Marie Forleo introduction

Hi!

I'm Marie

You have gifts to share with the world and my job is to help you get them out there.

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You’ve got big dreams, but somehow the steps to get from Point A to Point B never seem quite urgent enough to demand your time.

Are you lazy? Unmotivated? Too busy?

No. Nope. And hell no

You’ve got the drive, and you’ve got the time — but you are p r o c r a s t i n a t i n g. 

Procrastination is one of those nasty little critters we all deal with. Yes, even the world’s most successful people struggle with procrastination. But thankfully, there are a ton of strategies to avoid it.

Keep reading to learn the biological, psychological, and emotional reasons humans want to procrastinate — and the tactics to overcome those impulses.

Ready to learn how to stop procrastinating and start getting things done? Let’s do this.

Why You’re Procrastinating

Procrastination doesn’t mean you’re lazy, disorganized, or bad at time management. Getting organized might help you be more productive, but ending chronic procrastination is a whole different beast.

Psychologists at the University of Vermont found that procrastination stems from our beliefs and emotions as much as from our actions.

According to the researchers, we procrastinate because of:

  • Fear of failure
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Rebellion against control
  • Lack of self-confidence
  • Trouble being assertive
  • Fear of success
  • Dislike for the task
  • Anxiety about being judged
  • Perfectionism

Time management skills, while important, aren’t THE most important factor in whether or not you’ll procrastinate. 

The overarching indicator? Fear.

We procrastinate because we’re afraid. We’re afraid of what will happen when we actually get up and do something. We could fail or be judged. We could succeed and face consequences like more responsibility and higher expectations.

Procrastination feels safe. But it also keeps you from doing… anything.

Who’s Most Likely to Procrastinate?

Procrastination is universal, but some people are more prone to it than others.

Based on the UV study, you might be more likely to put things off if you struggle with self-esteem, assertion, confidence, decision-making, or perfectionism.

Another study at Columbia University discovered a tie between procrastination and impatience. If you have trouble waiting for gratification, you might also be prone to procrastination. 

Ironic, huh? But think about it: Both impatience and procrastination are about self-control. It takes willpower to delay gratification and stick to your goals. That means overcoming procrastination is more about mental fitness than time management. And we can work with that!

While procrastination itself isn’t a mental illness (yes, this is a real fear many people have!), research says you might procrastinate more often if you live with mental health issues like:

  • Depression, which makes you likely to put off even simple tasks.
  • Anxiety, which could increase your fear of failure, judgment, or making the wrong decision. 
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder, because compulsive activities can distract you from things you want or need to get done.
  • ADD and ADHD, which are connected to distraction and poor organization.

You may need to work with a doctor or therapist to address underlying mental health issues before you can tackle procrastination. But for those of us who are just putting off an important task? It’s time to kick your tush into gear.

How to Overcome Procrastination

If fear and uncertainty keep you from taking the first step, know this: 

Fear is not the enemy. Waiting to stop feeling afraid is. 

Try these strategies to break through procrastination habits and get started.

1. Name It: How to Recognize Procrastination

Procrastination is a dangerous habit, especially when you don’t realize you’re doing it.

You might think you’re totally on top of that novel, business idea, or pitch prep — you’re just waiting for the right time to start. Or there’s something “more important” to do. But while those stories might make you feel better, let’s call it what it is: plain ol’ procrastination.

Check yourself to make sure you’re not filling your day with busywork to avoid the tasks that really matter.

2. Kill Time Vampires*: Know What’s Worth It

Life will always hand you a million ways to waste time. Unfortunately, a lot of these distractions disguise themselves as opportunities to learn, grow your business, or explore new passions.

To make real progress, you have to learn to recognize the difference between good opportunities and time wasters.

That means getting clear on your short- and long-term goals so they can guide your choices. Anytime you’re faced with a potential opportunity, ask yourself, “How will this help me achieve my goal?”

Got an invitation to be a guest on a podcast? Discount on an online course? Stack of recommended books on your nightstand?

Those could be solid opportunities for growth.

Or they could mean hours of wasted prep time to appear on a podcast that reaches the wrong audience. Weeks of completing a course to learn a skill you’ll never need. Or a weekend spent reading a book you’ll never put into action. 

Beware of procrastination disguised as “research and planning.”

Saying “yes” to everything is a sneaky way to procrastinate, because it keeps you busy without ever letting you get anything done.

If you want to move your life and business forward, accept opportunities with intention. And don’t be afraid to say “no.”

*Time Vampires = Something that sucks your time like a vampire sucks blood.

3. Do What Matters: The Difference Between Urgent and Important

Are you procrastinating on big, important moves by filling your days with unimportant, seemingly urgent tasks like responding to emails and tweets? You need to learn how to prioritize

The important things — writing, contacting clients, going for a run — are the tasks that support your dreams, so do those first. Then get to the “urgent” stuff. The urgent stuff often relates to other people’s goals, not our own.

The great thing about putting your important work first is it guarantees you’ll get everything done.

Now, you have to remember, the urgent stuff is always going to get done because it has to. But if you prioritize the urgent things it’s easy to blow off your important work at the end of the day since the important work isn’t usually attached to deadlines, paychecks, or other people’s expectations.   

Do the important tasks first, and watch just how easy it is to “find time” for the urgent stuff later. (And if any task on your list is not important or urgent, drop it or delegate it.)

4. Screw the “Right Time”: Start Before You’re Ready

Too many creative and ambitious people believe that there’s some mystical “right time” to do everything.

You’ll start exercising after the holiday parties. You’ll launch your business when your kids are older. You’ll write a novel once you get the outline juuuust right.

Then, guess what happens? While you’re waiting for the right time something else comes along, and the right time suddenly isn’t so right anymore.

Stop with all the brainstorming, planning, waiting, and strategizing! These. Are. Distractions. 

Get out there, and start the work — before you’re ready. You don’t need to know everything about your dream, nor do you need to map out every step in advance. Stop hiding behind books and websites. Instead develop a bias for action. Make appointments. Have real-life conversations. You’ll learn more and make faster progress.

5. Know Your Why: Bring on the Rewards

When you commit to doing something — whether it’s brushing your teeth twice a day or publishing a bestseller — make sure you know why you want to do it.

Does your to-do list help you achieve what you want to do with your life? If not, remember this mantra: 

Purpose fuels persistence.

The quickest way to overcome procrastination is to revisit your goal and ask yourself, “What’s the reason I want to _________ [start this business/run a marathon/apply to grad school]?” Many people set goals for the wrong reasons, so when it comes time to actually make progress on their dreams, they procrastinate.

To accomplish anything big, you have to believe in it 10,000%. The more heart and emotion that you have in your why, the better. It will be easier for you to stay committed and stay passionate about getting what you want.

6. Baby Steps: Aim for Progress, Not Perfection

If you’re putting a task off because you’re afraid of judgment or failure, you might suffer from perfectionism — the ultimate dream killer.

Most of us waste way too much time tweaking and perfecting, instead of shipping the damn thing.

I’ve certainly been guilty of this. To avoid it now, I live by this mantra: Go for progress, not perfection.

If you wait for perfection, you’ll never take the first step — because “perfect” is an illusion. No matter how perfect you think you’ve gotten something, you’re probably going to change it after you’ve put it out into the world, and that’s okay. Experimentation is how you learn and grow.

I’ll admit, the first public version of almost everything I’ve done is mortifying in retrospect. But I get started anyway, and I learn quickly, because that’s the only way forward.

7. Social Accountability aka “The Embarrassment Factor”

Social accountability is the secret to following through on your goals.

It’s simple, but powerful. I enlist friends to embarrass me past procrastination.

Next time you face an important task that scares the bejeezus out of you — the kind that begs you to blow it off and cozy up into your comfort zone — try this: Tell everyone you know when you plan to get it done.

Tell your friends and family. Your mastermind group. Your co-workers and boss. Your partner and sister. Your neighbors. Declare it publicly through your blog, newsletter, and social media.

When the deadline comes along, chances are someone’s going to ask you how it’s going. You don’t want to have to tell them you’ve put it off so you could spend the day rearranging your closet, do you?

I didn’t think so.

8. F O C U S: Get Rid of Distractions

You know those days when you sit down to finally write a chapter, make your budget, or cold-call clients, then you immediately get 17 text messages from friends you haven’t talked to since college, and by the time you’re caught up on everyone’s lives it’s dinnertime?

Those distractions are no excuse for procrastination! Don’t give into them — get rid of them.

Here are five ways to stop distractions from the people around you:

  1. Issue a “rude” alert. Let people know when you’re going to focus on work, and warn them you’ll be unresponsive if they interrupt you during that time. Then set your phone to “do not disturb.”
  2. Close the door. A closed door signals “do not disturb” and keeps distractions out of sight.
  3. Don’t send mixed signals. When you tell people you’re working, work! Don’t pop into conversations, complete quick chores, or stealthily like all their Instagram posts from last year’s trip to Mexico.
  4. Wear headphones. Like a door for your ears, headphones can block distracting noise and let people know you’re not to be bothered.
  5. Get outta Dodge — or, at least outta the living room. You can’t expect everyone around you to go silent around your work schedule. Head to the library or a cozy coffee shop when you need distraction-free work time, and let them carry on.

9. Schedule It: How to Stop Procrastination Before It Starts

Schedule time for your important tasks, so you can’t ignore them. Pick a spot on your calendar that’s free from your day job, kids’ activities, date night, or family obligations, and write in that step you’ve been meaning to take toward your dream.

This is also a useful test for how important your goal really is. If you can’t seem to make time for the work, it could be a sign you’re chasing the wrong goal.

If you’re not willing to put it on the calendar, you’re probably not willing to do it.

Write that down. That’s mantra material! This one insight can have a huge impact on the rest of your life. For reals.

One more time for the people in the back:

If you’re not willing to put it on the calendar, you’re probably not willing to do it.

10. Jezzdoit: The Easy Way to Complete Any Task

Time for a hard truth: There’s no magic secret to moving past procrastination. You just have to start the work..

This tip might help though: Do each task as it comes up, instead of adding it to your neverending to-do list.

That doesn’t mean letting yourself get distracted by unimportant tasks, but it could mean harnessing the energy you have in this moment to make progress. For example:

  • Next time you have a brilliant blog post idea in the shower, don’t add it to your overflowing “ideas” doc. Hop out and take 15 minutes to write an imperfect first draft right away.
  • When a potential client follows you on LinkedIn, don’t stalk their account for months before dipping your toes in the connection pool with an occasional like or share. Send them a message and ask them about their business goals.

I promise, when you hop on these opportunities quickly instead of sticking them on a to-do list, you’ll move forward faster than you ever thought possible.

Want more tips to stay productive? Check out this MarieTV on the four-minute method to massive productivity.

11. BFFs: Make Time Your Friend

Let’s be honest: We talk smack about time waaaayyy too much. It’s never enough. It’s always running out. It flies by.

Smack-talking time is a great way to blame it for your lack of productivity, but you’ve got to take responsibility, my friend.

When you hate on time, you set it up as your enemy and guarantee you’ll always struggle against it. To shift your thinking, start saying nice things about time. Channel your inner Mick Jagger, and think, “Tiiiime is on my side.” Because it is, if you’ll let it.

Making time your pal is a simple but effective way to eliminate it as an excuse for never getting around to your dream.

12. Work It: Get up and Move

Feel like your mind’s not up to the task at hand? Get your body moving!

Studies show that exercise optimizes your brain, mood, and ability to focus — and, therefore, your ability to get things done.

That’s why I try to sweat my buns off for at least 30 minutes every day. It infuses my brain with energy and helps me focus, so I can tackle the tasks I need to get done. I’m partial to workout videos, but you can choose any kind of activity that gets your brain flowing, like yoga, taking a walk, or riding a bike. 

Make it a priority to move every day, and I guarantee you’ll find it a lot easier to get to work, too.

13. Don’t Blow Yourself Off: Prioritize What’s Important to You

If you want to do important work in the world — and I know you do — you have to take yourself seriously. 

Letting others set your priorities for you is an easy way to fall into a procrastination trap while still feeling productive. What others expect of us feels important in the moment, but it might just be an excuse to put off something harder (or scarier).

We have to protect our time to make room for work that matters to us. 

Believe in your work. Then, prioritize it. Ignore invitations, emails, and other distractions that support your procrastination habit. Get your work done, and leave everything else for later.

If you don’t take yourself seriously, who will?

14. Forgive Yourself: Allow Some Cheat Days

To be clear, overcoming procrastination doesn’t mean burning out. You’re not a computer. Humans need to rest and play to be effective in our work.

Before you burnout and can’t get anything done, build in intentional, smart breaks to step away and recharge so you can do your best work.

Schedule breaks in advance, including short breaks throughout the day and longer time off throughout the year. Then put them in your calendar. This will help you stick to your rest just like you stick to your work. If you use these breaks to feed your soul and move your body, you’ll come back refreshed and recharged.

Did someone say dance break?

Stop Procrastinating: Turn This Insight Into Action

Procrastination isn’t an affliction you’re stuck with. It’s an impulse we all feel, but it’s one you can totally overcome.

Use the strategies above to avoid procrastinating, and develop a habit of getting sh*t done.

Now it’s time to turn this insight into action.

Grab a notebook and spend 5-10 minutes answering these questions:

Do you struggle with procrastination? What beliefs and emotions keep you from getting started? What insights can you take away for overcoming procrastination, and how can you turn those insights into action today?

Don’t think your answers. Don’t say, “That sounds interesting, I should try it someday.” Do it now. Remember, nothing works unless you do. Taking action is the only path to change. I believe in you.

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129 comments

  1. Did prehistoric lizards have Twitter? They must have, because that’s what my lizard brain likes.

    • Tina

      Sounds like your a bit of a Comedian!

  2. THANK YOU! OMG you must have been reading my mind…or spying on me…not sure which yet!

    I was sitting here, not kidding, looking on the internet on way to deal with procrastination, when I actually should be in the kitchen baking! So…I’m going to jeezdoooeet!

  3. Needed that advice as I look at my to-do-list mid-day and only have one thing checked off!

  4. Marie,

    Perfect timing, I was at this very moment pondering how the heck to slither my lizard out of the sticky stuck & stinky hole of procrastination. Thanks!
    Marian

  5. Andrew J McClary

    Very nice explanation. I find myself with lizard brain a lot, especially when I’m distracted. Here is one thing I know for sure:

    Creative people cannot be distracted when they’re creating. Have you ever noticed when you’re knee deep in creating something awesome and you get distracted, it’s a huge effort to get that momentum back? I can work 5 hours straight designing a website but when I get interrupted and return to what I was doing, I’m not resuming at hour number 6, I’m really starting the creative process all over again.

    That’s why I think it’s important to choose one task and finish it, even it if it takes you 16 hours to do it—because when you do that, you’re keeping the same flow of energy moving. You’ll notice when you do things that way, you’re way more consistent as well.

    • hah! Agreed. I actually HAVE spent 16 hours straight on a video project I loved. Leave it sitting and it’ll be on my harddrive for months until I eventually delete it because I’ve lost the passion to finish it. Crazy.

      • Andrew J McClary

        Have you noticed that those 16 hours you worked had the same quality of a 60 hour project? If you break a task into 8 hour increments, it will take several times longer than it would if you kept working until the task was finished.

        • shantala

          excellent idea!!! this is what i’m going to do! knock out my tasks fully until they are finished and i can red marker them off list….

          JUSTDOOOOOEEEEET!!!!

        • Amy

          This notion of keeping working on a creative project until it’s done is a luxury for those who don’t have any other obligations: kids, pets, elderly relatives. The rest of us need to figure out how to get back into that creative “flow” mental state as quickly as possible.

          You need to do some experimenting to find out what works for you. I find that leaving my work open on the computer, and leaving myself a clear note as to the next step I need to take (e.g., “choose a better word here” or “rewrite this sentence for clarity”), gives me a quick entry back into that flow state. I don’t need to mess around opening my word processor and wondering where I was, I can just dive right in. Often completing that one task I left myself puts me back into flow.

          Maybe for you it would be listening to a particular kind of music, or being in a physical place where you do your creative work, or a few deep breathing or stretching exercises.

          For more information about the flow state (and about spending your time mindfully) check out “Finding Flow” by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced approximately “chick-sent-me-highly”).

    • Amen. Totally agree about how creativity and momentum work. Thanks for articulating well here! K

  6. I loved this and what was so perfect was that I was in the middle of procrastinating when I came across this tip. I find the social accountability thing the most powerful way to get my butt in gear. Thanks as always!

    • Monica

      Oh my gosh Daphne, no question accountability is what gets me going each time! Here’s the slant I have finally found, that I do with others – it’s setting a time/day either ahead or spontaneously to actually call on the phone (remember that?) – and it’s not about chit chatting and catching up, it is specifically to say for example “I’m going to start on….”. Could be tidying up or painting or getting to work, whatever it is we are procrastinating on. Then – and this is the magic bullet I find…we put our call on speaker, and each of us gets started on our task. We can often hear the other person doing their thing, unless it’s a quiet task.

      These phone support calls can be a little as 15 min or an hour or even longer. It’s up to you. My last one, we said let’s do organizing for an hour, from 9am-10am. We set a timer for 15 min’s and each 15 min’s would briefly report how it’s going, and set the timer again for 15 min’s. We did this for over an hour, and the momentum it creates (for us both) is phenomenal. The sense is, we are not doing our tasks “alone” – we’re doing them “with” someone and it’s actually fun! Even setting the time and day creates a positive expectation that we’ll get to something “with help”, so to speak.

      I work solo from home, and having someone to connect with LIVE on the phone, just with the speaker on, feels like colossal support. It’s never failed to get me out of procrastination and on a roll.

      I am looking for another couple people that are interested in doing this with me. We use WhatsApp (free phone app) on our phones for free calls and texts, particularly if we’re not in the same country. Anyone interested? LMK and we can call and see if it feels like a fit:) I’m at: [email protected]

      Thank you!
      Monica

  7. Amy

    “Michelle I’m F$% busy!” Ha! Love it!

  8. Hey Marie! So another good vid, dig it!

    Here’s a question for you next time. You mentioned ways to market in the video (blogging, articles, newsletters, VIDEOS). Which 1 would you recommend I focus on? It gets absolutely overwhelming trying to do them all at once, and I never know which 1 to apply my skills to the most. It seems they all seem to have the same impact for me – should I just go w/the 1’s I like best? I’m really attracted to those where I can especially use my creativity like writing or making videos, but I’s gots to streamline because my vision gets distorted when I diversify all the time. I realize I need to keep up with all of them but do you have any suggestions on the best 1’s to optimize or how I can figure it out? Thanks!

  9. Hi Marie,

    I was just sitting here on my can, waiting for something, to happen when I checked my email, and there you were! Yes, social accountability and scheduling seem to be the way to go, great advice. Now, after lunch, I will go and DOIT.

    Thanks

  10. Pat

    Marie! your videos are just so fun to watch!!! LOVE THEM!

  11. HAHA that last blurp scared the crap out of me !! I had turned up my vol to do something else and freaked myself out! Thanks for the adrenaline boost and the kick in the pants today, Marie!

  12. thanks Marie, also I find cleaning my desk and environment works WONDERS for being stuck in the space BEFORE the accomplishments. If my space is clean, its so much easier to just start and once the ‘start’ has happened, it just flows…also a GREAT way to get anything done is knowing you have to fly somewhere and I find I get so much done before all the trips! its that scheduling thing. thanks!!

  13. Marie, you f-ing crack me up! Tuesdays would be such a drag without you!

    Thanks for the great tips!

  14. Once again Marie, unbelievable synchronistic timing… I’m in the midst of doing the ‘should I…’ dance and not doing what needs to be done – aka – not doing what I’m afraid of doing. Which is really key here – if you don’t want to do it, then don’t do it… BUT (BIG BUTT :), if you are AFRAID TO DO IT, you should DEFINITELY DO IT and the reward will be GREATER! This, I’ve learned recently…
    Love from the original hubster,
    KristinHMorris

  15. you kill me M.

    I was puttering around my office last night looking at alllllll the files piled up in my office and started to get that beginning overwhelm thang. Wondered to myself, WTF do I begin…and then tuesday hits. Watched your vid and the dogs stop yapping. Simple, perfect and oh so easy.

    PEACE!

    JR

  16. I love what you’re doing Marie… You Rock!!

    ?? for ya, do you edit your own videos or are you outsourcing it? Also, what kind of camera are you using…. love the backgrounds and your amazing personality!

  17. Tanya

    Loved the part about, if you don’t want to schedule it, you probably don’t want to do it. Great reminder of doing things out of inspiration vs. obligation. Definitely the more you want to do it, the more likely you will schedule it and get it done and the other items can be given to someone who wants and can do them.

  18. I don’t want to worry Josh, but I think my two year old is inlove with you. Especially when you rap, he gets a little spring in his step and starts shaking his little diaper bum….

  19. Marie, great post.

    And I did love the advice at 3:14. That reminds me of another great tip i heard once: Schedule time to play. Sometimes I procrastinate because I’m having too much time playing and don’t want to quit. But I find that if I schedule a specific time to play as well as a time to do the important things, then I get them both done.

    Thanks for all the great answers!

  20. Thanks for your video today! Just like soooo many others—perfect timing! I love the idea of social accountability. I often keep things to myself and (no surprise) I don’t finish things. I think that is all about to change! Thanks again!

  21. working on checking off now…and trying to schedule. xo

  22. Oh Yes Marie and Thanks for the referral..i am not sure if it was direct or indirect but someone found me through you…double xo

  23. Marie, I concur with the Steven Pressfield book recommendation. Amazing book. A few things that have helped me over the years:

    • Write lists. This is especially helpful when I’ve felt crippled with indecision about all the different directions I could go in with my business. When you see it staring back at you in black and white you are more apt to accomplish it. And it’s so satisfying to cross if off the list once it’s done.

    • Along the same lines as your “schedule it” suggestion, I found that changing the view of my iCal (digital daytimer) from the “month view” to the “week view” allowed me to see my week broken out into hour-long segments and then start “time blocking”; blocking off one or two hour segments in the day in which to tackle a specific task. Once you can see how many hours you have in the day, it becomes much easier to see where you are wasting time and where you have time to spare.

    • Perhaps a little more holistic than some people are used to, meditating even for just 10 minutes first thing in the day can lead to some amazing focus and clarity. When paired with time blocking and list making you might find yourself on fire!

    🙂

    • Yes, yes, yes. I do all of these things and Christina is right: they help!

    • Monica

      Hi Christina – I just posted this (below) to another commenter above. If you’re interested in trying this with me, LMK – it’s been such a great way to get started, the hardest part of procrastination! Monica~

      ***Oh my gosh Daphne, no question accountability is what gets me going each time! Here’s the slant I have finally found, that I do with others – it’s setting a time/day either ahead or spontaneously to actually call on the phone (remember that?) – and it’s not about chit chatting and catching up, it is specifically to say for example “I’m going to start on….”. Could be tidying up or painting or getting to work, whatever it is we are procrastinating on. Then – and this is the magic bullet I find…we put our call on speaker, and each of us gets started on our task. We can often hear the other person doing their thing, unless it’s a quiet task.

      These phone support calls can be a little as 15 min or an hour or even longer. It’s up to you. My last one, we said let’s do organizing for an hour, from 9am-10am. We set a timer for 15 min’s and each 15 min’s would briefly report how it’s going, and set the timer again for 15 min’s. We did this for over an hour, and the momentum it creates (for us both) is phenomenal. The sense is, we are not doing our tasks “alone” – we’re doing them “with” someone and it’s actually fun. Even setting the time and day creates a positive expectation that we’ll get to something “with help”, so to speak.

      I work solo from home, and having someone to connect with LIVE on the phone, just with the speaker on, feels like colossal support. It’s never failed to get me out of procrastination and on a roll.

      I am looking for another couple people that are interested in doing this with me. We use WhatsApp (free phone app) on our phones for free calls and texts, particularly if we’re not in the same country. Anyone interested? LMK and we can call and see if it feels like a fit:) I’m at: [email protected]

  24. Thanks, Marie. I love how simple these tips are. But I’m afraid my lizard brain has gotten too smart for these tips. This is why I NEVER publicly declare that I’m going to start working out again, and I never put it on my calendar, either. Blech.

    • Monica

      Hi Lexi – I can totally relate! See what you think about what I described to another commenter on this page, it’s been such a great way to get started…the hardest part of procrastinating! LMK if you’d like to try this:) Monica~

      ***Oh my gosh Daphne, no question accountability is what gets me going each time! Here’s the slant I have finally found, that I do with others – it’s setting a time/day either ahead or spontaneously to actually call on the phone (remember that?) – and it’s not about chit chatting and catching up, it is specifically to say for example “I’m going to start on….”. Could be tidying up or painting or getting to work, whatever it is we are procrastinating on. Then – and this is the magic bullet I find…we put our call on speaker, and each of us gets started on our task. We can often hear the other person doing their thing, unless it’s a quiet task.

      These phone support calls can be a little as 15 min or an hour or even longer. It’s up to you. My last one, we said let’s do organizing for an hour, from 9am-10am. We set a timer for 15 min’s and each 15 min’s would briefly report how it’s going, and set the timer again for 15 min’s. We did this for over an hour, and the momentum it creates (for us both) is phenomenal. The sense is, we are not doing our tasks “alone” – we’re doing them “with” someone and it’s actually fun. Even setting the time and day creates a positive expectation that we’ll get to something “with help”, so to speak.

      I work solo from home, and having someone to connect with LIVE on the phone, just with the speaker on, feels like colossal support. It’s never failed to get me out of procrastination and on a roll.

      I am looking for another couple people that are interested in doing this with me. We use WhatsApp (free phone app) on our phones for free calls and texts, particularly if we’re not in the same country. Anyone interested? LMK and we can call and see if it feels like a fit:) I’m at: [email protected]

  25. dance first, then it’s eas(ier…)
    here is some great music http://www.ecstasyradio.net/index.php
    I go for the Bare Bones Wave at the start of the day- works wonders:)
    xClaire

  26. Christine

    Great stuff!!! Reminds me of a book I read a longgggg time ago. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, by Susan Jeffers. AWESOME book. Really helped me to just risk it anyway. That’s its normal to feel fear.

    I’m starting to think about working on my Masters or branching out with our swing dance club (We have a club in Lancaster, PA…Lancaster Swing Dance Club) and it’s growing like crazy. We had over 200 people this past Saturday. And because it’s just busting out, I don’t want to lose momentum, like you talk about in here.

    Thanks for reminding me..especially to schedule and make myself accountable. This will ABSOLUTELY help me to take time to learn new moves and really get out there in the community with our dance!!

    • Sharon

      I was procrastinating on something I should be doing, of course, and googled A Course in Miracles & Lancaster PA and what came up was your post! I live in Lancaster and my husband and I were looking into starting swing dance lessons or other type of dancing lessons in January. Depends upon my recovering foot surgery. Tks for posting! Loved the synchroncity!

  27. Alexia

    I´m a loooooving Q&A Tuuuuesdays videos.
    So enlightening, the Social Accountability tool works great for me. The live-in-the-moment-just-a-dooo-it-now philosophy has changed my life! I can hardly believe that last year when my friend turned me on to you Marie I was in a dark shitty place.

    Thank you, Marie!

  28. Great piece today, Marie! I like the social embarrassment technique:) A lot of my clients ask me for advice about procrastination but I tend to find that issues around procrastination bother those of us who “ship” the most! It is typically those folks who are more productive than others that get upset during those periods when we don;t want to do anything. My response? Allow yourself not to do anything sometimes!

    • Brenda

      Thank you Jeffrey. That is so true – Just realised it now. Thanks!

  29. OOOeeeeoooeeeooooooooooo the war of art just came through my letterbox today… you’re on the ball as usual, thank ya ma’am

  30. Elisha

    Love this Marie!

    I am especially fond of the social embarrassment/accountability tactic! I most recently used it to help me finish this cleanse I’m on right now, works like GOLD, I never want to publicly admit I didn’t do what I said I would!

    I also love the bit about scheduling it, and jussdoit (I’m a member of that club, only way to roll!)

    The problem I’m having right now is procrastinating on a project with someone who refuses to schedule anything! Major no-no for me in a biz partner, but I didn’t vet him fully, since he’s my brother! (But, even MORE reason to I now know). After watching your video it has me thinking…maybe he doesn’t want to do it! Which would be fine, we just need to know and move on.

    THANKS again!

  31. A very important topic today Marie! I totally agree with you that just becoming aware of your lizard, and recognizing what it’s trying to do, is half the battle. You can then tell it to shove off 🙂

    Here’s one way that I deal with the procrastination. On those days that I’m looking at my to-do list and I just don’t want to do any of it, I tell myself, “OK you only have to do this task for 10 minutes. Then you can stop.” I am usually able to convince myself to do something for such a little chunk of time. The beauty of this is that once I’m going, I usually don’t want to stop, and that energy and excitement is back. And the lizard slinks away…

  32. The Awful Lizard Brain! I think it is the root of all evil! 😉

    My favorite tip was that if you’re not ‘willing’ to schedule it then you’re not willing to do it. Being a mom, it is essential that I schedule everything if I actually plan on getting anything accomplished(it’s hard to say no to “Mommy will you play ants in the pants with me?”). It really made me think about my true intent if I don’t even schedule certain things to get done. I need to focus on the things that my heart is really feeling and not waste time procratinating on things that I’ve comitted to but don’t really want to do.

    Thank you, thank you for another entertaining, educational and profanity bleeping Tuesday! 😉

    Danielle

  33. Hi Marie!

    I really like the idea that if I don’t want to schedule it, then I don’t really want to do it. Makes total sense, and gives me another filter to make sure I’m only doing the stuff I REALLY want to do! 🙂

    Loved the social accountability tip, too!

  34. Marie, this is a juicy biz nugget. Love it! I am a big fan of JUST DO IT. When I get that real with myself, I notice that I’ll either rise to it or shrink fast. When I shrink, I know it’s time to re-chart the course. Love the way you break it down!

  35. LOVE the item at 3:14, it jumped out and grabbed me!! Thanks Marie:)

  36. Hahaha… you look like my boyfriend at the beginning there!

    The first one really resonates with me. Public/social declaration of what you intend to do. People really do ask you about it as the date approaches and will follow up with you if the date passes. I need to work on the scheduling of things. My problem is that I KNOW the difference between a “real” thing on my calendar and a thing that I put there to make myself do it. Must commit to following my daily schedules 100%! xo

  37. Marie, Love the video and the content.

    Keep up the good work, you are great.

    Kudos form your Italian Fan. I am actually from Italy! Italian charme! 😀

    Francesco

  38. Great to know I’m in good company! You read my mind this morning. Thanks for the wisdom and humor! So simple, yet profound. Keep up the fabulous work!

  39. Excellent, Marie. Scheduling is a great way to take a hand-on approach to dealing with the fear, which is often why I find procrastination occurs…knowing and seeing in advance that it’s GOING TO HAPPEN is really helpful. I just added a few things to my schedule-thanks!

  40. OMG…you used the ‘F’ word! LOL

    You’re simply amazing!

    xoxo

  41. Momentum! That’s what I need {and a schedule!} Thanks!

  42. I used to resist scheduling any of my “to-dos” because it seemed like a prison sentence. Once I shifted my mind-set about it and started scheduling EVERYTHING, my whole life changed. It’s actually much more freeing to operate this way. Instead of always have a gigantic list of to-dos, I have everything scheduled including free time. When I’m enjoying my free time I can fully enjoy it and not worry about all of my to-dos, because their on the calendar and they WILL get done on time. I can actually be FREE during my free time!

  43. Love your video and wanted to thank you for the book suggestion. I write about procrastination and unfortunately, I had to get a J.O.B. while starting my business at the same time and that has caused a lot of procrastination. Although I am always on the lookout for great information on the topic, I am subscribed to your site so this found its way to me. Thank you for all you do.

  44. Cornelia Graham

    Hi Marie, loved the video ” How to overcome procrastination”. The part about scheduling it and making it real hit home for me. Thanks, loved the “swearing” toward the end 

  45. ROFL…. seriously… only you would come up with cricket background noises and act like a lizard…. and still look gorgeous doing so 🙂

    Christine

  46. deb

    Thanks for the info…Lizzard Brain ? very interesting…will try

  47. absolutely effing amazing!! as usual!

  48. Brilliant Marie!! Many thanks 🙂

  49. I totally get the lizard brain thing. It is one of the hardest things I have to work to overcome.

    Social accountability doesn’t work for me. What happens is that I expend all the excitement and energy talking about it and then I never do anything. I just don’t embarrass that way. Crazy but it’s true. What works for me is precisely the opposite. If it is something that I care about I need to heed the schedule it, and jezzduit advice but I avoid telling anyone until the work is well underway or done.

    Another thing that helps me with the procrastination thing is to give myself permission to quit if, once I have started, I can’t get things into the flow. This helps me overcome my resistance that comes from a fear of being stuck doing something I hate but feel obligated to do because “I promised”. Once I have begun to work I almost always find that things go well and I keep working.

    When I started TheNatureSchool.net I made a point to keep things small because I am not yet at a point where I can quit my very demanding day job. I looked at my schedule, decided what kind of a posting frequency I could handle and made a commitment to myself to keep it. I decided that I could handle one day a week to start and that Sunday was the best day for me. I make a post even if I feel no inspiration just to maintain that momentum. I also make a point to tweet it so that I can overcome my lizard brain resistance to being noticed.

  50. I write out my to do list the night before. When you wake up, you know what you have to do for the day. Try to only write 6 things and number them in order of priority, otherwise if the list is too big, you get overwhelmed.

  51. Ana

    This is a great video Marie, don’t get me wrong . . . but my procrastination rears it’s lizard head by my getting caught up in good content videos just like this!
    It’s my way of saying “I still don’t know enough” to just flippin’ DO IT!

    But thank you really, it’s a great reminder of this. : )

  52. That is CRAZY! Great info from a total Fox. Thanks Marie! xo Tancie
    Twitter.com/TancieTrail

  53. Here is me, Certified Professional Organizer, learning a some new ways of looking at my schedule from a procrastinator. Life is funny! Thanks. I will be sharing such insight with my clients.

  54. I like it and love the idea about schedule it! Muchas Gracias!

  55. Rommy

    Luh-uhv the geenius @ 3:14!

  56. Anne

    Just DO It – Schedule IT; a new mantra to start the day – Thanks Marie.

  57. Thanks for this video Marie!
    Guess what: it was just what I needed…
    As soon as you said “write your blog,” I sat up straight and felt like you were talking to me!
    So I literally just edited and posted a new blog entry a couple of minutes ago.
    My last blog post was a month ago.
    So, thanks for the inspiration…it really had a positive, immediate impact on me!
    Lots of love and appreciation,
    Angela

  58. Prada Madonna

    Always great and on target. OK, to the Outlook calendar we go! Thanks Marie.

  59. wow! 2 Anne’s in a row!

    If you don’t Schedule it, you don’t really wanna do it. Interesting.
    That is seriously a new one for me. I’m going to try this filter on for size of the next week or so to be a little more aware of what I’m locking down dates on (and what I’m not!)

    Love this video…

  60. I read the War of Art at one point. It seems like time for a refresh. Thanks for the video. Social media always distracts me. Time to schedule it in rather than look at it during free moments.

  61. Love this Marie. I’ve been working on this with my life coach and schedule out everything from workouts to work sh**, I even schedule my shower in my planner! lol It really works though….

  62. Marie this ROCKS! And it is so true… I am going to start putting myself more out there on social media haha and get out of the “lizard” mentality…oh and I am a “pro” at scheduling things!! xo

  63. Great Marie. Will check out that book too The War of Art…by the way, you should do a chat show in the future, for deffo. Off to share! X

  64. Great Video Marie..you know how to get good advise out while keeping us intrigued and inspired! htp://www.Devanifreeman.com

  65. Great video Marie, will definitely be more aware of my ‘lizard brain’ going forward.

  66. Eleanor

    Great video – especially with the lizard brain – v. funny – loved the 3:14 tip about ‘not wanting to schedule’ – :).

  67. Great Tips Marie! You freakin’ crack me up! I am loving these new videos.

  68. Jennifer Lee

    Great content as always! Thanks Marie!!!

  69. mee

    Marie is so friendly, she is the sunlight in my life. Light up my day , today turned down by an employer. I did the test great. Don’t know why.

    Thanks Marie

  70. My big a-ha moment recently was that there is a mile of difference between “I could” and “I will” – I was letting all these “I could”s build up and get me overwhelmed… then I realized that “I could” fly to the moon – but I get to choose what “I will” do.

  71. Great tips (as usual) Marie. I always enjoy your videos. I’ve found that doing my work in small “spurts” and then taking mini breaks (like 5-10 minutes in between) has been very helpful for me in saying motivated and beating procrastination.
    -Brittni

  72. MC

    Marie,
    Question. LOVE your video’s . What video software do you use to edit and what type of video camera do you use to shoot the video’s. Love the quality of yours so much! Have a great day!

    Thanks MC

  73. T

    Umm… I’m actually procrastinating by exploring your site. Heh.

    Happy to find you online. Love your book! Reminded me even more of A Course in Miracles…

    Thank you for all that you do!

  74. Nansee

    Marie
    thanks for doing best to link us with you
    congratulation for success as averry good reprsintative for more progress
    yours:-
    Nansee

  75. JuJu

    What was the second name? Seth what?

    • Seth Godin – he’s beyooond 😉

  76. brigitte weber

    thank you for the reminders! you are inspiring & i like your “tough-no mess”style- suits me!! courageous & tenacious!! xbrigitte

  77. Hi Marie, Homer on facebook posted the link to your article on procrastination. i have been exploring a niche that you seem to be touching on. I really enjoy the quality of you videos and how you made them very “home” friendly! You have managed to combine “home living” with business and thats very appealing to me. I am sure I could learn alot from you.
    when you have a minute, please check out my facebook page. Have an awesome day! xo
    Caryn Elizabeth

  78. Can I just put you in my back pocket? ow about my bra? Seriously! I love EVERYTHING that comes out of your mouth! Showing this to my husband when he comes home later…..

    XOXO

  79. Liz

    I am catchin up on all my Marie videos today, and wanted to let you know, this one was great! Totally helpful, thanks for being awesome as always Marie 🙂

  80. Hello sweet Marie! Thanks tons for the video. That whole scheduling thing really resonated with me. It absolutely made me do some serious thinkin’ 😉

    The most powerful quote that I’ve had totally reach me came from one of my all time FAVES Merlin Mann. He said “You procrastinate when you forget who you are” *ding* That made me have to pay attention. Every time that I procrastinate I look myself in the eye and ask myself “why are you choosing to not be all that you can be, in full integrity? why are you choosing to dim your own light?” It usually gives me the kick in the pants that I need. It makes things matter more, even if it’s *just* about washing the dishes!

    Love the vids! ♥

  81. Mijanou

    Thanks for the great tips, Marie! Very useful to remember the lizard brain and not to believe that the call of distraction is what we should be listening to; that its voice is not the voice of our highest self but, rather, our most primitive voice. And it helps too to not see it as a reflection of a personal shortcoming.
    -When I wanted to stop smoking many years ago, I told everyone I knew my quit date ahead of time so I knew I would be called out and mortified if they ever smelled smoke on me after that. Worked fantastically well.
    -Just got an iPhone so I’m all over the scheduling thing.

    And you said my name perfectly the first time 😉
    Thanx again. Mijanou

  82. Thanks Marie…love ya girl….

  83. Eleanor

    This is a fantastic post & thanks for sharing The War of Art by Steve Pressfield – I got the Audiobook & am getting so much out of it, thanks! Perfect timing for this video & enjoy your Caribbean adventure!

  84. ROTFL! You’re a trip girl!! Loved this video. I read “The War Of Art”. That book is THEBOMB.com! I started reading it for the second time last week! Steven’s ability to expose “resistance” has been life-changing!! And I love your quote about scheduling things, otherwise it isn’t real. That makes a lot of sense.

    Thanks for these biz nuggets. Dey is tasty FOR REALZ! 🙂

  85. Amanda

    Procrastination is every student’s pasttime… the two tips you give here are the ones I learned while I was at university to overcome it and now as a coach I suggest these tips to others… SCHEDULE IT GIRLS!!! IT WORKS!!! 🙂

  86. OH I LoVE THIS …….if you dont schedule it …its not real .

    I tried that with my csection – but the baby came anyway ! LOL

  87. Love War of Art and loooove Seth Godin.

    Marie and everyone,

    Which book(s) of his do you think deals best with shifting past procrastination?

  88. Hi Marie,

    I totally agree with you about social accountability – it works! I do it all the time when I’m goal planning, though I mostly have my plans live on my blog so that readers can hold me accountable.

    Enjoyed the vid – and looove your lizard brain (impersonation ?). 🙂

    Christina

  89. Amy Walker

    I am new to your website. I investigated because my friend who is a fan told me to go and watch your video about leaving people behind who are holding you back. After watching that i poked around some more and came across this Procrastination video! It was awesome! I am the worst procrastinator and your video put it all into perspective! Thanks Maria!!

  90. I have to admit that like several other people watching this video was part of my procrastination… My main issue is figuring out priority. As an entrepreneur there are some times when there isn’t anything that absolutely needs to be done now… so figuring out what the next step is drives me crazy! If I know what needs to be done, then I can schedule it and make it happen. But if I’m not sure then it is so easy to find inspirational videos to watch instead…

  91. Marika F

    Marie – you are a revelation! I just watched this because I was procrastinating at work. I’m going to put it in my calendar and just do it! Thanks for being such an inspiration!
    P.S. The fact that you love Steven Pressfield makes me adore you that much more!

  92. You are freaking hillarious!

  93. Jocelyn

    I love the idea for being accountable. That is a great way to use social media like fb and twitter…especially when I use it as a reason to procrastinate. lol

  94. Lesley

    I agree…I get so overwhelmed I don’t even know where to begin. Writing down what I need to do help because I can quickly see where I should direct my attention first. Thanks for the reminder. Love all your videos…so inspiring!

  95. Marie: Not sure how I found you yesterday, but I always believe that God puts what I need right in front of my face sometimes! And there you were!

    I am absolutely loving all your videos and wisdom and all of them sound like you are talking to ME – like you are reading my mind as to what I needed to hear!

    I have just launched my business AGAIN – I was doing really well two years ago and a client made me an offer I couldn’t refuse – so I have just finished that 2-year project working exclusively with him marketing and growing his business- and now I am back to being on my own again – and FREAKIN’ LOVING IT!!! I am a Mom of 2 teenage girls who I want to get through school alot better than I did – so I am glad that I can work around their schedule.

    My clients are small contractors who have local businesses who really do not know anything about marketing their businesses. Most of them do not even have business cards! They just do the jobs that they get by their local ads and whine that they don’t have enough work. So here I come to show them what the 21st century is all about.

    They are very grateful for any help I give them and they are keeping me very busy with creating websites, brochures, and advertising efforts.

    Your videos are so great – to the point – relevant to whatever information I am looking for!!! I really want to be very efficient this time and have started to schedule better and plan my days instead of just doing what I feel like doing.

    I have just changed my goal list for the year – and the top goal is to become the “Marie Forleo” for my clients! Thanks so much and I will be here everyday watching for your new stuff!

    Rose

  96. Stevie

    Just love this one Marie, you make me laugh, great video, are you stalking me, you know me so well, I think you wrote these Videos for me personally.

  97. Pat

    When I can’t get motivated; I take a nap. Sometimes it’s a long nap.

  98. My first exposure to your witty video reporting, was the Gary Vanerchuk interview. I shared that piece with everyone and have watched it a couple time myself.

    Since then I’ve been hooked. Looking forward to the down time over the holidays to peruse your archives for more. You and your team capture just the right blend of news / keeping it real! I love your easy, fun, laid back style of reporting and delivering great content.

    Thanks to you and your Team for an excellent job!

  99. Anna

    My insight is: BEING YOURSELF

  100. Kristina

    OMG I am the WORST when it comes to procrastinating!!! UGH!!! It makes me feel like such a loser!!! I have books on the subject, look up articles, watch videos (like yours) about it and for some reason it just continues to be the bane of my existence!! I figure like this, if I managed to get through Marine Corps boot camp and make through 30 hours of labor with my first child CERTAINLY I can kick procrastination in the @ss!! Great video Marie.

  101. Another great video! Thank you, Marie! I love your videos, they are really fun to watch! 🙂

  102. Hehehe…am procrastinating right now…whilst watching a video about procrastination…oh dear…

    Get-ting-up-now.

    Love this vintage vid Marie..x

    • Chelsea - Team Forleo

      Oh dear! Well hopefully you’re also taking action on what you’re learning, and as long as you’re doing and taking action, you’re not really procrastinating and doing nothing…

      Thanks for watching — glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

  103. Hi Marie,

    Great video. I am a proscratinator and my trick to get things done and follow through is to deconstruct the fear behind it. As you said: if you won’t schedule it, it might mean that you don’t want to do it. One of my tricks is to look at what lies behind that non action. It’s fear. Fear of what? It could be a fear of judgeement for example. Then I meditate on the personal cost of not shipping and it motivates me to finish it. Another advice is to ask friends and people I trust their opinion on the project. This way I validate the reason I started he project, why I made the decision I made and ultimetely what I can bring to the world (my mission).

  104. I schedule everything. That makes me do things. Thank you, Marie!

  105. Great!
    I am with Michelle V. I wont bother to tell anyone about my plans, unless I am already working on it, because I know they will hold me accountable for it. So, when I say I am going to do something, I MUST do it! Or I will be called-out on my negligence. (procrast.)
    Thanks.
    SupHerbly,
    Lanita

  106. I am a bit of a procrastinator and my excuse to myself is I “work well under pressure.” Haha OK, EmRo. If that is true, put the pressure on yourself NOW! Make deadlines that are not the “official” deadline but solely with you.

    I absolutely agree with “if you don’t want to schedule it, you don’t want to do it.” As a virgo, I am constantly asking people to pick specific places and times for social engagement, and when they aren’t able to commit, it really does make me feel like they don’t actually want to or that it isn’t important. I’m not saying that I’m busier than anyone else, but if I’m making time for you I am MAKING time for you, it’s not just hanging out there, I always have something to fill it.

    I hope in my business and my relationships I can create a sense of urgency and excitement around all the engagements I choose to be a part of.

  107. That’s why I think it’s important to choose one task and finish it, even it if it takes you 16 hours to do it—because when you do that, you’re keeping the same flow of energy moving. You’ll notice when you do things that way, you’re way more consistent as well.

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