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Is procrastination your status quo?  You’re not alone.

You know what sucks to do?  Everything that requires effort.  It is so much easier fall victim to procrastination; to lay on the couch, pop on Netflix, sip a mojito and call it a night.  A glorious, lazy night.  But deep down you know you should probably be doing something to get you closer to your goals.  Tomorrow.  Next week.  Whatever, just not today.

I know you want to accomplish some cool things during your short stay on this earth.  Escape the 9-5, buy rental real estate, learn a language, travel the world, become a yoga instructor; whatever it is – I know you want to accomplish something.  Maybe you can relate; the things that hold me back from accomplishing things are:

      • Work is a drain and I’m too beat to do anything in addition to that
      • There is so much to do/learn to accomplish goals- it’s overwhelming
      • Couches are so comfortable/procrastination is intoxicating

There is a better way to accomplish your goals and I’ve found it.  It involves some post-it notes and a wall.  The approach is called “SCRUM” and it’s taken the software development industry by storm.  It’s so popular it was featured in HBO’s Silicon Valley– here (caution- scene is rated R).  While it works well for business, I found it works even better for personal goals and this is how you do it.

First pick a long term goals you want to accomplish (maybe a procrastination problem-child).  For example, let’s go with starting a blog.  Then grab a stack of post-it notes and a pen.  For the next 10 minutes start writing down quick action steps, one step per post-it note.  An action step, from start to finish, should not take you more than 30 minutes.  In our blog example you could write on five post-it notes: 1) read 2 articles on how to start a blog, 2) buy a book on blogging on amazon, 3) write a list of 5 blog post ideas, 4) search “blog post” in google and research blogging sites, 5) brainstorm 5 potential names for blog post.

Rip these post-its off and stick it to your wall under a post-it note labeled “IN QUE”.  Now create two more header post-it notes called “IN PROCESS” and “FINISHED”.  Next grab one of the action post-it notes and place it into “IN PROCESS”.  The rules of SCRUM are:

      • Work on, and only on, the action that is currently IN PROCESS. Do not think or care about any other actions you will need to do.  This is really de-stressing.
      • You can’t work on any other action until you are done with the action and the IN PROCESS post-it note is placed below the FINISHED post-it on the wall.
      • If you think of new actions as your working on another, write it down and post-it in the IN QUE column, but continue on your IN PROCESS until finished.
      • Only worry about completing one post-it a day MAX.

I know this seems childishly simple, but I’m telling you it works magic.  Under this process you will learn more, accomplish more, and in so much less time.  You feel accomplished each night when you complete a 10 minute post-it note and go back to watching TV.

Every two weeks or so, refill the IN QUE space with new actions.  You will be surprised how thinking in terms of small actions, and focusing on one at a time, will cut through the noise and worries associated with chasing goals.

Good luck kicking procrastination in the butt and by reading this post you agree to pay me 10% of your life profits when it succeeds.

Eric