How To Stop Procrastinating In Less Than 5 Minutes

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How to stop procrastinating in less than 5 minutes.

Procrastination is the thief of time, robbing you the opportunity to earn more, to learn new skills, to develop your talents and to enjoy life.

In fact, procrastination is one of the biggest roadblocks to success.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are a number of techniques you can use to overcome procrastination and reach your goals.

First of all, we have to understand why do we procrastinate.

The Psychology Behind Procrastination

We have all been there, knowing that something important needs to be done but we can’t get ourselves to do it (at least earlier).

The research on the psychology of procrastination in this article states that some of the most common reasons why people procrastinate are

  • Rewards that are far in the future
  • Perfectionism
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Lack of motivation

These are some of the reasons we can relate with and perhaps the most common one we hear of is the lack of motivation.

The Procrastination Loop

When we procrastinate, we put things off from our shoulders which makes us feel better, releasing any tension we have at the moment.

We then start to feel guilty so we assign ourselves another day or date to complete our task tricking our brain into thinking that the task will get done eventually (before the actual deadline).

This process repeats over and over until the actual deadline is just around the corner.

Anxiety starts to creep in and we’re unable to do our best work and we promise ourselves we will never procrastinate again but it repeats itself and we blame it on the lack of motivation.

Motivation Is A Myth

Let’s tackle the most common reason why we procrastinate.

The truth is, there is no such thing as motivation. At least at the start.

The book The Motivation Myth by Jeff Haden talks about how motivation is the by-product of success and not the opposite.

This quote from the book sums it all

Motivation is the pride you take in the work you’ve done, fueling your willingness to do more.

Instead of blaming it on the lack of motivation (which provides a rather acceptable excuse in the eyes of society or your friends and family) replace it with the lack of discipline.

When you procrastinate and you tell yourself that you lack discipline, this makes you feel more guilty when you procrastinate even when you plan on doing a task the next day.

This makes you want to get started on the work immediately or at least earlier than you would have. It is a psychological trick attacking your ego.

“I lack discipline” feels more insulting towards your ego compared to “I lack motivation”. Imagine someone saying those 2 phrases to you, which one feels more insulting?

Rather, after you complete your work ahead of time every single time, it makes you feel proud which in return, makes you motivated.

This sounds a lot like building a good habit to finish your work early which becomes effortless for you to not procrastinate compared to finding the motivation.

To build good habits to fight off procrastination, take a look at this article on Atomic Habits, the best book I’ve read in 2020.

The 2-Minutes Rule

The first step to start building a good habit to prevent procrastination only takes 2-minutes.

This rule was inspired by productivity guru, David Allen.

He talks about how starting a new habit should never take more than 2 minutes. If something takes less than 2 minutes, do it now.

The idea behind this strategy is to help you get started so that you have the momentum to continue.

Here’s an article about the importance of getting started and not worrying much at first.

This is another way to trick your brain into thinking that doing it for 2-minutes is short so you get started.

But once you realise the time is too short for you to finish your task, you have already gained momentum to continue.

Some tasks cannot be completed within 2-minutes which makes this strategy backfire and you start procrastinating.

So another way is to give yourself more time, about 10-minutes to start on the task and you will find yourself gaining momentum.


Essentially, it requires discipline to overcome procrastination not motivation.

Maintain your discipline and make sure your tasks are achievable and does not make you feel overwhelmed.

If perfectionism is what causes you to procrastinate, understand that it’s better to take action and improve along the way.

At the end of the day, we all suffer from procrastination. It is important for us to accept that this is a natural human trait and not beat ourselves down.

Accepting and acknowledging our problems brings us at peace with ourselves which is the first step for us to improve. The second step is understanding the ways to trick our brains into becoming more productive and act on it.

I hope the tips in this article helps and it should make you procrastinate lesser. If you like this article, check out my previous one on the top 5 books for entrepreneurs.

See you on the next one!

Resources Mentioned

  1. Research on why people procrastinate
  2. The Motivation Myth book