James Broad

26 May 2022

Procrastination Buster

Make it harder to not do something.


You know you should go for a run but you‘ve got some things that you need to do first. Put your running clothes on and trainers in front of the door. You’ll find it too crushing to accept defeat by taking off your training gear without having run.


When you’re putting off writing an email to someone, create a draft email with a first pass subject line and a brief summary of what you want to talk about. Send it to yourself and keep it unread at the top of your inbox. It’ll feel “easy” to finish it off once you’ve started on it.


When you’re embarking on a big coding task, write a descriptive functional unit test. Commit it and make sure it’s failing on a CI environment so you get nagged about it.


Contemplating getting a new job but don’t know where to start? Create an account on just one job site with a basic profile, best on a lesser-known site to use as a trial run. You’ll be able to re-use the work you put into the first for other services.


Put a calendar entry for admin work with an email reminder 15 minutes prior and a notification at the start time. It’ll be a tiny bit harder to put it off.


The key is in thinking smaller and taking small steps in the right direction.