Stop Procrastinating by Doing NOTHING

The One Productivity Tactic that Really Works 

Beware! The most popular time to procrastinate will be here in a few weeks. The holidays. This is the time of year when most people delay taking action. They tell themselves, I’ll start ‘that’ in the New Year. Then, they give themselves permission to coast guilt free.

We all procrastinate at times. Often it’s because we don’t want to do something, or maybe we don’t know where or how to start the activity.  As a result, we avoid the tasks that are most essential to our business growth. As the tasks go unfinished, the guilt increases. This happened to me, too. Until, I learned a new trick.

When I feel the urge to procrastinate, I do nothing for 15-20 minutes. I mean nothing. I just sit still and think.

The tendency when procrastinating is to fill the time doing something else – checking Facebook, snacking, cleaning – anything to avoid doing what we need to do. This makes us feel busy, but not necessarily productive. It also consumes a lot of energy and brain power that should be spent on the important task.

By NOT doing anything, we allow our brain the necessary time to recharge, assess what needs to be done, and figure out how to do it. We get clarity so it’s so much easier to take action.

You must separate the Thinking from the Doing.

When we know exactly what to do, it becomes a lot easier to get started. It’s the thinking and planning that slows the progress. Once the steps are identified, most people can implement the plan. There’s no spinning or stalling anymore.

Make the steps simple. By breaking a project down into bite sized steps, it makes the work seem far less overwhelming. Plus, you will feel a sense of accomplishment as you see yourself moving closer and closer to the goal.

Mike Fishbein backs this concept in his blog, How to Overcome Procrastination. He provides several practical ideas to move into action when you feel the procrastination urge creeping into your day. There is a real, underlying psychology that explains why people avoid doing what they know they should do. Once you overcome those challenges, it’s easy to squash procrastination and get to work.

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Here are a few more tips to increase your productivity:

1) Do One Thing at a Time – multitasking is inefficient. When you tackle two things at once, you lose 20% efficiency while your brain is switching gears. When you do three things at once, you lose 60% efficiency. All of that switching time adds up to hours of wasted time.

2) Set Deadlines – having a due date increases the urgency of getting something done. The bigger the consequences of not doing the action, the more powerful the deadline helps to get things in motion. Put a deadline on all important tasks so they become a priority.

3) Done is Better than None – perfect is overrated. The additional time spent in making something perfect is much better spent on other activities. Very few things are really ‘perfect’ – they are in continual improvement as we learn and apply new findings. If you are waiting to release something because you feel it needs to be perfect, give yourself permission to let go. You can always fine tune it later – or not. Sometimes good enough is good enough.

Need a few more reasons not to procrastinate? Check out my blog from earlier this year: How to Conquer Procrastination and Accomplish More. Learn how Eisenhower’s strategy of Urgent/Important helps you easily get more done.

I encourage you to use your time right now to create a specific, day-by-day action plan to grow your business in 2018. Identify the exact activities you need to do to triple your business income. Don’t put this off until January, or you will be playing catch up while your competition speeds past you.

For those in Denver, let’s create your individual business plan together on November 8 or December 6. Learn more at:


Tired of being stuck, not reaching your ideal clients, and trying to figure this out all alone? With support, you can stop spinning and wake up excited about your thriving business every day. Check out how Rapid Results could transform your success – fast!

Nancy Gaines

Nancy Gaines is CEO/Founder of Gain Advantages Inc. and has been advising small businesses and Fortune 100 companies how to increase revenues through proven systems for almost two decades. She is a best-selling author and international keynote speaker. Nancy has been named in the Top 100 Productivity Experts to follow on Twitter and has a global podcast downloaded in over 95 countries. Her main focus is creating business processes with actionable steps so her clients achieve more consistency, ease, and ultimate success.