Typically, knowing the upside of completing a task isn’t enough to make us put in the effort to actually do it. That’s because the present is concrete and the future is abstract. But you can short-circuit your procrastination tendencies by making the future feel more real. Here’s how:
Visualize. Take a moment to paint a vivid mental picture of the benefits of completing the task. If there’s a phone call you’re avoiding or an email you’re putting off, imagine the sense of satisfaction you’ll feel when it’s over.
Pre-commit, publicly. Most of us don’t want to look foolish or lazy to other people. So dare to say, “I’ll send you the report by the end of the day” — it can be just enough to make taking action more appealing.
Confront the downside of inaction. Instead of telling yourself you can do the task tomorrow (or the day after), force yourself to think about the downside of putting it off. What are the real consequences of not getting it done today?