Overcoming Procrastination: Just Do the Dishes Already

Most of us know that the key to maintaining momentum with our goals is overcoming procrastination.

Without a doubt, we all have that one thing (or many things) that needs to get done, but we tend to procrastinate doing it. For me, it used to be a resistance to folding socks and doing the dishes.  Now, I’m the kind of person that likes to check off the boxes and get stuff done, but, there was just something about folding socks that drove me bonkers. Until I realized how little time those two tasks actually took me. I literally timed myself one day. Those tasks took me less than two minutes. Seriously.

Overcoming Procrastination in Less Than 2 Minutes

Overcoming Procrastination

Personal growth is a form of change. Unfortunately, there is an unconscious, deeply rooted part of us that resists change. Even if it’s a positive change.

This internal resistance can show up in a variety of ways, from feeling lazy, scared, complacent, doubtful and that overwhelming feeling of procrastination.

Here’s the deal…

Most of these things we procrastinate aren’t actually difficult to do (I mean, come on…folding socks?) We just avoid getting started on them for some reason.

Of course, the more time-consuming the activity is, the bigger resistance to starting it is created in the mind of the procrastinator. Lifehack.org talks about the two minute rule. Relative to the size of the task, the 2 minute rule can be applied in two ways:

  • The first way is to do short and easy tasks right away.
  • The second way is applied to bigger projects that require added time and effort.

Originating from Newton’s first law of motion that states that objects in rest stay at rest and objects in motion stay in motion, the 2-minute rule in this case means finishing that bigger project 2 minutes at a time. Research shows that the way to start big projects is to break it down into as many small tasks as possible where completion will lead to an increase in motivation. For example, get dressed for a workout and lace up your shoes (2 minutes, check!) and you’ll be more likely to go to the gym! Or sit down to write your grocery list and you’ll be more likely to go grocery shopping.

Common Procrastination Triggers

You can probably name a handful of things you’re currently procrastinating. The truth is, overcoming procrastination is not necessarily going to be your cure-all. It’s about teaching yourself to anticipate your specific triggers and coming up with a plan in advance on how to get started without hesitation, such as the two-minute hack.

Common procrastination triggers are the fear of the unknown, distraction, lack of motivation and resistance to get started (doing the dishes). Big or small, every task comes with a certain level of resistance.

And one of the most common reasons why we procrastinate is that we want things to be perfect. Instead of focusing on getting started, we obsess about achieving perfect results and end up paralyzed.

Remember, set realistic expectations and strive for progress, not perfection.

Ask yourself:

What is that one thing you have been procrastinating that might be holding you back from achieving your goals?

Are you paralyzed about food choices? Does taking the time to stand there and fill up your water bottle hold you back from staying hydrated?  Does the latest episode on Netflix prevent you from getting enough sleep?

Today, I challenge you to “do the dishes,” “eat the broccoli,” “drink the water,” “lace up your sneakers.” Whatever it is that’s taunting you, hanging over your head, if it takes less than two minutes to get started, then do it now.

If you already started making positive changes, you’re likely learning a lot about your body and mind. Hopefully, these are changes that you can embrace and carry through with you for life. Ride that momentum and take the steps you need to feel confident and become a better, healthier version of you.

Overcoming Procrastination by Embracing the Moment

Whether you’re waiting for the “perfect time” to start exercising, eat better… or do the dishes, I encourage you to embrace the moment by overcoming procrastination and attack your goals head on.

Let me know how it goes!

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