Procrastination is the enemy that keeps us from achieving our goals. Fortunately it can be beaten.
In the Kaizen article I argue that small continuous improvements, getting 1% better every day, leads to better long-term results than taking massive actions right from the start.
In this article I want show another benefit of taking tiny steps; it helps you to stop procrastinating.
While I am writing these lines many thoughts come to my mind. It is already 20:00 and if I want to watch a movie, and not go to bed too late, I should start now. Maybe I should read a book instead, that is more productive. Do I have a Whatsapp message? Everything comes to mind except continuing to work.
A year from now you may wish you have started today.
Procrastination does not win however. My only task left for the day is to finish this article as a draft. A small task compared to finishing the article, creating the graphs and uploading it.
We expect procrastination to show up when we start working on a new goal. Still we tend to overestimate ourselves and believe that we can beat it quite easily until the goal is reached.
The graph shows the level of procrastination when we set a medium difficult goal and our expected ability to beat it. In this scenario we always ‘win’, we can achieve everything we want, great! Unfortunately that is not the reality.
In the first few days, when our motivation is high, we can beat procrastination easily. However set backs happen or our motivation goes down over time, and that is when procrastination gets the best of us.
Our ability to beat procrastination goes up and down.
We beat procrastination sometimes and sometimes it gets the best of us. This scenario might not seem to bad, but there is danger. When procrastination gets the best of us for too long we often give up on our goal all together.
How can we beat procrastination more often?
By setting an easier task.
Since an easy task takes less energy to complete the procrastination level goes down significantly. When our ability to beat procrastination remains the same we come out ahead more often as you can see on the graph below.
With an easy task we almost always beat procrastination, having many little wins during the day. An easy task might not seem to get you far but all these tiny steps add up quickly. We make a lot more progress than if procrastination gets the best of us and we give up.
Tiny steps add up to become big changes. Consider setting easy tasks to achieve during the day, this will make you win in the long run.