- Make specific plans. Just setting a date and a time when you’re going to do something makes you more likely to follow through. Or write down the steps necessary to do the work.
- Use short, painless dashes of effort. Just have at it for five minutes and feel free to watch the clock. Chances are you’ll realize it’s not so bad.
- Rewarding yourself for doing things you don’t want to do can be a powerful motivator.
- Asking yourself whether you intend on doing something is a more powerful motivator than telling yourself you will do it.
- Forgive yourself when you do procrastinate to prevent a vicious circle. Hey, even procrastination researchers have a sense of humor about it.
This piece originally appeared on Barking Up the Wrong Tree.
Join 135K+ readers. Get a free weekly update via email here.
More Must-Reads From TIME
- How an Alleged Spy Balloon Derailed an Important U.S.-China Meeting
- Effective Altruism Has a Toxic Culture of Sexual Harassment and Abuse, Women Say
- Inside Bolsonaro's Surreal New Life as a Florida Man—and MAGA Darling
- 'Return to Office' Plans Spell Trouble for Working Moms
- 8 Ways to Read More Books—and Why You Should
- Why Aren't Movies Sexy Anymore?
- Column: Elon Musk Should Not Be in Charge of the Night Sky
- How Logan Paul's Crypto Empire Fell Apart
- 80 for Brady May Not Be a Masterpiece. But the World Needs More Movies Like This