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zen habits: My Fav Procrastination Hack - 30-10

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

My Fav Procrastination Hack - 30-10

We all procrastinate -- let's admit it. And if you're like me, you're always trying to find ways to stop the procrastinating. Here's the trick that works best for me:

  1. Find something that you cannot make it through the day without. For me that's email, reading my blogs on Google Reader, or posting to this blog.
  2. Set a timer for 30 minutes, and work for 30 minutes straight. Don't stop until the timer goes off! I use Cool Timer.
  3. When you're done, you get to do the activity in No. 1 above. It's your reward. Do it for 10 minutes only, and then go back to your timer.
Obviously, this only works if you stick to it, and that's the trick. But I've found that it's really boosted my productivity.

Here's the key: resist all temptation to check email or your blogs (or whatever your reward activity is) until the 30 minutes comes up. You will probably be tempted, but don't give in. You will get more done using this simple trick than you can from any motivational seminar.

Posting this to my blog has been my 10-minute reward. Now I have to get back to work.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

nice tip! i think i'll give it a whirl.

Leo said...

Thanks ... I can't promise it'll work for everyone, but it definitely has made a difference for me.

At the same time, every once in awhile, you should put away the timer and just let yourself work without pressure. Slowing down isn't always bad.

Katrina Talley said...

I love this tip! Thanks for posting it. We'll see how it works for me.

Love your site by the way. I've been reading like ALL your posts! :)

Leo said...

Thanks Katrina ... let me know how it works for you. Glad you like the site!

Isidro said...

Great Tip, simple, obvious, effective and powerfull...


Thank's.

Leo said...

Hey, Isidro ... thanks for the nice comment. I hope it helps others. I didn't invent it, but I love it.

super said...

Hey... Just bumped into your blog ....and found it to be great... I have made several plans to tackle procras... but failed miserably many times... but after reading your blog i am motivated greatly...I have made it a point to finish jobs at once......thanks man.....keep up the good work man....

Leo said...

Hi super ... thanks for the nice comment. I'm glad I've helped! Just keep that motivation going ... the key is to keep your focus on your new habit, even over the course of days and weeks. After awhile, it will become a habit.

kamal said...

I like this one, nice and simple. thanks!

Bug said...

I use this hack (not religiously, alas)and find it VERY productive. It gives me the sense that I can lose myself in the work because I have a reward coming. Soon.

Leo said...

Hi Bug ... thanks for your comment and for sharing your experience. I'm not that consistent with it either, but when I do use it (which is every day, but not all day long), it works extremely well for me. Other times I use other tactics ... such as the fact that I will lose business or my job if I don't get my stuff done ASAP! :)