My Fav Procrastination Hack – 30-10

By Leo Babauta

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.