zen habits : breathe

How to Beat Procrastination with Daily Training

By Leo Babauta

We all do it: our best intentions are to go to the gym, get started on writing something, do practice learning a language … but then we procrastinate.

There isn’t a person on this planet who’s immune to the procrastination habit.

How do we defeat this habit? Just as an athlete would, or a world-class chess player: daily training sessions.

The problem, of course, is that we’re likely to put off the sessions!

The only way around that is to 1. find your motivation, and 2. start as easy as possible.

Make it so easy you can’t say no, and find a way to not let yourself say no.

Here’s how:

  1. Commit to doing daily 5-10 minute unprocrastination training sessions. Tell someone you’ll give them $100 (or do something embarrassing, maybe) if you miss a day.
  2. Set a reminder for first thing in the morning, when you usually start work or study. Whenever you open your computer, basically. A big note near your computer is a good idea.
  3. When you open your computer, before you do anything else, do your unprocrastination training session.
  4. Here’s what you do: pick a task you’ve been procrastinating on, clear aside everything else, and do that task for 5-10 minutes. That’s it. You can stop after that.
  5. Notice when you have the urge to switch tasks, to do something easier or more comfortable. Pause, watch the urge, let it go. Then return to the task. Don’t let yourself switch.

That’s it! Do this daily for a week, then increase to 10-15 minutes. Do that for two weeks, and on your fourth week, increase to 20 minutes. You’ll be a rock star after a month of training.

Help with the Habit

If you’d like help forming this new habit, join us in my Sea Change Program as we work on the Unprocrastination habit this month.

Sea Change is my program for forming one habit a month, and it comes with articles, a couple videos, a live video webinar, daily email reminders, and an active community of people supporting each other’s habits. Plus a large archive of past habit modules.

Join Sea Change today and start getting good at unprocrastination.


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