Start tasks without resistance


  1. Identify the task you tend to procrastinate on.
    Start by pinpointing the specific task or type of task that you often delay. Knowing what you procrastinate on helps you dig into why you're holding back—is it the complexity, maybe not enough interest, or a bit of fear about the outcome? Think about it and ask yourself, "What is it about this task that pushes me to avoid it?" Understanding this is your first big step towards making a change.
  2. Reduce environmental friction.
    Make starting your task as straightforward as possible by arranging your environment to support you. Eliminate physical or mental clutter that gets in your way. For example, if you're trying to read more, keep a book on your nightstand. Or, if morning workouts are your goal, set out your exercise clothes the night before. Small adjustments like these can drastically reduce the resistance to beginning a task.
  3. Apply the five-minute rule to kickstart action.
    Commit to just five minutes of effort on the task you've been avoiding. This rule is based on the idea that getting started is often the hardest part. Once you're in motion, it's much easier to keep going. You might find that after five minutes, you're ready to continue, but if not, you've still made progress—and that's a win!
  4. Define the next actionable step.
    Once you're in the groove, clarify the immediate next step you can take. Keep it simple and achievable to maintain momentum. This method helps shift your focus from the overwhelming scope of a task to a single manageable action. Ask yourself, “What is the very next thing I need to do?” It could be as straightforward as opening a file or jotting down a few notes. What matters is that it's clear and doable.
  5. Track your progress regularly.
    Keep a log of your progress, no matter how small. This could be a word count if you're writing, a log of gym visits if you're trying to exercise more, or a checklist of study topics covered. Tracking not only provides motivation but also helps you see the tangible advances you're making towards your goals.
  6. Find an accountability buddy.
    Partner with someone who will help keep you responsible for your goals. Ideally, this person should understand or share your objectives and be willing to check in with you regularly. Discuss how you both prefer to be motivated and establish clear expectations for this accountability relationship.
  7. Practice self-forgiveness for lapses in productivity. Sometimes, you won't meet your productivity goals. And that's okay! Instead of dwelling on what you didn't accomplish, focus on what you did achieve, even if it's unrelated to your main goal. This approach of celebrating any positive outcome, like a well-rested morning or a great conversation with a friend, fosters morale and combats productivity-related guilt.


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