Goins, Writer

On Writing, Ideas, and Making a Difference

Reverse Procrastination

Think of something that you need to do today but that you really don’t want to do.

Chances are that you’re going to procrastinate doing it. Procrastination: we all struggle with it to some degree.

But this thing that you don’t want to do is going to keep nagging you.

You’re going to put it off to the last possible moment, finding every excuse to not do it and availing yourself to “good” distractions.

If you’re a really good procrastinator (like me), you will find every reason to ignore that To-Do list that is glaring at you.

But at the end of the day, you’ll still need to do that thing.

Here’s a thought: Do it first.

I call it “reverse procrastination.”

If you do the things you really don’t want to at the beginning of the day (actually giving them priority in your schedule), then you have the rest of the day to enjoy the things that you really want to do, as opposed to using them as mere distractions.

Makes sense, doesn’t it?

Give it a try.

About Jeff Goins

I write books and help writers get their work out into the world. I am the best-selling author of four books, including The Art of Work. Each week, I send out a newsletter with free tips on writing and creativity.

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  • Chuck Webster

    Great idea, Jeff! For anyone who’s interested in reading more about reverse procrastination, Brian Tracy’s Eat That Frog explores it in more detail. I’m not sure if he or someone else came up with the Frog metaphor, but it’s helped me remember it when I start putting something off . . .

    I really enjoy your blog. Thanks!

  • It’s easier said than done! 🙁

  • Lia London

    Sounds like something I tell my kids all the time…..   Should we call it something else?  “PRE-crastination?”

  • KAnnDavidson

    This is a method I have been using for a very long time in my life. It is very effective, tough to start but learn-able. This idea of reverse procrastination, like a lot of things, is very psychological. We tell ourselves we don’t want to do it, convince ourselves further and further, even continue to tell ourselves how badly we don’t want to be doing it once we start. This, I can assure you, will never help. Instead, do what you are avoiding first: then while you are doing it, distract your mind with the fun or more appealing task, chore, or activity that comes next. Perhaps it is not the most appeasing way to look at it, but in doing this we train ourselves almost like dogs – get the work done (what we don’t want to do), get a treat (free-time, etc.). With reverse procrastination we put ourselves on a reward system 😉

    Great post Jeff!