What if you could become world-class in anything in just 6 months, overcoming procrastination almost effortlessly? For many people this sounds like a rhetorical question, something that is nice to think of when you are about to fall asleep.
But there is a small group of people like Tim Ferriss, Leo Babauta, Tony Robbins and Stephen Covey, who take these questions seriously and turn them into a personal challenge. As a result they write best-seller books, build multi-million dollar companies, set Guinness records at dancing tango and do a whole bunch of other things that may sound crazy to some people. They become the top 1% at whatever they do.
But the best part is that they make it sound very simple.
To me just 5 minutes in the company of an inspiring person is similar, if not better, to having a cup of White Chocolate Mocha at Starbucks.
It’s sweet. It’s energizing. And it puts everything in the right perspective.
Today you are in for a treat too, because Tim Ferriss – the author of “The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich”, and “The 4-Hour Chef: The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything, and Living the Good Life”, gives his surprising insights for overcoming procrastination, becoming the top 5% in anything you do and taking control of your time without giving up your social life.
3 Unexpected Insights for Overcoming Procrastination From Tim Ferriss
Insight #1: You can’t fully get rid of procrastination.
Tim Ferriss believes that procrastination is part of our nature. We cannot completely overcome it, no matter what time management tools we are given. The good news is that it does not have to be bad news. All we have to do is “budget for human nature” and make time for procrastination in our schedule.
For example, if you know that you are least productive after lunch, block this half hour for tasks that you usually do when you don’t feel like working (like organizing papers on your desk or grabbing a cup of coffee). You will get the urge to procrastinate out of your system and won’t feel guilty about it.
Insight #2: Lower your expectations quota.
As weird as it may seem for any overachiever, the less pressure we put on ourselves, the less we tend to procrastinate. High expectations and overly ambitious goals can be the main cause of procrastination, because they seem too intimidating or overwhelming.
Lowering your expectations helps you to take the first step and gets you going. This does not mean that you should not push yourself out of your comfort zone. It simply means that you are more calm, content and creative when you are not approaching your day as if it was an Ironman Marathon. Cut yourself some slack! You are a human being after all.
Insight #3: Experiment and get to know yourself.
Do you know the time of day when you are most productive? Are you the type of person, who prefers to have everything under control way ahead of a deadline or someone who does everything at the last minute? Do you work best in silence or does listening to the same song playing in the background helps you to stay focused on the task?
There is no time management or productivity system that fits all. Similar, there are no strict rules for overcoming procrastination. You have to experiment, find what works best for you and create your own productivity rituals. For example, you may discover that you are most productive when you don’t check your emails first thing in the morning. Or that your best ideas come to you as you are discussing them with other people.
Know thyself! Use this knowledge to boost your motivation, enhance your productivity, and acquire new skills, maximizing your results and minimizing your efforts. This is what they call “working smarter, not harder” and as smart people we should follow this advice.