5-Minute Method for Overcoming Procrastination

photo by @nicholasjio on unsplash
What helps you overcome procrastination on an important project?

Here's a technique that works for me:

Set a timer for 5 minutes, and make any progress on the project. I remind myself:

I can do anything for 5 minutes.  

It doesn't have to be brilliant. Just any progress is helpful for now.  

Here's the key:
Before I start the timer, I take a moment to place myself in a positive state of mind.

I close my eyes, and remind myself:

All is well, and All will be well.

We are truly safe in this universe. We are cared for, and taken care of by an unconditionally loving force that is more powerful than any of our failings and mistakes.

Therefore, I can truly experiment and "play" with this project!

If I am creating something for my audience, then I will also do this: Bring to mind an image of an ideal audience member. Perhaps I'll see in my mind's eye someone's Facebook profile photo. It might be a current client, or a reader who comments regularly on my posts. 

I see that person in front of me, eagerly and supportively waiting for me to create this project because it will help them. The key is to bring to mind/heart a person for whom I can do no wrong in their eyes:

This person loves everything I do. 

(Of course, no real human being can be 100% perfectly supportive without mistake, but in this temporary imagination, they are allowed to be perfect.)

Once I'm in this heart-based mindset, I will start the timer and make any progress I can in the 5 minutes. 

By keeping a specific ideal audience member in mind, my work will naturally be more resonant for people just like them.

What might I actually do in that time? Options include:

  • Brainstorming the steps needed for this project
  • Writing my first draft
  • Organizing my ideas
  • Recording an initial video
  • Reaching out to one or two people for help

I've learned that the landscape changes with every step I make, so it's more important to simply take a step so that I can see, with a bit more clarity, what is next.

In this 5 minutes, just take any step on this project.

You will then see more clearly what is to be done next.

For the timer, you can use your own phone's timer app, or try this simple, free online app -- TimerTab.

After the 5 minutes is complete, I can take a break and celebrate a bit.

Or, if I am on a roll, I will keep going for another 20-45 minutes!

If I do take a break, though, I can always come back and do another 5 minutes, using this method.

Even if I do only 5 minutes on this project today, I know that I have seeded my subconscious to be working on the assignment, even when my conscious mind is not.

This 5-minute technique has un-blocked me, and many of my clients, in our projects.

Try it and let me know if this helps you too. 

(If you have another technique that has helped you overcome procrastination, I also welcome you to comment below and give other readers an additional idea.)