If you’re not familiar with him, he wrote two best-selling books, The Power of Habit and Smarter Faster Better. As I’m sure you’ve guessed, I have read both of them and recommend you pick up a copy of each as soon as possible.
The podcast episode focused on Smarter Faster Better and its eight key principles to make you more productive. It reminded me of one of my favorite parts from the book where Duhigg talks about choices and the act of deciding.
I promise not to go too far down the rabbit hole. But the general idea is that the more decisions we make, the more we feel that we’re in control. And the more we feel in control the happier and more productive we are.
I’ll paraphrase what Duhigg says about successful people and procrastination. Highly productive people re-frame activities they want to procrastinate on into a choice. Once they turn the activity into a choice, they realize that they’re in control of how they spend their time. After this realization, they are able to focus on their long turn goals and how the activity applies.
Duhigg goes on to say that the area of our brain that houses motivation only activates when we’re making a choice.
How can you implement this into your life?
You have to start by determining your goals.
Then, you must recognize when you’re procrastinating. A typical sign is when that inner dialogue turns into a version of Britain’s Parliament.
After you make this recognition, you can give yourself a choice. I like to make it a “type of person” choice. By that I mean that I ask myself, “am I going to be the type of person that finishes this season of House of Cards? Or, the type of person that skips House of Cards to go to the gym?”
Finally, you have to make the choice and be okay with your decision. Sometimes I choose to finish that season of House of Cards (who else can’t wait for May 30th?). But more often than not, I get up and go to gym, or write, or choose to do the activity I know I should be doing.
Give this a try and let me know how it works. Keep in mind that it’s going to take a bit of practice. But if you stay with it, you’ll find yourself procrastinating less.
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