out of your life.
It’s the first 30 seconds that can make all the difference between you being a doer or you being a talker or between you being fit or flabby.
What have you meant to do for ages that you are finally going to do?