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5,4,3,2,1 Get It Done!

Updated: Aug 8, 2023

How to get productive when you are stuck in procrastination


Stephanie Northcott on Canva

I was working on a client's project when I looked up for the third time and stared at my son's toys on the table along with my notes, pens, water bottle, and two coffee cups. The project was taking longer than anticipated. I needed a break soooo... I scrolled Facebook. The mess was still there and it was irritating me. Did I clean it up for my 5-minute break? Nope. Was I procrastinating and just tolerating the mess? Yep! I procrastinate! There I said it. I, who like organization and efficiency, also have moments of procrastination. Even the best of us can find ourselves stuck because we feel not good enough, not ready, fear of rejection, fear of failure, or even success. You too might get prepared by creating a list of to-dos ready for the next day and are super motivated to take on the world. Only to then find ways to avoid the difficult tasks. Nothing gets done and the momentum dwindles to a crawl. No amount of motivational speeches will get you to move but I found someone with a great concept to kick your own butt in gear. I have followed Mel Robbins, the author of The Five Second Rule and I love the concept. It's pretty much the Nike ad tagline "Just Do It!" but giving a 5-second count down to shoot out of the gate and literally "getter-done." Here are three things you can learn from the 5 Second Rule, which will increase your productivity and eliminate procrastination:

  1. You can only count backward starting at five. This action will give you an endpoint, which will hold you accountable to take action immediately. "You need to feel the fear and 5-4-3-2-1 do it anyway."

  2. Take action. Procrastination and delaying the inevitable are often habits that have grown over time. Successful leaders calculate their wins as a result of small victories each day. "Once you're moving, it's easier to keep moving," Robbins added.

  3. Be courageous. Procrastination is also a direct result of constant worry and negative self-talk. Robbins says, "To improve anything, you have to find your courage to try."

I have used this little trick and it works. Once you accomplish removing a task it starts that momentum you need to keep going and really become productive. So my table did get tidied (I like clean spaces to work, keeps my head clear) and I stopped scrolling, scrolling on Facebook. And that project, yeah it got done too.

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