Feelings of overwhelm or not knowing where to start generally trigger procrastination. The first thing to do is to break the task down into very small steps. Very small. If you don’t know where to start, the steps aren’t small enough.
If you need the rush of adrenaline that a looming deadline triggers, you can artificially activate this before the last minute. For example, set a timer and rush to finish the task before the alarm goes off. Or pump up the music to get a feeling of speed activated, or promise your monkey brain a treat when the task is finished.
Anxiety about the task
Tap into the emotion and ask it directly, “What are you anxious about?” Be honest with yourself, because when you acknowledge the emotion and give it a voice, it will stop being a problem. Secondly, you will know what to do to get yourself started on the task at hand.
When my procrastination monkey is being particularly bad, I will clear all distractions such as social media, email, phone, and then imagine putting blinkers on so I have to focus on my current task.
Go with the flow…
…but do something brainlessly useful. For example, I have been known to do the ironing when I notice myself avoiding a writing task. I’ve learnt that while my body is ironing, my brain is writing the article in my head. Suddenly, I will be ready again and the writing will flow quickly. In this way, both the ironing and my article got done in no time. A much better strategy than losing hours down the social media rabbit hole!